On a late Friday afternoon about one year ago my principal told me I was going to be the school’s librarian starting the next week.
At the time I knew nothing about being a school librarian and was taking over a disaster of a library.
Three weeks later I enrolled in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Queens College. This past week I completed my 21st, 24th and 27th credits in 11 months while working full time. I’m very tired.
I reorganized all the books in the library, twice. I began automating the library, a process of putting barcodes on all the books and scanning them into our now online catalog. Oh yeah, I had to learn that software (and thanks to Shannon McClintock Miller for turning me onto it).
Five unpaid Saturdays were spent in 7-hour long training sessions to learn more about my job, I won a small technology grant. I presented at the NYC school library system’s fall conference.
My library was selected to be part of a pilot program of having a shared catalog and other collaboration with the New York Public Library.
That meant learning another system of library automation software.
Oh, I’ve also been teaching information fluency skills, trying out two different website development tools, finding and sharing resources with my colleagues in my school and in my district.
In my free time, I taught a class at SUNY Empire State College, helped organize and run EdCampNYC, and managed to lose the last half of a 60 lb. total loss that I’ve managed to keep off.
So much for this year.’
I’ve got a lot more work to do.
I need to improve my teaching, redecorate the library and try to find the money for a renovation.
I need to finish my degree. After 27 credits in 11 months, thanks to budget cuts it will take me another 11 months to complete the final nine required credits.
I need to continue to weed old, outdated and damaged books from our collection and finish the barcoding and cataloging.
I also need to purchase books, magazines and databases with the twin foci of providing quality recreational reading options and better aligning the collection to our curriculum.
I need to continue to learn my job and continue to be thankful to all the members of my PLN, including my colleagues in the NYC school library system who help me do so.
Yes, I still have a lot to do, but right now I need to rest, to get to know my wife and son again, to take some time for myself.
I’ve earned it. Haven’t I?