Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What I'm Really Thinking: the school librarian

I look around my library and some days the chaos overwhelms me. Trying to keep up with 400 small, fast moving people is like trying to hold back the sea. Just when my castle of books is finally built, it's washed away by a wave of hands and noise. I crave order but I know that it will never be achieved. I set myself up to fail. But that’s ok.

I know I expect too much of them at times. They’re only kids, I have to tell myself. But still sometimes I wind myself tighter and tighter until I think I’ll snap. Then,  just before I do, their small voices make me smile and laugh, and I can't help but come completely undone. They giggle and scream, say good morning to me in unison, and everything is forgiven and forgotten. I can let go of my need for order for a while. 

These little people both frustrate and delight me; demanding answers to questions they've been holding on to since their teachers first spoke that morning. Some of them look like they are ready to burst, waiting in line for their turn.  

I offer up a little bit of my soul every day. They take and take and take, and I go home weary and ready to sleep. But I don’t mind. I know I could never be anything else. My life, my job, both fulfilling.

“It must be nice to sit and read books all day.” I smile and chuckle, but inside I just want to punch you in the face. Your mocking tone shows your ignorance and I have to remind myself that you are an idiot and that what I do really does matter. You may never understand what I do, but as long as those waves keep coming; smiling and laughing, asking question after question, nothing else matters.  

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Been a while

Apologies for the delay between posts. Last month my father passed away so I've been AFK for a while. It's been a really hard time and I expect that it will be that way for a while. The loss is immense and the pain will always be there. It's a matter of learning to live with it. I hope to start posting again in the near future. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Awful library books

I came across a shockingly awful book yesterday that I have to admit I was a little ashamed was in my collection. I'm not going to say what it is as it's not fair to the person who bought it or donated it (though the author should be ashamed of himself). I was telling one of my library friends about it last night and she began to laugh, telling me that it featured on this website http://awfullibrarybooks.net/ . I didn't know such a website existed, though I am supremely glad that it does. A good half an hour was spent flicking threw its pages looking at all the ridiculous books that have been written and published over the years. If you want a diversion for a few hours you should take a look. Just be careful that none of your library books appear on there!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Multi language library

My language skills are really being put to the test here, and I must admit I feel bad that my French has deteriorated so much. I'm having to stretch my mind to remember the most basic of phrases. Shame on me! 

It's made me think, I wonder if anyone else has a similar problem - multiple languages spoken in their school and needing to communicate with children in their native language. I could really do with some 'library phrases' in French, German and Chinese to help me along!

Anyone know of such a thing? If not, I may have to start compiling a phrase book myself!

My first week

I'm nearing the end of my first week with the kids and it's been quite a time so far. I've done some induction sessions, supervised at lunch, and done mountains of shelving. The kids are stupendous and such a riot. 

The kids have very beautiful and inventive names. I'm never sure how to spell any of them as they usually differ from the English norm. It's lovely because it makes them all very unique. My hearing is definitely being put to the test because with no library cards to scan I have to rely on them telling me how to spell their names and that I hear it correctly. With three main languages as well as English being spoken at our school (French, German and Chinese), I have to contend with different accents too. I think I'll end up collapsing tomorrow evening!

I have one boy who's name I won't forget because he comes in every day and says, "Hi, I'm Ewan, from the other day. Can I take this book out please?". He's just adorable. 

I'd forgotten how much exercise you get working in a library; how much your arms, legs and neck ache at the end of the day. My feet have been suffering too. But it's all worth it. I haven't been this happy at work in years. I feel very privileged to be working not only with such lovely children but also wonderful colleagues who have made me feel so welcome. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Starting over

I have been blessed this year with being offered the chance to run the primary library at a fantastic international school in Asia. This is my first week on the job and so far it's been terrifying, exciting, frustrating and bewildering. Pretty much what I expected really. I'm lucky that our school starts back a week before the kids do, so I've had some time to get acquainted with everything (and everyone) before the madness starts. 

I must admit that my confidence levels are not terribly high at the moment, as I am not by experience a primary librarian. My forte is the 16-22 age group of sixth formers and university students. However, having said that, I've seen how much my mum loves working with middle school aged kids and been envious of the fun she has with them. There is no doubt that this is going to be a hard job, but I'm looking forward to spending time with kids who love to read, and in an environment that is truly wonderful. I don't like to brag but my library is awesome! It's beautiful - bright, spacious and full of life. And that's how I want to be. I've missed being a librarian. I spent the last year working as an SEN TA, which was a great experience. I loved my kids and I will miss them terribly, but there is something about libraries that I just can't escape. It's in my blood and not being in one every day was somewhat soul destroying. 

I've been blessed as well with a lovely colleague who has been teaching me the ropes and helping me to get organised. I know I'll learn a lot from her and hopefully I can get to grips with everything as quickly as possible. 

Anyway, I decided to start up my blog again as I found it really therapeutic last time. It gave me a place to talk about the stuff I was learning and going through. Hopefully it was informative to those who read it and it will be again. 

So, if you're joining my again after my hiatus - welcome back! If you're new, hello :) I hope you enjoy this blog and find what I have to say of some interest. 

Well that's it for now. I shall see you all a bit later!