6:45 AM – Arrive at school. Realize that with all of yesterday’s meetings, I never prepped for the class coming in for first block. Frantically create a book list in the OPAC, but fail to pull books onto a physical cart.

7:30 AM – First class arrives. Deliver instruction on using the catalog, using call numbers, a brief introduction to web indices and databases, and try to convince students not to print every article they find. Spend about half the class helping students find and check out books, and the other half adding titles to a future Follett order when I realize we have no books on some subjects.

8:47 AM – Run to the main office, where the secretary is paging seniors who are missing yearbook items. About half the students paged arrive. Get into a shouting match with a senior who is trying to convince a classmate that he shouldn’t turn anything in to the yearbook at all. Feel stupid for getting in a shouting match.

8:51 AM – Second English class arrives. Quickly realize that far fewer of these students even know how to get to the library website. Also realize none of these students posted their thesis to the class blog, so none of their topics are included in the book list. Spend half the period explaining to students that someone already checked out the book they want.

10:00 AM – Students from a history class also in the library caught photocopying faces on the library copier. Decide not to get in the middle of an argument about whether or not this merits detention. Sigh wistfully and wish students would stop copying body parts.

10:12 AM – Directed Study Block. Check in almost 50 students who have library passes. Attempt to keep students without passes from entering while simultaneously trying to keep students with passes from leaving. More seniors paged to the main office come to discuss missing yearbook items. Bump several students from prohibited websites and applications using monitoring software, which is the only thing keeping me from stapling myself repeatedly during DSB.

10:53 AM – DSB ends, mercifully. Run back to main office to page more students. Become convinced that certain seniors do not exist.

10:57 AM – First lunch begins. Attempt to locate source of rustling sound, which almost certainly means a student is eating at a computer (verboten).

11:08 AM – Check in backlog of returned books. Realize that several are the books students from second block wanted. Have students paged to library.

12:00 PM – Eat lunch at desk.

12:30 PM – Look up possible parking near concert venue for the evening. Fret.

1:05 PM – Continue adding titles to a book order. Worry that this order won’t have a high enough manga ratio.

2:01 PM – Check out books before students head to the bus.

2:15 PM – Technically teachers can leave the building. Imagine what that must be like.

2:17 PM – Unblock Age of Empires for after school gaming crowd. Wish Glitch weren’t blocked by the school’s filter.

2:30 PM – Work with yearbook editors on senior spread. Once again lament lack of baby pictures.

3:30 PM – Start shutting down unused computers. Pick up recyclable paper and water bottles. Wish lollipops and gum didn’t exist.

4:00 PM – Miraculously, library is empty. Leave early. Giddy.

About mk Eagle

I'm the librarian at Holliston High School, a bit west of Boston. In my spare time I advise my school's yearbook and Gay Straight Alliance, write about food, and root for the Red Sox.

3 Thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. Sad School Librarian on November 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm said:

    I’m not sure what the point of this post is. This sounds like a horrible day! (And too much like my own!) This makes me want to run from the profession and caution others from joining!

  2. Sad School Librarian, I guess we have very different standards for what makes a horrible day. This wasn’t horrible at all–a bit frantic at times, but I’d certainly prefer days like this to the ones where no classes are scheduled and the library is eerily silent for hours.

    I think at times, whether we work in schools or in public libraries, we forget that a “normal” day (and this post documents what is certainly a normal day) is chock full of activity and thought and work–at times comic, at times mundane, but always unpredictable thanks to the unpredictable teens (and adults) we serve.

  3. mk is absolutely correct: there is no such thing as a “normal” day, but busy (frantic?) trumps a dull day every time.

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