’twas a week

Librarian

It was a strange kind of week. After working with Minerva for over eighteen months I realised just difficult she found it to be flexible. Our Library was gutted (all stacks are on wheels) so that we could hold a student art exhibition and fashion show on Friday night. Minerva was stressing out for many days before hand, trying to force me to lay down all sorts of rules and regulations.

Some of her suggestions were well founded and I did follow up. Others showed me just how much she has to sense she has control. Of course she can argue that on the day all the moving was going on I was sitting at the round table with the Principal; not that I would consider that an out for me! I actually reminded her that all she had to do was supervise furniture removal but I got to spend a whole day with the boss. That did silence her a little!

Actually our big day out was not as uncomfortable as I anticipated. We were seated at a round table and I was able to place two other teachers between me and the boss which worked just fine. I could join in conversation when it suited and pretend I couldn’t hear when I needed too!

Isn’t it sad though when you realise that your Fearless Leader has an IQ several rungs lower than you would consider necessary? I knew he was one to focus on an idea and go with it, no matter what others suggested. Also that he often shot from the hip without research , having been the victim of one of those shots recently. So the feet of clay were noted, but the IQ was a little startling. It meant that he often grabbed a minor point and missed the big picture stuff and then we all had to dance around trying to get him to release his misconception.

This week I learnt that research shows that class size has no impact on student learning. Also that one in five students goes to school and no one, teacher or fellow student, will talk to them in a day. And 80 percent of what students learn in the classroom they learn from peers, but only 20 percent of that is correct! I learnt other things as well, but I think those facts will stun you enough!

Minerva was on her day off Friday and so not there for the final preparations for the gala event. I sent her a text bemoaning the fate of our carpet, as finger food became floor food, just to stir her along. I am confident the cleaners will have been in before Monday, when Minerva gets to return the library to its former glory and I am at a TL professional day, but Minerva was still asking if I was taking all to task. She doesn’t understand that teachers do these things because they must, and they are not event organisers so they are just as lost as everyone else. No point in making enemies and it is the school community’s library, not just ours.

It is a concern though how libraries are expected to be so many things these days. Maker spaces are the in concepts at the moment. Creativity does have a huge impact on learning, but whether the library is place for it is another thing! Not sure if glitter and feathers show dominate reading. We poor librarians are expected to be all things to all people today and we strive to please, even if it exhausts us!

So, this week two TL professional days to attend. I shall continue my red count – it amuses me how many librarians wear red, especially in winter, so I count and comment to Minerva. I wear red sometimes, but never to TL events – I must always stand out.

library love

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18 thoughts on “’twas a week

  1. Those are some scary stats, right there. 1 in 5 unspoken to students just makes me very sad. I was not one of those, but looking back I can see at least one girl iin my class who was. I hope that changed for her when she left school!

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  2. Glad that the meeting wasn’t as horrific as you thought it was going to be. 🙂 The percentages you gave are interesting. I wonder if it was the same back in ‘my day’, when we have School ‘Sergeants’ come in to keep an eye on how the teacher was running the class.

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  3. Ah ha ha ha! what a week for you! And yes…people never seem to understand that a lot of what gets done is not because we suddenly decided it was a fab idea, but that it was decided for us in a variety of ways and now we are making do….

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  4. Love the doubtful IQ of the boss-bloke. Meet this so often. The percentage of kids not spoken to is scary but does carry on in real life. I have colleagues who are rarely spoken to. It’s a sad part of life I’m afraid.

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  5. Our city library spent a huge chunk of money on a self-publishing printing press (you upload your text and it spits it back out as a bound book) and a 3-D printer, arguing that “times have changed” and people expect more than books and magazines from their local library. We were aghast however, as the city keeps threatening to shut down a couple of the smaller, less frequented branches, and they’ve already reduced hours and staff at the larger ones. Certainly I’m all for libraries having a greater role in the community, but a 3-D printer that can produce a guitar made of plastic can’t replace the presence of a library in a neighborhood where most children don’t have internet access at home or even basic reference books like a dictionary or an almanac.

    Isn’t it funny how the least talented often manage to become the leaders of an organization? It can’t be for lack of other candidates. I’ve wondered if perhaps the Fearless Leader just happened to be wearing the right color of tie during his interview, or he toadied up to the right people that day.

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    • I don’t quite understand the draw of the print on demand machines as in most cases it would only be for out of print books. Most people these days would go online and download I suspect. I would love a 3D printer – but to make displays for books not to just entertain people. Reading is the key to success and too many people are forgetting that, and I think there is an element of fear and hysteria pushing libraries into embracing some worthless initiatives.

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  6. This brings up a lot of memories, FD, few of them very good.

    My sister and brother-in-law are librarians, not for the school system, but for a local library system. BIL works at a branch across from the downtown high school, and sister splits her time between branches on opposite ends of a neighboring city. In fact, the branch on the east side she works at more frequently is undergoing remodeling/renovation. She is still looking for non-library work as she is weary of it all. BIL has been acting director for his branch, but they want him to be slightly younger and have a MLSI degree, before he can have a proper promotion. Both sis and BIL seem blocked by requirements of higher (or higher than what they’ve got) academic degrees.

    Maybe I mentioned once or twice that I was an elementary education student that failed student teaching admist a horrific mess of university politics and mismanagement. I don’t generally trust statistics directly (for they are often manipulated) but I will say the grade school and higher education systems are terribly broken. They do have Dilbert-esque pointy-haired bosses of their own, other administration incompetence, and mounds of red tape.

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    • They can’t do much about the younger aspect can they? Are they considering more study? I did my Masters in my 40s and my teaching degree at 50!
      How utterly true about the Dilbert-esque pointy-haired bosses. Too true, sadly!

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      • They are rather hamstrung by financial considerations and lack of time; aside from their very busy work schedule. they also have two children with special needs. BIL got a bachelor’s online (and that was difficult), but Sis does not have a post-secondary degree.

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  7. Do you have a group of older women who have very nice hair and then grab handfuls of it and dye it a weird colour, like bright red, purple or green? I have noticed at recent conferences a number of woman and it really does make them look like a caricature of themselves. Perhaps they are fighting becoming invisible!

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    • Yes, there is that fashion hair style trait but not so common at our school, I have noticed it at other schools though!!!. At our place of learning there is a very strange style of hair cut for the top 3 in the leadership team. Short and hacked at and up in the back of the neck region. Almost shaved. It’s all the same hair cut and they are all the same shape and age. Like lumby robotelles who all belong to the same club of same speech same dress. Am so naughty.

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