Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Winding Down

Can't believe the school year is over!  Can't believe I survived!  LOL  As the year was winding down, I began to reflect on what I've done this year and what I'd like to do next year.  I'm so excited about this post!  I've been working on it for about a month.  It was really good for me to see this year in writing...the good, the bad, and the ugly (that incidently I have plans to make pretty over the summer or at least sometime in the future).

Fran of Informania posted this idea about monthly library reports that really got me thinking about what I've done this year.  I think I may have to set making monthly library reports as a goal next year for myself.  I also came across a neat little Year in Review on The Mighty Little Librarian that I really liked and it wasn't quite as much work to go back and create, so I made one, too.

You can check it out here.

Here are the highlights of my year, what I'm proud of accomplishing:
  • All library books have been clearly labeled with AR labels.
  • I've weeded the collection to the best of my ability.  You can read about my weeding adventures in this post.
  • I've added 848 books to the collection this year (and I am still adding books this summer that I didn't get to during the school year).  You can read about some of the books I've been able to add in this post.
  • I recataloged and organized all of the guided reading sets (about 75 boxes in all, with sets containing 1-10 different books).
  • Attended two Book Fair workshops to get ideas and inspiration
  • I succesfully ran and survived my first and second Book Fairs raising $2,458.70 in profit. You can read about those Book Fairs here and here.
  • I provided a way for all students to be able to get a book from the Book Fair through One for Books.
  • I also ran and survived the magazine subscription fundraiser, raising $1,348.40.  You can read about it here.
  • Many students received books from We Give Books for summer reading.  You can read more about those books here.
  • I have taught at least one lesson to every class this year and have collaborated at least on a basic level with every grade level.
  • I created and maintained a Media Center website.  You can view it here.
  • I created and maintianed this blog. =)
  • Attended two Media Specialist Constortiums to share ideas and gain knowledge from more experienced Media Specialists
  • I have been able to keep my sanity without having a TA to help run the MC, but with the help of some very wonderful parent volunteers.
But what I am most proud of is
  • Several parents and teachers have told me that I've reached some reluctant readers and made reading fun again.  I've even received some pretty good hugs, notes, and compliments from students about many of the Media Center activities this year.
Here's what I   wish I had accomplished:
  • Better collaboration and planing with teachers
  • Better use of AR by introducing/explaining it better to students at the beginning of the year
  • Better communication with parents about AR and other needs
  • Better recruitment of parent volunteers
  • Better screening of possible parent volunteers
  • Better training of parent volunteers
  • Better organization of the repair shelf
  • Attend several Media Conferences
Here's what I'd like to accomplish this summer:
  • I'd like to get the Media Storage and AV rooms organized.  This not only means organizing what's in these rooms, but also barcoding and entering items in those rooms into Destiny. 
  • We have about 20 book sets that are in terrible disarray.  I'd like to get those organized and put into Desitny correctly.  I've already started the process and it is going to be a looooooong one.
  • The conference room off the Media Center is in need of some love.  I'd like to get in there and do something with it.
  • I'd like to get my file cabinet organized.  I did an initial cleaning when I moved in, but it needs weeding a lot more.
  • I'd like to get the repair shelf organized.
  • Decorate the Media Center for next school year.
Here are some ideas I'd like to try next year:

  • After talking with my Media Committee, I think I've decided to go with a "Rock Star" theme for next year.. something like "Read Like a Rock Star" would make a good slogan.  I've already started browsing the 'net for ideas for decor and prizes.  I was surprised by how much I've found.  The fourth and fifth graders may just want to do the punch card next year.  You can check out my Pinterest board I've started for collecting ideas for this theme.
From Ginger on Ginger Snaps
  • Speaking of punch cards, I am thinking of doing a backstage pass for the punch card or maybe an iPod playlist type thingie.  One of my collegues came up with these ideas and I LIKE it!  I even found something on Pinterest that I might could adapt.
  • I am going to "rock out" the prize buggy for next year.  Trying to come up with a cute name for it..the "cool cart" just doesn't sound rocker to me.  Any ideas?
  • I want to do a "Tweet" door where students can "tweet" about their favorite books.  I saw this idea here and really like it.
  • In addition to or instead of a Genre of the Month or spotlighting teachers reading, I'd like to do a Spotlight on an Author...goes good with the rock star theme, I think.
  • I'd like to do a guess the book Wordle each month to go along with the author of the month.  I was inspired by this blog.
  • I'd like to try to do weekly centers with 3 centers that stay somewhat consistent...a bookmark center, a word search center, and a whisper read to self center.  Some other centers I'd like to have are a reference center, a puzzle center, and maybe a QR code center.  I have to thank Cari of The Centered School Library blog for the inspiration.  I know if I run out of ideas, I can look to her blog for more.
  • More AR training for the Reading teachers at my school.  I really want us to get our money's worth from the program.
  • I'd like to try to Skype with an author or another class next year.  I found a website, Skype an Author Network,  that claims to connect classrooms to authors, but I need to investigate it a bit more. 
  • I want to train students and teachers to use the iPads.
  • I'd like to do some QR code lessons. Gwyneth, the Daring Librarian, is my hero!  I hope to one day use my tech savvy to the fullest as she does with her classes.
  • I'd like to do an end of the year book swap.
  • I'd also like to do a BOGO Book Fair at the end of the year.
Here are some long term goals I have that I might be able to work towards next year:
  • I'd like to have a live morning newscast.  Right now we don't have the equipment to be able to do that, but maybe one day.
  • I'd like to start a book club once a week for 3rd-5th graders.
  • I'd also like to start a newspaper or literary magazine to highlight the great writers we have.  This might even could be an online thing.   We are going to start a technology club next year, so this might be a good starting project for that club.
  • I'd love to get more magazines for the library.
  • I'd like to paint the bathroom off the Media Center a more mellow color.  It's a little thing, but I think it would make a difference.  It might be nice to add decor to it as well.
  • While I'm at it, I'd like to paint my office, maybe a nice light gray. 
  • I'd lke to add a large flat screeen up above the circulation desk to have annoucements running all day, but it could also be used for an extra television.
  • I like to add about 10 more iPads to the Media Center so that students could pair up to use them.
 May as well dream big, right?

So what about you?  What did you accomplish this year?  Anything you wish you were able to do?  What are your plans for next year?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

In the meantime, happy summer!


  1. Hi Jo, it sounds like you accomplished a lot this year! You have great goals for next year also!

    1. Thanks! There always seems to be so much to do. I hope that I can accomplish everything. =)

  2. Hello! I am wondering, since this post is from last year if you had success with your volunteer goals. (recruit, screen, and train) These are my goals for this year and I am looking for some guidance. Also, did you use the Skype and Author at all? I found another that sounds similar and will be trying that out this year. :) Thank you!!

    1. Hi, Kathryn,
      I had much better success with parent volunteers last year, partly because I did have some returning volunteers, so I didn't have to train as many. But I also did better at "screening" new recruits. Before I contacted those who said they were interesting in volunteering, I asked teachers and staff members who might be familiar with those parents if they would be a good fit in the MC. This helped me tremendously. And when I did get a new volunteer, it was easier to know how to train them because of what I learned the first year. I also had learned how much responsibility to give volunteers and what types of jobs to give them through my first year experiences.

      As far as Skypeing goes, I am sad to say, that goal did not happen. I have talked with some MSs in my county and we are talking about maybe Skypeing each other first to see how that goes...maybe pairing up to do a lesson through Skype. We are still working on the details, but hopefully something will come of it. And I will be sure to blog about it. =)