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Four weeks in

photo (2)It’s hard to believe it’s only four weeks since I started at my new school. So much has happened! I’ve felt overwhelmed, positive, frustrated, proud, welcomed, incredulous, amazed, despairing, energised and exhausted, sometimes all in the same day or hour. The over-arching theme has been busy-ness with little opportunity to concentrate on one thing for more than a couple of minutes…but I feel I’ve made progress and I’m pretty sure I’ve made the right decision in coming here.

Some of the achievements include:

  • Establishing good working relationships with my two library technicians. I feel very fortunate to have two very capable people who each have their own different strengths and talents to offer to work alongside.
  • Establishing good working relationships with heads of campus, learning team coordinators, teachers and office staff. I have felt very welcomed and I think I’m doing OK at building positive relationships with the people I need to work closely with.
  • Establishing good working relationships with the IT support staff – so important!
  • Getting to know the children. It’s a big change for me going from mostly senior students to mostly P-8. So far they have all been lovely, not that that means there aren’t challenges, but the difference in dynamics between grade 4 girls and VCE students is remarkable.
  • Launched Bytes, another Global2 blog set up as a resource for teachers at my school. Each day I post a short item related to a learning area or  about teaching and learning or productivity  or an app or website onto staff news on our portal and on Bytes.
  • Set up a library monitor program. We often have only one person available to staff the library at lunchtime which makes managing supervision difficult, on top of running the circulation desk. Fifteen lovely children have put their hands up to be trained to run circulation as well as help out with shelving, tidying, monitoring the computer booking system (another new initiative), and displays. At the moment they are “trainees”. Those who demonstrate their commitment throughout the term will be rewarded with official library monitor badges at a morning tea at the end of term.
  • Presented my first PD session for staff about using iPads.
  • Learnt about volume purchasing and how to sync apps to multiple iPads using configurator. Quite a complex process, hopefully it will make more sense and become easier as I get more used to it. I’ve also been investigating options for transporting our set of 20 iPads to various classrooms (around our rabbit warren school) and how to manage multiple users for each device. I’ve ordered some baskets which will each hold five iPads and come in four different colours which I think will make management simpler…I will report more soon!
  • Still a work in progress but I am working on new signage in and out of the library. I want to re-frame all the negative messages (No food or drink in the library) to more positive ones (Please finish eating and drinking before you enter the library). The picture at the top of this post is a sign a created for the library entrance, made on my iPad using ComicBook.
  • I’ve chucked a lot of stuff out. Don’t ask me what because my theory has always been not to look too closely at what you throw away in order not to remember it (just in case someone comes looking!). I’m fairly sure that is a positive achievement!
  • I’ve enjoyed getting back into “proper” library work doing things like promoting books to class groups and sourcing resources for teachers.
  • Set up a demo account with Libguides, a minor “achievement” but something I’m very excited about none-the-less.

There are a number of frustrations too. Some are things that you mightn’t think that important and would take significant man-hours (that 2.8 staff working in three libraries simply don’t have) to fix, that none-the-less drive me crazy. Things like the way the books are organised in the junior library – horizontally along all the shelves instead of top to bottom in each bay, does my head in every time I try to find a book or put one away. The way that series fiction has been separated from the general fiction and other similar anomalies. The inconsistency of barcode placement on the books – everywhere from inside the back cover to anywhere on the back cover, including vertically as well as horizontally. The library management system – I don’t even know where to start about that one (hopefully this is something that can be changed). And there are many more.But I remind myself of the Reinhold Niebuhr quote

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

and concentrate on what I can do.

Reinhold Niebuhr. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved February 22, 2014, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/reinholdni100884.html

Heather

9 Comments

  1. I think you have tackled an extraordinary number of things in a short time, Heather. All the best for the first year. Which LMS are you using?

  2. Thanks Tania. I was getting a bit frustrated, thinking that I wasn’t getting anywhere but when I stopped and thought about it the list is reasonably impressive, made me feel better anyway!
    The LMS is V-library. I’m having a training session this week which might make it easier to use. At this stage it just seems very unintuitive, buttons for commands are difficult to find, things require more steps than I think are necessary and some things are just plain backwards. However, I’ll take my open mind with me on Wednesday…perhaps I’ll be converted! If not, I’ll be looking for something new…

  3. Wow Heather,
    You have certainly jumped in the deep end. Reading between the lines you have a dual role of ICT and Library ? They are lucky to have you ! Wonder how you will feel when you read this post in 8 months time ?

    Celia

  4. Sounds like you might be looking for something new. We’ve just moved to Infiniti. Looks so much better than Sirsi Dynix.

  5. Looks like I’d better update my about page – I’m at The King David School in Armadale Eileen.
    Tania, I haven’t heard of Infiniti, will check it out.
    Celia, yes library and staff development in ICT/overseeing the new iPad program. And you’re right, it will be very interesting to reread this toward the end of the year.

  6. Hi Heather

    You have achieved a LOT in 4 weeks! (I can definitely relate to your feelings in your opening paragraph!) I bet you have made a very positive impression at your new school and that they are so glad to have you on board.

    Now to add your study to the mix…

    I’m looking forward to coming for a visit soon!

    Kim 🙂

  7. Thanks Kim – would love to see you here. And maybe we could both visit Tania and check out her new LMS

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