Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Swirling Solo - This post originally appeared on

Well, this is the first year of flying solo or "swirling solo" which rolls off my tongue in a way that's a bit more fun!

In the middle school setting swirling solo means I'll have a lot more student aides swirling around and I'll be swirling a lot more myself around the school and back to the library before a flurry of e-mails sends me to the next task! I am looking at this transition in a positive way.

At first I did not see working alone in the Library Media Center as a good thing. I only saw more tasks ahead of me and wondered how I would get it all done.

What I have found instead is lots of teachers pitching in to help other teachers on their hall with setting up technology and a lot more teachers stopping by the library to talk about future collaborations.

So, I am excited about this! Here is how I will handle some of the housekeeping issues:

  1. Create self-checkout for students in Atrium.
  2. Allow students to take on an ownership role in creating huge dsiplays in our very large display case.
  3. Allow students to take on a bigger role in management of Nooks - counting them and making sure they stay charged.
  4. Demonstrate to students how to troubleshoot issues on teacher laptops and send them out to take care of it (The Fn (function) key being the largest of these issues). Perhaps I'll create a laminated sheet of various problem-solving tips or let "guided inquiry" take over! Many times the techie student can figure it out on his/her own.
  5. Allow students to assist teachers with pulling books and assist students with software, hardware, and website issues.
  6. Bounce ideas off students for grants and contests.
  7. Provide a student chair and rules for being behind the desk.
  8. Students with the best handwriting will be able to abbreviate the genres in the fiction collection - since my library is genre-fied.

All in all it's going to be a more student-centered and student-led Library Media Center. No, there is nothing earth-shattering and very new here, but I think it's going to work. I am ready to swirl! If this is the case for you, have a great year and leave a comment about how you will manage the year.

Our former library aide, Mrs. Barker, working one of our many bookfairs. Have a great year at your new school, Mrs. Barker!


  1. BRAVO!!!!
    Thanks for looking at the cup as being half full rather than half empty. In today's library world, I think that empowering our students to help with library responsibilities can only serve to improve everyone concerned. It's so good to hear that you ARE able to handle your job and have such a positive attitude about a situation that none of us could control.

  2. I love the attitude! One suggestion I have for elementary librarians is to recruit parents to help straighten and shelve books and other mundane tasks. However, they may need a little training at first.