Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday Slice: Starts and a full stop

I've now started three different topics on this page, and backspaced over all of them. 

End-of-school-year countdown--been there, done that, doing it again.
Reneging on a promise I made to myself about not presenting PD this summer--no point in hashing it out, I've signed up.  And it's only half a day, and the presentation is already prepped, blah, blah, blah.
On the difficulties of knowing better, but not always doing better, especially when it comes to work/ life balance; pretty sure I've covered that in a dozen posts.

That's all I've got in my head this morning.  No Muse is alighting on my shoulder to whisper sweet topics in my ear.  My to-do list is long, my well of creativity coming up short.

Come back and visit next Tuesday; maybe I'll have something print-worthy then!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Slice: Still a thrill

Five years ago, sometime in November, I placed my first book order as a librarian.  I am fortunate to work in a district that allocates a book budget for every school, based on population.  My first order came to thirty-five hundred dollars, about half of my budget.

Thirty-five hundred dollars for two hundred twelve books.  It was like Christmas to me, buying presents for my students on the district's dime.  As the boxes of books arrived, I squealed with delight and set up a special section on top of the shelves to highlight the new collection.  Then came the anticipation every gift-giver experiences--will they like the books?  Did I make the right choices?  After a few days, I would talk up the remaining books on the shelf, and a few more would go home with students.  There would always be two or three left, worrying me with their presence.

Yesterday, I placed my last big book orders for the school year, one hundred sixty-eight books in all.  Many of the books are replacements for worn out titles, continuations of series, students' favorite authors.  I started a new club--a student readers' advisory, which meets four times throughout the school year to review our collection and suggest new books.  Several of their recommendations are in this book order as well.  They will most likely arrive after our last checkout in mid-May, but that's okay; we will have brand-new books to display when the students return in August.   

My shopping carts are already filling up for fall.  Lucky me--I get to have Christmas whenever I want, just by opening up a box of books.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday Slice: A week at TLA

Last week, I posted from the pre-conference at our Texas Library Association's annual conference, already thinking of the busy week ahead.  

Tuesday was filled with Tech Camp breakout sessions, Speed Dating the Bluebonnets (meeting authors of next year's Bluebonnet Award nominees), and a lovely dinner hosted by one of my favorite jobbers.

Wednesday opened with inspiring thoughts from Rick Steves, sessions about our Armadillo Reading Program and inquiry-based teaching, and a little time on the vendor exhibit floor.  I capped it off with a brisk 5K walk with fellow librarians around Dallas City Hall and some yummy pork tacos at the President's Ball (in my sweaty workout clothes!).

Thursday started with an 0430 alarm and a large coffee purchased at the gift store in the hotel lobby.  I helped stuff goody totes for our Teacher Day @TLA breakfast and registered attendees.  Christopher Paul Curtis was our guest author with great stories to tell!  Two more breakout sessions on graphic novels and online databases, then the Bluebonnet Award Luncheon, some much needed downtime in my hotel room, and shopping and book signing in the exhibit hall.  I caught the ending comments from Junot Diaz's general sessions, cheered on our district's book cart drill team (the only entrants this year), then joined my Teacher Day colleagues for a celebratory dinner.

Friday began with a wonderful author session on teaching empathy with books.  I checked out of the hotel, took the last of the heavy bags of books to my car, and made one more sweep of the vendor floor.  I was glad I did--got a few free and below-cost books to add to our library!  By noon, the GPS was primed to navigate my way back to the highway and home.

Tomorrow, I'll post the to-do list prompted by my week at TLA.  So many great ideas....

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday Slice: I'm not alone

I am typing this from a conference table in a ballroom at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, surrounded by hundreds of fellow librarians who arrived a day early to attend Tech Camp. 

For the next three and a half days, thousands of school, public, and academic librarians from all over Texas (and beyond) will converge here to learn, collaborate, and visit with hundreds of vendors, all for the sole purpose of bettering our professional selves and our library programs.

This is daunting for my introverted self! Come Friday, I will be ready for my three hour solo road trip back to Austin, to decompress and reflect on what I have learned.