Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Elementary Library!

Good day fellow internet users!

It has been a crazy few weeks, which is why you haven't seen a post from me in a while. Recovering from the craziness of Panther Camp and closing down three libraries is tiring, so I needed some R&R time. But on the days when I'm not enjoying the sun, I have been making strides in planning for our new elementary library to be up and running in the fall.


Step 1 - The Floor Plan

My first step in learning I was going to be helping in the design of a new library was to go and visit some area elementary libraries. SCC has been my first libraries, so I only knew what our elementary looked like. I found out there there is a wide range of libraries in the library. But everyone I talked to had a few things to say. Lots of outlets. Flexible space. And student focused area. So that's what I came back to our meetings with. Meeting with the architect was interesting and something I wish we had more time for, but moving forward was the goal. So by June 3 we had a floor plan. You can view the plan HERE by going to page 9.

Change is always hard and it's scary for me to help design a new library. But I'm exciting to make this new space a great area for our students.


Step 2 - The Book Donations

First, THANK YOU! Thank you for all the amazing book donations we have received. The number of books has been crazy. I keep saying we've gotten more book donations than we had in the library before the fire, and I don't really think that's a stretch. If you've been to the high school you know that they have taken over a large part of our library there. So thank you, but please, no more. We wouldn't know where to put them!

Besides pulling books for camp use and our new library, the teachers have pulled thousands of books for their classrooms. The libraries they have in their classrooms will be revamped and bursting at the seems when the students return in the fall. I also pulled the multiple-copies of titles to create reading group sets to keep in our book room. We will be adding approximately 150 sets up books to our book room, each with 5 our more copies of a title. (Fun Fact - We had over 25 copies of Charlotte's Web donated)

We are currently working on finishing pulling for the library and classrooms and then our tentative plan (nothing set in stone yet) is to have a book sale in August. There were many duplicates, old series, and non-elementary books donated that we are going to try to give back to the community. Watch for more info as August gets closer.


Step 3 - The New Library Collection

For a non-library person this is probably the step that you have no idea how it works. Well let me fill you in. At SCC, 90% of the library books, movies, and audio books we order come from a company called Follett Library Resources. The company has been around for decades and has lots of experience setting up new school libraries (or like us, restoring a collection that has been lost). I've worked with them throughout my seven years here at SCC and have always been happy with their products and customer service.
Midnight lounging around at the high school library

The first thing they did was convert the records that we had for our collection into an online order. Approximately 60% of our collection could be directly replaced. The rest was either something they didn't carry, something that was no longer in publication, or a book that came from a record that they couldn't interpret (Quick book records have sometimes been entered with no more than a title. For a book like Vikings this can be a problem.)

Now, library collections are constantly being weeded for old/outdated/falling-apart materials and updated with new, more appropriate materials. It's something that is usually done in sections, not all at once. But it didn't make sense to me to reorder something that I was planning on weeding anyway. So, here came the job that I'm still in the middle of. Digitally weeding our collection. It's taking some time since looking at a computer screen is not the same as holding the book in your hand, but it's coming along.

After weeding the collection, the next step is to add in all the awesome titles to flesh out our collection. This is an exciting process and can be really fun. Picking out books for the fiction and picture book sections is an exercise in restraint sometimes. You just find so many good books! One thing that Mrs. Mueller did at the end of the year that is helping, is talking with the kids and seeing what titles, series, and authors the really wanted to have in the library. The non-fiction can be a little trickier. You need to balance all subject areas with new, appropriate titles, while still maintaining enough selection for the areas that get heavy use (like sports and animals). I'm also taking into consideration the research projects that they teachers typically conduct and making sure we have books in those areas.

So that process of putting together our new library order will take a few more weeks. After that it's sent off to Follett to be picked, processed, and shipped. When I say "processed" what I mean is that they will put all the appropriate stickers on (barcode and call number), a due date slip in the back, cover the jackets on the hardcover books, and organize the digital records for the books to be uploaded to our catalog. That takes a huge burden of us once the books arrive. They books will be shipped in shelf order boxes. So they can come out of the boxes directly onto the shelves. Overall it should be a pretty smooth process.


Step 4 - Don't forget to enjoy the summer!

I don't know for you, but for me that last month of school was a mile-a-minute. And I'm sure the fall will be the same. With a new elementary library plus a book fair at the middle school the first week of school, my life will just not settle down. So, I'm making it a priority to enjoy ever moment I can this summer. From sitting out on my deck, to reading for fun, to visiting family, I'm going to focus on making sure I'm okay. So that when I need be at SCC I'm at 100%.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send me an email (aolson[@] without the brackets). Have a wonderful day and DFTBA!

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