LCAP and Meaninful School Library Stats

I recently witnessed how a school district is evaluated and scrutinized by the government. My takeaway from this experience was hugely revealing. I learned that if I can’t prove that my school library is meeting the student needs that have been identified in my district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), then my library has lost not only its purpose, but its funding as well! Continue reading


Deb Ford & New Beginnings

I was lucky enough to hear Deb Ford speak at the recent CSLA Fall Workshop in Pasadena. Both her keynote speech and break out session about social media inspired me. When I get inspired, I write.

It’s hard to find time to do so, though, because School Librarians have LOTS to do. Most tasks involve long term planning and tiny, incremental steps towards seeing the final fruits of our labor. It’s easy to feel like nothing gets DONE at the end of the work-day. Deb Ford’s keynote address reminded attendees that we are not alone in feeling this way. Continue reading

c/o Pixaby

School Library Job Interview Tips

I’ve just finished both participating in and conducting interviews for two separate school librarian positions. As I write this post, Edjoin includes 52 listings with “library” in the title. Based on what I’ve been hearing from some of my library colleagues, California may be getting a clue about the importance of the school librarian position. Continue reading


Eight Story Hour Suggestions

Attendees leave Story Hour, books in hand, empowered to dive into literacy on their own with ease, confidence, and enthusiasm. That’s all because librarians spark interest in reading and learning FOR PLEASURE. No other group is more devoted to their cause. Teachers are trained to teach students how to read. Educated parents may encourage the habit. But librarians are masters at demonstrating the FUN of exploring the written world. Nowhere else is this magical mastery evident then at a public library’s Story Hour. Continue reading

Brandy Melville – The Nitty Gritty Review

IMG_20150119_185523258Someone wandered into a Brandy Melville and purchased two sweaters for me for Christmas. Unfortunately, both were short-waisted, meaning a 6-foot gal like me could never wear either without some sort of disastrous social repercussions. Plus one of them had a hole in the collar. Therefore, I elected to return them both. That’s when I ran into problems.

Problem #1: Communist Clothes – The store itself is done up in beach-y and shabby chic pastels. That’s fine and all. But when ALL of the clothes are black, white, or grey in color, and “one size” fits all, one wonders if there might be a hidden agenda here. Continue reading

Time Tips from a Tabbed-Out Librarian

IMG_0001_NEWWhen you have too much in your brain to process during your work day, you are tabbed-out. Welcome to my world.

Many librarians are working in an understaffed library situations where most of the day is spent on the floor responding to immediate requests for assistance. Then, when all is finally quiet (like, when we’re supposed to be sleeping), our brain invents resolutions to problems and comes up with new programs to try.

One of my bosses gave me this note after I’d complained how little I sleep when I’m overly excited about work. It’s posted above my desk at home. Well, I’ve gotten tired of not sleeping! (No pun intended.) So, in honor of the New Year, I’ve listed some good habits that may help you and I both to manage our day-time schedules better and allow time for thinking… and, perhaps potty breaks as well. Continue reading

Save Display Space in School Libraries

Born out of a desperation to generate more interest in an overlooked campus library at an all-boy high school, I sought ways to constantly change its appearance throughout the school year. Thanks to parent volunteers, I was able to decorate for every holiday with twinkle lights, garland, wrapping paper, cut-outs, signs, etc. The bigger part of my efforts involved begging teachers for student projects and artwork to put on display at every opportunity. The result was an ever-changing, colorful, er… visually interesting ambiance (View photo below.)

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013

You would think that high school boys would neither notice nor care about decor and display in a dusty, out-of-date, under-used library. But they did. I discovered that library visitors, whether teachers, administrators, parents, or students, all noticed. Many (even HS boys) expressed appreciation for the revitalized library atmosphere. Continue reading