There is something about the crack of the spine the first time you open a new book. The smell of the ink on the pages. The lack of bent pages, doodles, or curse words wrote in the books. (I work in a middle school, let’s just tell it like it is) I love being a school librarian.
I am in the middle of my second week back to work. I have to admit that I love a new school year. There is something so refreshing about coming back to school with the floors freshly waved, the carpets cleaned, new teachers, new students…it’s all so exciting! It’s a chance to have a fresh start. You can fix anything that didn’t work the year before. How many jobs give you that?
I have been in the library for 10 years now. My how time flies! I remember my first August in the library…how could I forget?
I brought my mom in to see the library at some point in the summer before I started school. I remember seeing an overhead projector sitting on a bookshelf and just laughing because I had no clue where that projector went or what I was supposed to do with it. At that point, all I really had was a little bit of experience working in the public library in high school and a love of books. I had talked my way in to my dream job and I had to make sure I figured out what to do so no one would think it was a mistake to hire me.
I was supposed to start work the beginning of August (so I thought). I showed up to work on what I thought would be my first day and I was in for a surprise. The library had gotten new paint, carpet, and upholstered furniture just to name a few updates. When I showed up to work that first day, everything from the library was sitting in the hall. I couldn’t even work. When I finally did get in to the library over a week later, I realized that when the janitors had put the books back on the shelves after painting, they had just thrown the books on the shelf in no particular order. That’s right folks! I had 10,000+ books to organize. My assistant was just as overwhelmed as I was. She had never been in the library before either.
We figured it out. We weren’t open the first day of school but it didn’t take us too long. We learned a lot about the library that year. Most things we had to do two or three times before we figured out the “right” way to do things. Actually sometimes I still think of an easier way to do something.
I’ve come a long way in 10 years. I have achieved many of my goals and the library runs pretty smoothly these days (as long as we aren’t talking about the computer lab). I have sadly said goodbye to one assistant as she entered the world of retirement bliss and trained another one who will be equally as great. Approximately 1300 students have come through my doors throughout the years. This town is starting to fill with former students of mine. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes I will stop to chat with a former students and they will say “So, are you still at the middle school?” I will start to shrug and be embarrassed that I haven’t accomplished anything else but then I stop and answer in a more confident manner. Yes, I am still at the middle school. Somehow I ended up at my dream job at a very young age. I plan to be there for just another 19 short years.
I try every year to raise the bar and get more kids excited about reading. So far I haven’t been disappointed! Here comes another school year! Will I be positive with students? Will I connect and make a difference in anyone’s life? I sure hope so!