New school librarian? Help is here!
Truly, library school doesn’t teach you about 95% of what you need to know as a school librarian. So, I’ve decided to dedicate a section of this blog to all the new librarians out there. Please know that the struggle is real. It isn’t you; it’s all of us. We’ve all been there, and we’re here to help.
I’ve included tons of information for school librarians–both newbies and pros–below. But before you read any of that, I recommend new librarians start with this post first. It’s my original new school librarian post, and though I wrote it in 2016, it still rings true for Back-to-School 2020, even with all the COVID-19 mess.
1 – What is the Monthly Library Challenge?
The Monthly Library Challenge is a fun way for School Librarians to make their libraries even better! The Challenges started in 2019, and they have changed a lot over the
Host a Book-A-Thon Fundraiser
Who needs more money for the library? We do! We do! Book-A-Thon fundraisers are a great way to celebrate World Book Day, Book Week, Literacy Month, author birthdays, Read Across
Do You Know Your Library Book Challenge Policies?
LIBRARY CHALLENGE #1 Are library book challenges scary? I think so! But they are much less scary when you have a strong plan. When you know exactly what to do
7 Easy Ways to Use Reading Interest Surveys in Your Library
Do you use reading interest surveys with your students? They can be so enlightening! It really helps me get to know my students’ reading interests, goals, wants, and needs, right
Five Tips for Using Reading Bingo in Middle School
For librarians and elementary schools, Reading Bingo isn’t a new idea. I’ve seen countless printable Reading Bingo cards online, both free and for sale. When I was at the elementary
Library Lesson Idea: Lunchtime Kahoots
Our school is on a six-day rotating schedule. Every day–1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6–is a different schedule. On Day 4, I have been doing a “Day 4 Kahoot”
Digital Bulletin Boards: 16 Ideas for Library Content
This post about Digital Library Bulletin Boards was originally published in 2015. Back then, I called them “Scrolling PowerPoints.” I know the sample slides are outdated, and they definitely do
Articles for New Librarians
My Year as a Specials Rotation Librarian
My year as an elementary Specials Rotation Librarian nearly ended my library career. I was a Specials librarian for only one year. It was all I could do. The Specials
Entry, Exit, and Checkout Procedures: Middle School
I’ve talked a lot in this series about my eighth graders and how they came roaring down the hall and into the library like a horde of wild animals. On
Library Rules Versus Procedures
The January Library Challenge continues in Week Two! This week, we’re looking at our posted library rules versus our procedures. We’ll start with rules. Do you have library rules? Do
Difficult Class #3: Grade 8 (Texas)
My third difficult class was eighth grade. This was not every eighth grade class, and it seemed to have a lot to do with the teacher’s attitude toward library time.
Difficult Class #2: Grade 5 (Texas)
The second difficult class I had came in the same school year and school as Difficult Class #1 (third grade). While Difficult Class #1 was difficult partly because it was
Difficult Class #1: Grade 3 (Texas)
So what were my three most difficult classes? I’ll describe each class in three different posts (see links below). I’m going to be totally honest in that I didn’t
Creating a School Library Handbook? Here are 20 Pages You Should Include…
WHY DO YOU NEED A SCHOOL LIBRARY HANDBOOK? With so much to communicate with teachers during back-to-school, a school library handbook is a MUST. From database logins to library policies
Why I Openly Discuss Anxiety at School
“Every night I lie in bed The brightest colors fill my head A million dreams are keeping me awake” —The Greatest Showman, “A Million Dreams” It’s 2:23 am, and I
Minimizing the School Library
I am so excited for today’s post because it truly applies to all of us, even if you aren’t into the minimalism stuff. For the past two weeks, I’ve been
Withholding Report Cards – Is It Legal for Overdue Library Fines?
The question of the day: Some schools are withholding report cards due to nonpayment of fines. Is this legal? When I lived in Texas (up to 2014), my school withheld
First Days of School in a New-To-You Library
Wait…what? Did I miss something? Why is Mrs. ReaderPants posting an article about the first days of school…in the middle of December? As we approach Winter Break, I realized I
How I Manage Student Lunchtime In My Secondary Library
Happy B2S! For the past three years, all my grade 6-12 students have eaten lunch at the same time. They have 50-minutes for lunch, and the students have lots of
So NOT Fine! 9 Reasons Overdue Fines Need To Go Away Forever
“It’s not about the money money money We don’t need your money money money” –“Price Tag” by Jessie J Kameron has an overdue fine of 85 cents. Kameron can’t checkout
Feeling Frazzled? 15 Ideas for Library Centers (High-Interest and Low-Prep)
Why does every librarian need fresh ideas for library centers? Let’s see if this sounds familiar… It’s nearly Christmas break, and you are on your last leg. There simply isn’t
Got five minutes? Start your library time with current events…
I am so excited to share this idea today! If you are looking to spice up your library lesson routine, this idea is a must-try! It will work with upper-elementary,
Do you have a Wednesday dress?
How does my family know it’s a Wednesday? Because I’m wearing the Wednesday Dress. Yep, I wear the same dress every Wednesday. I’m not really sure how or why this
Hate Library Fines? Allow Your Students to Read Off Library Fines!
Do you allow your students to read off library fines? I started doing this and haven’t looked back! My middle schoolers were notorious for having tiny library fines that just
Feeling Stressed About Your Library Computer Lab or Trolley?: 22 Tips to Save Your Sanity
Ah, the bane of my existence. Computer lab and trolley booking. I’ve been in charge of these in my last two schools, and while both have a big advantages for
Defending Pokemon : 5 Reasons to Have Pokemon in the School Library
Do you have Pokemon in the school library? I’m here today, as a school librarian and a boy mom, that I really think you should consider it. Yes, I know
A Look at Middle School Research – Or, Why Do College Students Lack Research Skills?
What? Am I really blaming poor college research skills on the way we teach middle school research? You bet I am! In my recent series on common objections to library
Looking to up-your booktalking game? Here are 31 tips and 10 Don’ts that will help make your booktalks fabulous! I don’t recommend trying to implement a lot of them at once. Pick one or two and give them a try this week!
Jazz Up Your Booktalks: Part III (Tips 21-31)
Do your booktalks excite, with sizzle and pop? Or are they tired and dry, with fizzle and flop? Do students think your talks are cool? Or do they sit there
Jazz Up Your Booktalks: Part II (Tips 11-20)
Last Thursday, I discussed the first 10 of my 31 ways to jazz up your booktalks. Today, we will explore the next ten tips. This week’s tips focus on making
Jazz Up Your Booktalks: 31 Practical Tips (Part 1)
It seems my Thursday posts have morphed into a sort of “how-to” section for newer school librarians. Last week’s post was about how to speed-up the book shelving process. This
Do you booktalk books you haven’t read?
When I was working on my MLIS, I heard over and over that librarians should not booktalk a book they haven’t read. After all, why would students want to read
Tips: Making the Most of Your Booktalks
Most of the librarians I know specialize in one aspect of library that they are especially good at. In my district, we have librarians who are especially awesome at research
Because sometimes, I just get annoyed with things.
Children’s Book Marketing – 6 Tactics that Annoy Librarians
Dear publishers…we need to talk about your children’s book marketing techniques. First of all, I love you. You help put the words and ideas of thousands of authors right into