Summer is on the decline

For the last several years, I’ve written a “what I did on my summer vacation” post. Mainly to show that it’s no 3 month vacay. (And 3 months!? Really?) So here goes.

  • Week long training at UNCG for clinical teachers.
  • Had my “read and ride” donors choose grant funded.
  • Went through the TED-X application process. (Accepted btw)
  • PD on Exploring NC Digitally. Thanks to NCSLMA.
  • Worked on campus about 20 days. I lost track. I was in more than I intended.
  • Wrote 2 math books for Carson Dellosa – a 4th and a 5th. This took up the majority of summer.
  • Went to the mountains for a few days with my girlfriends.
  • Attended multiple meetings for school or NCSLMA.
  • Applied for an admin program and scheduled a retirement meeting. The coupling of these two is bizarre, but I’m planning for every contingency. Mwahahaha

What I planned but didn’t do:

  • Rework my school web page.
  • Practice my Spanish.
  • Plan like a library demon.
  • Read a book a week. I read, but . . .
  • Exercise like I wanted. I did but it was not at the level I planned.

The math books threw things off plan, but will pay for my new grad school endeavors.

What I worked in just because it was summer:

  • I ate watermelon. Pure ambrosia.
  • I went to the pool.
  • I napped.
  • I watched some Netflix.

Not an overly exciting time in my life, but bunches accomplished. And I got to spend some time (not enough) with old and new friends!


Nonfiction Shift

The library is far enough along that I can walk away for a couple of weeks. Nonfiction started in an odd place, so I emptied a wall and started shifting.

That empty book case will have to go somewhere else when I get back!

There are 100s of things I still want to do, but for a few days, I’m going to rest, think about conferences and lesson plans, and plan what to do next!

If you’d like to see all the pictures of this summer’s progress in one place, visit my Pinterest Board.

It’s back to work I go . . .

Last week, the carpets were cleaned at school. I thought they would be done early in the week, so I could go in on Wednesday and Thursday, but didn’t happen. I didn’t get to go in.

So, instead I took a nap most days. Naps are really nice in the summer.

I also

  • went to a meeting on our county’s adoption of Discovery Education.
  • went to a departmental meeting.
  • made a Little Free Library Box header (I’ll have to take a pix, but it’s to use in the library.)
  • made a magazine banner and figured out a way to display new magazines.
  • cleared out (and cleaned up) a small cart I think can work as a listening station.
  • found some large tubs that can be used for big item stations.
  • Worked on an August conference.
  • Met friends for lunch!
  • put a shed together
  • laid a tile floor on the patio
  • Went to Ikea to window shop for items I think I might like to use at home and in the library. We went on a family outing and ended up with two carts full of stuff. Not bad for window shopping.

Whew! Not really – it’s fabulous to have a week to do that kind of stuff!

Bullet Journals

The thing I most enjoyed was finding information on Bullet Journals. (Thank you Pinterest!) I’ve already told you about my love/hate relationship with planners. Digital or notebook? Monthly/weekly or Monthly/daily or Weekly/Daily? What is the perfect combination of pages that gives you enough for notes on the fly? How do you find those notes again?

OK, I know for some of you, I’ve entered into the nutcase arena. But I also know that some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. *ahem*

Here are some sites to see what it is:

There are hundreds and hundreds of of sites and videos. What a time sucker. I finally had to stop reading and watching and grave a notebook and some pens to start.

Pictures. Some of them are works of art.

I still have a few composition books left over from when I taught Math, so I set one up using one of those. I want to try one with grid paper in it next time though. And I think that I’d like to put a calendar list for each month at the beginning so it could serve better as a calendar too. I may go ahead and do that at my current spot, just because I think I’ll go crazy without it.

What I don’t like: Lots of writing. I was making a ton of lists anyway with the library flip, but I already had a skeleton page. Mine is functional but not pretty. I’m going to work on that. And I think I’m going to run through a notebook really fast! Hoping that will slow down some after the summer.

What I do like: Everything is in one place. The index helps for finding things that were lost in my calendar. I’ve got all the pages I need for a certain day if a lot is going on.  There are oh so many ways you personalize it for what you need. You can use an expensive notebook or a cheap one.

I wasn’t sure I’d like the monthly calendar list, so I drew off a grid for July and left a column for goals. For August, I just made the list like they show in the video on I think I like the list just as well (if not better) and it was much quicker. It’s also neater looking.

Maybe you are interested in a bullet journal??? I’d like to hear what you think.

Interesting Carol Dweck piece on ‘Mindset’

I’m doing some reading on how we as librarians can help with the growth mindset. Here’s a start in the last paragraph: “discuss that it’s effective research strategies that librarians can hel them with, and that these strategies and asking for help are not supplemental or remedial, but part of the very proscess of learning itself.”

Rule Number One: A Library Blog

Lots of educators and librarians are becoming more and more aware Carol Dweck’s mindset research – the belief that talent and ability our not fixed, but that our efforts, combined with deliberative practice and expert feedback, can help us improve our ability to learn within a particular domain – and, as with any good intellectual idea (cf. the Humanistic Psychology Movement), people have started to adopt a superficial understanding of the idea that leads to poor applications of it.

Dweck has recently addressed some of these misunderstandings in a recent piece in Education Week that’s really worth checking out.

Interesting excerpt:

A growth mindset isn’t just about effort. Perhaps the most common misconception is simply equating the growth mindset with effort. Certainly, effort is key for students’ achievement, but it’s not the only thing. Students need to try new strategies and seek input from others when they’re stuck. They need this…

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Three Weeks In

I’ve been working in the new digs for three weeks now – four days a week, 10 hours many days. I’m estimating that the library is about half way to where I’d like it to be.


Week 1 – made decisions on items to keep or clear out.  Find a place to put items to keep. Clear the walls.

Week 2 – organize items kept as best as possible. This is ongoing. Ron and I have joked time and time again about how we are having to move items to move items to a place that might make sense for a new home. Some cabinets are full of items that will just have to wait. Clear some more items out. This is tricky. If you move out too many things at once, you risk losing something of value. So some things you walk around and think about longer.

Week 3 – reorganize fiction into genres. Move magazines and make a reading nook. Clear some more items.


Week 4 – reorganize easy.

Weeks 5 & beyond – reorganize nonfiction.

Because you can only deal with books for so many hours at a time without Belview employees arriving with their little white jackets, I’ve also hung some things, worked on files, and looked at 100s of VHSs. I’ve catalogued and changed call numbers on some things.

Carpets are being cleaned next Monday! Yeah! I’m staying home with my feet up. (Ha! Not really. But I will be home. 😉 )

A few pictures of the fiction section. I was going to take some more, but all the furniture was moved for Monday’s carpet cleaning adventure. The books that are just piled on the bottom shelf need genre labels.


Fiction and its genres

The librarian before me had started to genrefy the fiction section. He had a couple of things he’d started that he asked if I would continue, and this was one of them. Most *everything* is now sorted and shelved based on a genre. Sorting was a full two-day job since most of the books already had an identified genre. There are books in every section, however, that still need to be labeled, and I’ve got a sizable stack I need to research a bit to know where in the world they should rest.

Here are some things I’ve noticed:

  1. Some things are just flat out hard to classify.
  2. Some things are way too easy to classify and classify and classify. Some books could go in multiple sections, which makes me wonder if we should have a general fiction section.
  3. Some sections are really large. Realistic and Fantasy are in this library. Maybe there are some sub-genres that could be pulled out?
  4. Some books have too many stickers on the spines. *bleh*

I think you need some written guidelines before you start. Like:

  1. At about what date does historical fiction start and realistic fiction end. I know the technical definition, but does that serve the best purpose for our students?
  2. The lines between some genres are fuzzy. Are “animal” books going to be any book with an animal in it? Or are will it house the realistic ones with the others going into fantasy? Same thing with adventure. Realistic only or should super-hero books go here too?
  3. Series! Geronimo Stilton can be split up and go in multiple genres and that would be ok. The stories aren’t dependent on each other, but should they be split up? Or when I kid asks for Geronimo Stilton, should I say, “those books are all in the ____ section”?
  4. Series 2! Other series are a must to keep together, so you need to look at the series as a whole. Make a decision, and stick with it.

One thing I don’t really like about this process is that an author’s work may not be together. That kind of bugs me, but I think I can work with it.

OK, now where do I put all those Barbie books?

Flipping the library

Time for another library update!

First, the walls and cabinets were covered with 3M mounting tape.


EWWW! With some help from my Facebook friends, I found out that GooGone is the ticket. AND this was the result! Ron got all the cabinets and end of shelves stripped of this nasty stuff today! Unfortunately, there are still the walls and windows to go.


I worked some more in the office. The professional library was moved into the cabinets in the office and freed up three shelving units! But the main work was done in the main part of the library. Here is what the library looked like the last week of school.

Here is what it looked like today when I left. Mmmmmmm crawled out.


It’s definitely got a ways to go, but the space is really opening up!