Online Games that are ok?

I am the *brand new* Library Media Assistant at a middle school library. I'm wondering if any your schools allow students to play online games, like at lunch or after school. I'm trying to find some "safe" games/websites that I can put on a list to offer up to the principal.

The principal came in after school and scolded a (shy, quiet, friendless) boy who was playing games online. It was Farmville, to be precise. (I felt awful; it was SO embarrassing for the boy! I felt so bad!) The principal says it is against district policy to play online games and that they can only play games that are run off of the computer itself. I called the main office and spoke to the head of technology and according to her there is no official district policy about playing online games, it's the principal's decision. *Sigh.*

Mini-rant: I'm trying to get kids to use the library by showing them that it's a fun place to be, not just a stuffy place to do homework. Yesterday it was the principle that came in and proclaimed, "The library is a place to study, that's the only thing we do here." and today the vice-principle came in and said basically the same thing. I wanted to shout "Noooooo!" They are scaring off the few regular patrons we have--good, respectful patrons who love the library! How do I make it stop?

x-posted to library_grrrls


So I'm about to launch into my first year and I realized that I'm going to need a planner. I would love something to put down reminders (for things like when I need to order something or events that are upcoming) as well as lessons for the kids, as I'll be teaching each class once a week for 30 minute lessons.
Anyone have any recomendations for a good planner?

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corset binding
  • snuck

Applying for a Library Officer L2 role in country town


I'm not a librarian, or even a library assistant. My library experience has come from years of being an avid borrower...

However, I'm moving to a two bit country town, and the next town over is advertising for a Library Officer Level 2 - three days a week, in the Agricultural College - which provides alternative courses to Yrs 11&12 (last two years of high school) in Agriculture or Trades.

So. It's got a boarding school attached, and also local kids, and any kids from surrounding towns that don't go to the capital for Yrs 11 and 12 I guess. 16/17yr old country kids.

I've spent 12yrs as a business analyst, in software and process design. I'm pretty sure I will be fine on any IT systems, and as an analyst I'm used to managing and preparing budgets, and coordinating various documentation systems and such. I know my dewey decimal system, and I can reference with the best of them. I know a lot about project and program work.


What I don't know is... what does a high school librarian DO all day? I'll be answering to a registrar... but they aren't a librarian.

I'm assuming I'd be spending my day clearing and tidying up, updating catalogues, checking in and out and inventory management, updating the DBOR and such.  Hopefully running small programs... Maybe encouraging a RPG/d&d afternoon, or a craft group or whatever. Board games ahoy!  But also - I'm expected to teach how to use the library to youth - I'm cool with that - I've been a Cert 4 qualified instructor for years etc.

What else do I need to think through?

Surfing Santa

Are we not making ourselves clear enough?

The School Library I work in is closed at recess (morning tea break) as there's no staff in the main part of the library to supervise the students.
No matter what we do though, the kids still come in as our out door won't close properly a lot of the time. We've tried turning the lights off, putting signs up, putting a trolley across the door where they come in, and they still come in. And they all manage to have such a look of surprise on their faces when we tell them the Library is closed! 

Anyone have any tips as to what we can do? It's driving us all insane! 
  • arjayen

Mini censorship rant

I noticed something recently…and I hope some colleagues here can shed some light on an area of censorship.

We have all heard (and some may have taken part in) the debate of Harry Potter and its ‘potential dark influence’ to younger readers. Often cited are Harry’s breaking all manner of rules, of learning how to do magic, and having an actual school of WITCHcraft and wizardry.

Yet…I can remember years ago reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Wizard of Earthsea’ books, and they have many of the same elements. A main character who flirts with the rules. Who spends time learning magic words. And who attends a magic school and is instructed further. Yet…I have never heard Earthsea attacked or asked to be removed from shelves. Is this due to the numerous literary awards granted to it? A Newberry renders it ‘safe’ to the overly-conservative?

There may be other fantasy series that fit as well, but Earthsea is most prominent in my mind at the moment.

Feedback and insight is welcome!

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YO! English teachers! Librarians! IN ONTARIO, CANADA

Are you aware of Canadian Children's Book Week? NO, it is not just for children, it is also for young adults. This year we have Meg Tilly (yes, the actress from Agnes of God) who does a very important book on sexual abuse and Jeff Rud, and author who had written a book about a grade 11 basketball player who has a friend who is in the school play and the homophobia expressed by the rest of his team.

We also have 4 other authors and storytellers who are for younger children.

These authors will be in the province for Book Week Nov. 20-24. The readings are $125 a piece (there is some funding help if needed). GIVE YOUR KIDS ACCESS TO AN AUTHOR FOR AN HOUR!!!!!

Apply at

There are different authors available in other parts of Canada
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Collection Analysis Question

Here is my situation. First year teacher and school librarian. I will have two elementary schools and I finally got to meet with one principal today and see the library. It's a nice big, attractive space (lots of windows, cool atrium ceiling. Here's the problem. The former librarian was horrible and basically just did what she could to get by (principal's words). The teachers were at the point where they didn't want to collaborate with her anymore or bring her kids into the library. The library itself is so uninviting, very outdated posters etc. Looks like it hasn't been weeded, ever. I asked about a collection analysis but I don't think that has ever been done. Oh yeah, I basically have no budget either since the principal was so displeased with the library program (I think my other boss, head of technology may give me some of his budget to help with this).

Oh, and it's flexible scheduling which is great. I didn't think it was. So now I have to bring these teachers back! And get them excited about the library etc. I guess it's good because I can only do a better job than she did, and the teachers will be happy to have someone new in there.

The first goal is to get the space rearranged, dusted/cleaned, weeded, and overall look more inviting. It's a huge ordeal I think. The lady didn't even clean out her desk, it's all her old stuff and papers in there (who does that?).

So I'm thinking I should do a collection analysis. Here's the problem though. I don't think they have a portable scanner. Has anyone done one without one? I don't actually know how to do one, my internship supervisor didn't have time to show me. I take it you scan in every single book in the library? It sounds difficult without a wireless scanner. Should I wait to do this later? But I'm going to be weeding out some books so now is the ideal time. The other issue though is that I probably wont have a login to the cataloging system until school starts. I guess I could weed and just keep the books separate and not delete them out until I do the collection analysis. Maybe I shouldn't even worry about one this year since I have little to no budget. It's not like I'll be able to improve the age of the collection all that significantly.

Any thoughts on this? Or tips on my situation in general? I haven't seen the other library and the same retired librarian had that school too so I'm sure the other library will need a lot of work also. I'm really feeling overwhelmed. The principal seems like he will be supportive though and I don't think I will have to collaborate with teachers w/in the first two weeks if we are getting the library ready (kids could check out books though).

Also, anyone on here with elementary schools and flexible scheduling?
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Surfing Santa


I work in a High School library and am the person in charge of dealing with overdues. At the moment I send lists to homeroom teachers, go to homerooms every Friday to physically collect items (most of the time they're in the kids lockers) and every term send letters home to parents. However, apparently according to my boss this isn't enough and I should be using my initiative more. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas of other ways I could go about getting items back. We can't charge or withhold anything like reports, according to my boss. I just thought I'd try and get some ideas, as google mainly brings up the charges idea.
Thanks in advance!

x-posted to libraries and library_grrls
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kurt halsey

Another newbie.

Hi everyone! :o)

I'm a first time poster so I'll introduce myself.

My name is Jennifer and I am from New York. I'm entering my Junior year of college, while perusing my B.S. in elementary and special education (grades 1-6). I'm planning on getting my M.A. in education and then going back for my M.S. as a school media specialist.

I've been working with a public library for about 4 years. I started off as a page and slowly climbed up the ladder and became a clerk.

I was wondering.... how many other school media specialists have a teaching certification or a M.A. in education? I was curious how common it was and how brutal the road may be while getting 2 separate master degrees, haha. :o)

Any advice, stories or words of wisdom? I'd love to hear anything!

~ Jennifer

Book orders and purchase orders

/open venting

I turned in a book order in mid January...and just got word last week that the county gave a Purchase Order number for the amount.


I only ordered about 120 books. That's a pittance compared to the richie-rich schools in my district.

I went to Barnes & Noble and dropped $100 on books that can be checked out by next Monday.

At least my kids have something new to read before spring break.

Maybe we'll get the new books (that my kids, who never read/cared about books/knew the exciting lives available through reading before I came along) are salivating for, and have been for weeks.

/end rant
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