Wow. I do feel tired enough for it to be half term next week but I hadn’t actually thought that it would be. Where did this half term go? Carnegie I guess, various staff illnesses, closures, technology fails and any number of other things that have kept us on our toes.
This half term marks an important anniversary though. I’ve been back at the school and in the library for a whole year! This time last year I’d just got the job and was preparing to start the crossover period with our previous librarian, working with her until the summer when the crown* would be passed over to me, a crown which I wear with pride. I can honestly say that it’s been the best working year of my life and I’ve never been happier in a job than I am here. The students are great, the staff are largely lovely, and the library is a gorgeous place to be. Our two library assistants have been patient stars, merrily going along with daft plans and adjusting their own work when I’ve suddenly decided to put events on.
Sometimes I have to take a step back and realise what this job is. I get to work with some wonderful people, in a lovely place where everything is focused towards something positive. Our managers are lovely and happy for us to work relatively unrestricted, we’re supported and encouraged to do new things. There are battles to be fought of course, but they’re not ones to hurt your head beyond the end of the day most of the time. I’m being paid to have fun setting up new things, encouraging students to read, talking about books. Teaching students how to play card games and do a riffle shuffle properly is laughingly called work. So much of it feels like playing half the time. I’m lucky.
We’ve done a whole lot over the year:
- Placed fiction books in every tutor room under the ‘Spread the Word’ scheme that we stared in September.
- Hosted (and some won!) NaNoWriMo.
- Introduced a system of student librarians, with dozens applying to help out where previously no one wanted to.
- Stocked games for break and lunch times.
- Added hugely to the graphic novels available and altered their status within the school to that of ‘proper books’.
- Adjusted proceedures and habits to make the library more accessible and welcoming.
- Hosted Book Week, with school wide events and readings at lunchtimes.
- Made small but significant alterations to the physical space, adding plants, beanbags, new signage.
- Adjusted our stock buying habits to ensure value for money
- Started the Reading Group on creating their own Wiki page to record their reviews and thoughts. This’ll be going school wide at the end of the year.
- Hosted KS4 and 5 Creative Writing Club.
- Started to offer staff INSET on research skills.
- Had a jolly nice time! The library biscuit intake has gone through the roof, and I’ve gently encouraged the average consumption of one cup of tea a day to a more comfortable four or five, with the addition of Cecil the coffee machine making caffeine more accessible and tasty.
I know there was more too, but I can’t quite remember it all! Book swaps, competitions, lunchtime events. etc. And next year there’ll be even more.
Big huge thank yous to all of my student librarians and library helpers, and of course to Mrs S and Mrs C, who keep me in check and hide the sweets when I’ve had too many. Ladies, you rock.