My day as a School Librarian in an Independent, mixed secondary school with boarding facilities in Bath, Somerset.
8:30am I arrive in school and open up the library. My part-time assistant and I discuss our priorities for the day and check our emails. Teachers email us to book classes into the library for specific research projects and we also receive requests for extracting TV programmes from the Clickview 24/7 service which my assitant processes and makes available to all staff and students in the school through the Clickview Player.
8:45am We prepare the library for the start of lessons and make wifi laptops available for sixthformers coming for independent study in the library.
9:00am Once a week I participate in the school ICT Committee along with the Director of ICT, 2 Deputy Heads and the Network Manager. We mostly problem solve the day-to-day issues of things like overseas boarders using Skype at the weekends or facilitating staff to synchronise their emails on their 3g phones.
9:45am I check my Personal Learning Network on Twitter and exchange information with other School Librarians in the UK. (I see what the Teacher-Librarians in Australia and Hong Kong are up to later in the day when our working hours overlap!)
10:15am I find websites and resources to support topics which teachers wish to research with their students in the library. These can vary from “The Jazz Age” cultural background for A’level English Literature Students studying “The Great Gatsby” to infomation about “Shabbat” for 12 year olds preparing presentations about religious festivals.
10:55am Breaktime (known as Quarter in our school) results in an influx of individual students returning and borrowing novels or DVD’s or madly rushing to complete and print out homework for the next lesson. This can be a stressful time and often requires our troubleshooting skills in ICT. We are now adept at helping students use photoshop to manipulate images or use Microsoft Publisher to print out booklets and leaflets!
11:30am I order new stock that has been requested by staff and students (through various online outlets) and help my assistant add the details to the library catalogue. Today I have sourced a simplified text and audio CD of Steinbecks “Of Mice and Men” for a SEN teacher to share with a dyslexic student. We also prepare displays of reading lists supplied by various departments e.g Business Studies and support Extended Project Qualification AS students who have a specified library lesson timetabled each week.
12:45-1:15pm Time for a quick lunch in our wonderful dining hall (that looks exactly like the Hogwarts one in the Harry Potter films)
1:30pm I regularly attend a head of Department’s meeting where I sometimes share a short presentation about online social media tools I have been using . e.g Livebinders http://liverbinders.com I discover what the current teaching and learning priorities for the school are and this helps me with my development plan for the library. Once a week at this time my assistant runs a Library club for 11-13 year olds and they make decisions about what magazines to buy, prepare book of the month displays and provide a student voice for the library. There are usually 50-60 students in the library over lunchtime so it gets quite noisy but it gives them a chance to chill, chat and read informally.
2:20pm Afternoon lessons start and I usually am involved in either teaching myself or supporting teachers develop students’ study skills. This term I teach a year 11 group how to use social networking tools online to help with revision for exams. We set up a customised home page and experiment with collaborative mindmapping, shared bookmarking and podcasting to enable those with different learning styles to revise for exams more effectively.
2:30pm I say goodbye to my assistant and work solo for the rest of the day.
3:30pm I work through the Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship programme to teach younger students how to research effectively. e.g I am using Voicethread to help 11-12 year olds understand about healthy eating. This involves discovering books and websites on the topic, extracting relevant information and using it appropriately to develop their speaking and listening skills as they share information on the Voicethread presentation.
4:10-4:25pm Time for a quick sandwich (and naughty cake) in the staff room
4:30pm During the last session of the day I am supported by Sixth Form library prefects in making the library and adjoining ICT suite available for quiet study for homework. Our school has a full activities programme and because a third of our students live on site we all stay until 5:30pm. Again most of this time is spent supporting students practically with ICT issues, trouble shooting prep problems and providing glue sticks where necessary!!
5:30pm Packing up, preparing the library for evening study support (which is supervised by teaching staff ) and usually away home by 6:00pm.