A day in the life of Tomlinscote School

Lucy Davis, the librarian at Tomlinscote, tells us about a typical day:

A day in the life working in Tomlinscote’s LRC!

Tomlinscote school is a secondary school in Surrey with 1,500 students.

I turn on the computers in the LRC when I arrive at work at 8am, organise the Library student helpers, one working at the Librarian’s desk and one assisting with taking down an old display. I then assist the students with their book choosing, printing queries as well as catching up with students who I don’t see as often anymore (particularly when the students reach YR10 and YR11 they are unable to help out in the LRC as often as they once did.) The mornings are always busy, but there is a gentleness to the ambience! (maybe because the students are still waking up!)

During the morning registration period I assist the YR8 Tutor Group with their book choosing, chase the students who have overdue books and file the books returns from the morning so far.

Period 1

Period 1 begins and I finally log on to my computer, and start opening e-mails and completing the work from them accordingly. I register the students who are working in the LRC completing their Private Study work and ensure they have the necessary work to complete.

I prepare the work for the YR7 Reading lessons for period 2 and period 3.

Period 2

During period 2 I co-teach the YR7 class with the English teacher and introduce to the students the ‘’Tomlinscote Book Awards’’ and explain how they’re going to read through the book blurbs and book covers for the six shortlisted books during the lesson in order to vote for their winner. There is a definite buzz of excitement in the room, and the lesson is full of wonderful discussions surrounding their decision making. We finish the lesson on a high and are all excited to find out who the ‘’student winner’’ will be at the end of next week (once all 600 students have voted!)

I then go on break duty in the LRC with my assistant and we assist students with their book choosing, (and IT difficulties) whilst guiding and directing the student Library helpers who are on duty.

Period 3

During period 3 I have another YR7 Reading lesson which I co-teach with the English teacher, and repeat the same format as in Period 2. The book discussions are just as exciting as in the previous lesson and the different reasons given by the students are so incredibly varied! We re-cap on the skills we’ve used during this lesson: skim reading skills, discussion skills, listening skills, persuasive skills, as well as the decision making processes that were involved. As well as learning about the new book titles and authors we’ve discovered. We all feel excited about being involved in our first ever school ‘’Book Award.’’

Period 4

During Period 4 my assistant prepares the next reading lesson and preps the teacher with what’s involved in the lesson and gives her the various resources, in order that she can join me and a colleague (from another Secondary school) in our meeting. We discuss collaborative opportunities going forward, with other Secondary schools in our area, our feeder Primary schools and local bookshops as well as finalising the details for forthcoming collaborative events we have planned.

Our meeting continues through lunch time which confuses a lot of our customers, but the student Library helpers do a great job of manning the Librarian’s desk in order that customers can borrow / renew and return books as normal.

Period 5

Period 5 quickly approaches and I begin the process of writing minutes and action points from the meeting in order to distribute to the delegates as we are very keen to get things moving. I prepare for the reading lesson in Period 6.

Period 6

During period 6 I repeat the same format as in periods 2 & 3 and as anticipated the students are just as excited as in the previous lessons, there is a real ‘’buzz’’ in the room and they continue to add their names to the book ‘’waiting lists’’ for the six shortlisted book titles. I make a mental note at this stage of the day to order even more copies of these titles! (As this is the first day of the student voting process and we don’t have shortlisted books available to loan!)

At the end of period 6 I wave the students out of the LRC as it’s the end of the day, to welcome in the students wishing to work in the LRC after school in the Homework Club. I return to my desk in my office, as I really must eat my lunch! Due to the nature of the role and despite planning my day this is a regular occurrence. I finish replying to e-mails, check the LRC twitter account and tweet an update for the ‘’Book Award’’ voting, return the books at the desk and plan my work for the following day, then it’s time to go home!

Each day the LRC is different, each day is planned, each day surprises me, and because of all of this each day is never boring!

It never ceases to amaze me when people find out that I work in a school Library they say ‘’it must be lovely to just sit and read all day!’’…maybe I’ll show them this article