Jo’s Day in the Life – NEW!

A day in the life

No car today so I catch the school bus. I sit and read my kindle, listening to the radio on my ipad and totally ignore the cacophony of sound from the pupils who studiously leave me alone. Having logged on to the computer to begin compiling lists of overdue library books, I go off to briefing to meet with other staff I never see throughout the day, leaving the library in the care of pupil librarians. The library is open before school as a privilege for them only as I am a solo librarian and despite years of practising cannot be in two places at once.

Today I am thanked in staff briefing for delivering INSET on teaching and learning using ipads. (Another string to my bow!)

During the twenty minute registration I show year 10’s how to log on to GCSEpod in my (acquired) role as co-ordinator and guru!

Lesson 1    Pupils in Learning to Learn ask me for an appointment for parents evening. When I ask them who their teacher is they gaze at me curiously in a confused way and say “You Miss”. Clearly I undertake more of the team teaching than my colleagues!

Lesson 2    Two Accelerated Reader pupils are sent from their skills lesson to borrow books. Having ascertained their level i.e. label colour, I escort them to the appropriate shelves to choose and we discuss their reading history and likes and dislikes, much of which consists of “I don’t like reading”   Suitably equipped they reluctantly return to class after having asked me what I do all day and do I not get bored?

Break    Today the pupils are mostly completing homework, printing out homework or asking me for help with homework. I must admit I struggle to justify the value of some homework sometimes. Others are reading intently in one corner desperate to finish another chapter before the bell. Some year 11 try to revise for exams. My year 7 pupil librarians run the desk while I troubleshoot the printer and refine my Joyce Grenfell impersonation “George: don’t do that” (now I’m showing my age)

Lesson 3    Yet another cold call – NO I don’t want an inspection box of fiction suitable for BLAH BLAH BLAH!    I understand they have a job to do but so do I and

a) I have no money and

b) I know what I want to buy should I ever be lucky enough to get any more money

Lesson 4    I continue weeding, re-shelving and assessing signage, which since I moved a whole bay of books from the centre of the room has meant re-organising shelf labels etc. Now I have 16 boxes of books to recycle which are cluttering up the place and the lift has broken.

Lunch    When I grow up I will be a “Bouncer” because that seems to be my current work experience. I love the library being popular but at this moment it is, what I consider full. I have 60+ seats, 8 computers, all are occupied and I am the only adult. I leave two year 7s on the desk and begin my interrogation on the door.

“Where are you going?”

Reply “The library”

“What for?”

Reply “It’s cold outside”

“uh uh, wrong answer, Goodbye”

A queue forms and we adopt ‘a few, in few’ out policy.

Bell for the end of lunch and the librarians help tidy up. I give them their merits for duties completed and put the kettle on.

Lesson 5    Top set year 7 come in for 30 minutes reading lesson. I return and issue books and we sit for quiet reading – bliss. They leave and bottom set year 7 arrive – ditto.

After school    I help run the Media club (another talent?) with an ex teacher and we greet 20 pupils from years 7-10 who are working on tasks for the BBC School News Report. We are trying to encourage them to work independently so I distribute job sheets for them to complete.

We rush to finish and tidy up before I wait for the school’s late bus home with the pupils.

Tomorrow is another day and I begin my ‘to do’ list which begins with

“Must chase up overdue library books!”


Jo Harwood


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