Friday, March 13, 2009

50 Hints for TL's

50 Hints for Organising a Library +plus a few more

1. Buy a cappuccino machine. You might have to use your own money but I doubt you’ll regret it.
2. Buy a mechanical grab for picking up litter
3. Buy a tool box and basically equip it with screw drivers, glue, scraper, pliers… You won’t need it often but when you do you’ll be grateful you have it.
4. Decorate the library with appropriate posters e.g. movies, cars…Anything that connects with the kids.
5. Keep a cheap briefcase by your desk containing everything you need for classes. That way you don’t have to risk anything valuable.
6. Digitise all school forms. You’ll never run out. I got my copies on disc from the front office.
7. Digitise all classwork. If you put it on the server you should be able to access their accounts and mark it. I haven’t used a red pen in years.
8. Put clocks everywhere.
9. Put a frequently asked question sheet on a noticeboard somewhere. When you are asked just point to it.
10. Cull the storage cupboards. Buy a labeller and label every storage place and then maintain it. (A professional organiser hint)
11. Take an hour for lunch each day without fail
12. Put a radio at your desk. Tune it to ABC classics and turn it on first thing every day.
13. Have your own pens which you never lend to students
14. Have a separate bag which you take to sport and carnivals etc
15. Have positive rules throughout the library e.g. instead of ‘don’t run’ have ‘good students walk’
16. Buy a shredder
17. Buy a hand held vacuum cleaner
18. Buy a laminator and laminate all notices
19. Never allow an empty space in the library or offices. If you do someone will want to fill it with something that will involve even more work for you..
20. Arrange your seating so that teachers have a choice of pair or group work.
21. Never ever allow graffiti. If you do you will get more of it.
22. Have a storage jar of minties and be liberal with them
23. Buy a key locker
24. Have homemade posters with inspirational quotations or messages throughout the library.
25. Often misbehaviour can be stopped by a rearrangement of furniture e.g. if they run try and arrange the furniture so they can’t.
26. Minimise the number of blindspots
27. Use reflective mirrors for blindspot
28. Have a start up list and a closedown list
29. Keep a shopping bag in your pigeon hole to carry all the stuff that comes in everyday
30. If you have a large space avoid putting seating in corners. The acoustics are terrible.
31. Have a student jar of pens, pencils…in a handy spot
32. Minimise the reasons why students have to enter your office space.
33. If your office is a goldfish bowl then use posters to minimise this but don’t obscure your view.
34. Tidy the library at the end of the day. All the cleaner should do is vacuum, wipe down and empty the bins
35. Arrange the shelving levels so you don’t have to bend down too far.
36. Have all keys on lanyards
37. Decorate the library offices with posters
38. Buy the basic kitchen appliances: fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, sandwich maker
39. Have bins throughout the library
40. Lend out chess and checker games at recess and lunch but be careful of cards.
41. Buy a proper petty cash box
42. Have several plants in the library
43. Never eat at your desk
44. Keep a spare power pack
45. Read instruction booklets. Not only will they help you care for things but they will make you an expert.
46. Buy a scanner and whenever you get a piece of paper either scan it or throw it. As much as possible avoid having a filing cabinet of stuff
47. Have a box of tissues handy for students
48. Have a booking sheet for the computers at recess and lunch
49. Store your stationary in a filing cabinet and not a cupboard. It’s easier to look in a drawer than it is to peer in the dark corners of a cupboard.
50. Tidy the library throughout the day. It gives you a reputation of being proud of your library and efficient.

Michael Hackett,
Teacher Librarian,
Birrong Boys High School
Some more suggestions:
* a wheat pack to heat up in microwave for when I have tense neck/shoulder muscles from stress & too much computer use
* laminated diagrams of correct ergonomics for computer users by my desk
* pens, holepunch, stapler, scissors, sticky tape dispenser & glue tied to string by photocopier, on circulation desk & OPACs, & phone (and spares already attached to string ready to replace stolen or dud items)
* scrap paper box for students to use
* street directory
* copies of assessment booklets for each year group on display for students & parents to access
* freebie magnets on my filing cabinets etc for reminder notes
* postits for followup tasks on my computer monitor
* copies of bell times, library hours & library staff lunch breaks on the one chart & at strategic workstations
* laminated & barcoded hardware tags on all equipment (with physical description on back -- especially length for extension cords)
* glue stick & spare date due slips at circulation desk

Carolyn Mock (Teacher-Librarian)
Strathfield Girls' High School.

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