Thursday, February 25, 2016

Library Blather

The driving, wet snow was delightfully refreshing this morning... no, it wasn't. We've apparently reached that point in the winter where I can barely get dressed, testing in the library is starting, and foot surgery is starting to look like a fantastic vacation. 

My last observation is on 2 March, and after that I will be doing more mad cleaning (Overhead projector? Not so much anymore.) and setting up a Maker Space because that is apparently what we are all doing in libraries now. We're probably starting out with mainly cardboard/paper and building from there, although I still need to talk to my principals and teachers to firm things up. 

I'm also hoping against hope that I can get some rectangular tables on wheels and stackable chairs so that we can differentiate space so it can be more collaborative. My redesign five years ago stuck with the "rows of shelves and sea of tables" model which is not helpful. My shelving does move, but I am constrained by electrical poles. I would like to see a class set of tables right by the circulation desk so that we can have a class there AND a class using the Maker Space at the back. 

So we'll see. Next week, the weather should be a little better, my observation will be over, and we can start getting things ready for next year. It gives me something to do when I am closed for testing and make up testing. I like to panic WELL in advance. 

On the bright side, The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde!

25937835Hale, Shannon and Dean. The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (#3)
February 9th 2016 by Candlewick Press

Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants are summoned away from their lovely brunch with Princess Sneezewort when the monster alarm rings, but there are only adorable bunnies that have come up from the monster realm. Duff the goat herder is not happy when the princess doesn't consider them a threat but instead makes kissy faces at them. Eventually, though, the bunnies eat everything and attempt to snack on the princess herself. The threat, once taken seriously, is dispatched with celerity, and The Princess in Black shows up to have lunch with Princess Sneezewort.

It was nice to see Duff be the voice of reason; it is not long now until he can be a monster hunter. The purple bunnies are adorable, and their quick replication and voracious appetites make them a serious threat, even if the princess can't immediately recognize it. It doesn't hurt that brunch and lunch look marvelous. 

These are great fun, and my students, even in middle school, adore them. On some days, like the ones this week, it's nice just to read something easy and FUN.


  1. The redesign ideas sound great! I've been reluctant to jump on the Maker Space bandwagon without a clerk and we have a "STEM Lab" so I'm waitng and seeing on that front. But yes, getting rid of old stuff (like overheads) is so freeing. And agreed on the Princess in Black. My students eat them up.

  2. Some quick and pretty cheap ideas for a maker space:
    - try paper roller coasters (just google it and you'll find them) -- pretty cheap and a good engineering activity
    - pearler beads are also cheap and my 6th graders are addicted to them. I bought an iron at goodwill and a box of wax paper to iron them with
    - ask for Lego donations and give them a challenge. My kids have been designing cell phone holders
    - Diana Rendina's site, Renovated Learning, has lots of practical ideas.

  3. "I like to panic well in advance." Me too! High fives. :D it's a blessing and a curse, isn't it?

  4. Hi! Great blog! Just wanted to say that our librarian just re-purposed our overhead projector carts... took the wheels off of them and put them on our rectangular tables... soooo much easier to move now as well as helping with our mobile maker stations!