Hurry up and wait

Lots and lots of Korean books

Today I get to the library to meet a rather frustrated Ms. Sheryl.  There has been progress, but she’s rather frustrated at the pace.  The boxes of old books that we want to swop in the Book Cross scheme still haven’t been claimed and it looks like the process will take longer than first thought – so an intermediate storage space has been found for them, but not a strong person who’s able and willing and has time to move them.  I can see those boxes really annoy her.  Luckily I only have to see them once a week, and hopefully they’ll be gone before my next visit.

Oh No! The boxes are still here …

The first shelf has a huge collection of Korean books.  She’s asked the Korean students what they are and why and it seems they’re mainly Korean fiction from a time that some students were studying Korean.  I snap a picture and send to Ms. Katie with the question of whether her IB Korean students / teachers would be interested.  Yes they would.  Another “swop” opportunity. So we need to clear it with the HOS and Korean community to see what is needed and what can be missed.  In the mean time, the books are relocated to a less prominent position.

 Ms. Sheryl asks if I’d mind reading to a P2 class who’s about to come in.  Oops, how am I going to find a book that’s appropriate?  What unit were they doing again?  It’s “who we are”and the teacher is talking about feelings and emotions in the classroom.  I have a quick look through the picture books – luckily Ms. Sheryl has sorted them between Nursery to P2 and P3-6, so I can hit the right shelves.  No catalogue means no quick look up, and no shelf labeling or organisation means taking the books out a pile at a time and manually looking through them.  I find a nice little book about Anger and another about a boy who can’t sit still in class and put them aside.  Then I go back to my library exploration tour and find a pile of PYP books hidden in the back.   Sort those out to put them on the front (ex-Korean) shelf.   But in walk the kids – oops there goes my sorting and lots of little hands grope the piles with “can I have this one, what’s this …” the teacher quickly gets into action and announces that they’re going to get a story and I start with the “can’t sit still one” which works a treat for getting them seated and listening.  The Angry book gets lots of (solicited) information about tiresome younger and older siblings and how they manage feeling mad.  

Yippie! Some of the teachers want some of the text books
Then they’re let loose to borrow some books, which they then have to write down on a borrowing list.  Yup, we’re very manual for the time being.

As soon as they leave, I comb through all the junior books for early readers and reading schemes and find a mish-mash of Oxford Reading Tree, “I can read” PYP readers, ladybird books and anything and everything else.  I put these aside for the next request.  But the shelf I’ve just emptied is filthy, there have been some issues with the cleaners – another of Ms. Sheryl’s frustrations that needs to be sorted out.  She gets me a bowl of water and a cloth and soap and I set about wiping down the shelf.  Little by little we’ll get the place spick and span and then the maintenance won’t be so hard.
Meanwhile Ms. Sheryl does a little bit of networking around the classrooms to find some candidates for some of the many text-books clogging up the shelves.  In a few weeks we’ll have 2000 books arriving that are relevant and needed, so there is not much space for all those text books.  She finds takers for the Science and English textbooks and workbooks.  Luckily – that saves about 2 or 3 shelves.  
I attack the magazine rack – not a good option in this climate.  The books and magazines on display are looking rather sad with curled up corners.  Some of the magazines have been there since 2004 – I find a box for items to be binned and in they go.  The books get reshelved and the rack is slowly cleared.  It will probably be put outside the library for some “lifestyle” items.
Then we get a nice surprise – someone comes to collect the ‘claimed’ text books, they’re off the floor now, and we get a delivery of old VCR boxes that Ms. Katie used to use for her moveable bookshelf labeling!  Ms. Sheryl gets to work making labels.  We decide at this point the DDC is a remote dream, and we’ll start by labeling the primary section by unit of enquiry.  The secondary can get the DDC.  
They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!  Just as I want to leave, I find another 6 shelves full of Korean books – Ms. Sheryl agrees that it would be a good idea to weed the collection and replace it with books that are in shorter supply at the school.  We have a new mission!  


Just before I leave I find even more Korean books

 The teacher approaches me for some easy phonic based reading books in English for a new Chinese student who is learning to read in English – oh dear, we have to do the sort through piles thing again to find something.

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