Monday, July 24, 2017

Read between the lines!

Here’s how to piss off your school librarian, if you’re so inclined.

For students:

1.       Ask for a specific book.  When she tells you where it is, wander over to the shelves and say, “It’s not here.”  Keep insisting it’s not there until she goes over and picks it up and hands it to you.  Tell her you don’t know what “alphabetical” means.

2.       Fold back some of the pages in the book.  When you turn it in, and she gets mad at you, tell her “it’s no big deal.”

3.       Refuse to pay for a book you lost.  When she says that you either need to return the book or pay for it, insist you turned it in and tell her it’s her mistake.  Smile like a dumbass when you come in a month later with the book you found in your locker. 

4.       Throw a fit when she catches you eating or drinking in the room, especially if you’re sitting next to a computer. 

5.       Throw another fit when she tells you that it will cost you 10 cents a copy for her to print something out for you.  Insist that you’ll pay later, and when she refuses, tell her you’re going to complain to the administration, because these services should be free to students, and she’s just using the money to buy stuff for herself anyway.

For teachers:

1.       Send your worst students down to the library to calm down, especially if it’s during the school-mandated reading time and she’s already got tons of kids coming in and out.  She can keep an eye on the kid, right?

2.       Send a student to get a book.  When s/he comes back and says he can’t check out a book because s/he hasn’t returned the last three, ask the librarian if she can overlook it “just this one time.”

3.       When she refuses to give the student a book, try to check it out for him/her yourself, or worse, try and “sneak” the book out while she’s taking a break.  She’s too uptight about those due dates anyway.

6.       Try to come in and “help.”  Ask her why those books are over there or give her hints on how she could “better organize” the room, especially if you’ve never been a librarian or worked in a library.

7.       Berate her when you can’t find a particular book you want for one of your students, one that should be on the shelf but is missing.  Tell her she should have a system to keep track of that.

8.       When she says that books regularly get stolen, pat her on the back condescendingly and tell her that “hey, at least the kids are reading, right?  That’s a good sign, right?”

9.       Ask her if she minds making a few copies for you since she’s “not busy.”

For administrators:

1.        Decide to use the library as an alternate ISS room, and tell the librarian that she’ll have 15 ISS students to watch when she comes in that day.

2.       Try to send students to the library when it’s closed for a makeup final or for accommodated state standardized testing.  Tell her that the students will be quiet and it shouldn’t interrupt what she’s doing.

3.       When she says that we need to order more books, tell her it looks like there are plenty of books for the students.

4.       Get angry at her when she sends you an inventory list showing that one fourth of the books is still unreturned.  Tell her she should have been taking care of this, even though you ignored her earlier emails and didn’t allow her to send home parent letters.

5.       Regularly send substitutes and their entire classes to the library when you can’t find a place for them to go.  Forget that you sent a class there just 10 minutes ago.

6.       Require your librarian to substitute for missing teachers.

For parents or volunteers:

1.       Tell her you’re not paying for the book little Johnny lost, because this is her fault and/or the school has tons of books, and one won’t make a difference.

2.       Tell your kid to return the book that the baby threw up on.  Act offended when you get a letter saying the book must be replaced.  “Why can’t you just dry it out?”

3.       Get angry about the book that your child brought home because it has something in it that you find offensive.  Tell the librarian that she shouldn’t allow these types of books in the school.  Get even angrier when she points out that you signed the release form at the beginning of the year that said you would monitor your child’s reading, and that what the child chooses is not her responsibility.  Threaten to get her fired.

4.       Offer to donate extra books to the library.  Say, “We have lots of books the kids don’t read anymore!”  Don’t check to make sure the books are age-appropriate, so you end up giving Lust in the Fields to a middle school or Hop on Pop to a high school.

5.       Decide to donate all those old National Geographic magazines you’ve had in your garage to the library, rather than throwing them away.  The librarian should be thrilled to get these, and she won’t mind the spiders and roaches that scuttle out of the 20-year-old boxes you’re giving her. 

6.       Bring the magazines anyway, even though she tells you the school doesn’t need them because it subscribes to databases that have the same material online.  Act offended when you see the boxes dumped in the trash outside.

7.       Constantly make suggestions as to what books the librarian should buy, as though she doesn’t already communicate with the district and get carefully curated lists of recommended books from library and education experts.  Tell her that the students will love Little Women just as you did when you were young, even when she points out that the two copies the school has have never been checked out.

8.       Tell her she needs to better understand the students and what they like to read.  “Comic books?  No SERIOUS library would offer comic books!”