Saturday, September 03, 2011

Job Clarification

Here’s the deal with my job.  Most of you are probably aware of the numerous states that have education funding issues with jobs being scarce, districts making cuts, etc.  Texas is no exception.  This is the main reason why I moved to San Antonio.  Though I thought I had planned a good transition to a library career within my district, the economy altered the plans.  I started grad school three years ago.  I knew at that time that the librarian at Hereford (where I was teaching) would be retiring in the next few years.  I figured that I would be slated to take that position easily.  But with the state budget cuts, Hereford cut librarians.  Elementary librarians would now split campuses.  So the two retiring in the district were not replaced.  Another elementary librarian moved up to the high school and another was going to return to the classroom.  Having just finished my degree, there was no library job available for me.  Though I was still going to have my teaching job, having finished my degree, I really wanted to work as a librarian.  So I started applying everywhere.  I interviewed at a local community college.  Didn’t get that job.  I interviewed at another local high school.  Didn’t get that job.  I started sending out applications outside the area where I lived.  I probably submitted 20+ applications from Dallas to San Antonio.  I interviewed in a small town called Melissa about 45 miles northeast of Dallas.  Didn’t get that job.  While I was at Nationals in Dallas, I got called by San Antonio ISD.  I interviewed there at the end of June.  I got a pre-hire job offer the next day.  Surprisingly, there were several library positions open in the district.  But I learned at that time that instead of cutting librarians, they cut library aides.  This is the main reason why I’m dealing with the mess of textbooks.  Normally it is the library aide that is the textbook coordinator and the librarian assists as needed.  I’ve walked into a job with no aide and taking on the additional responsibility of being textbook coordinator by myself.  So in the past two weeks, I have delivered, moved, and packed over 3000 textbooks alone. 

When I arrived at the school, all the textbooks were in stacks on the counters around the library.  They were out there because 1. there’s no room for all of them in the storage area and 2. they had to be placed out there for auditing purposes.  So when I arrived, I had to deliver classroom sets to teachers.  In doing that, I have to scan each one into an excel spread sheet, put them on a cart, and move them to another building – sometimes up an elevator to the second floor.  We don’t check out books to individual students because they don’t use lockers and the loss of textbooks at the end of the year is a huge financial burden on the school.  In a low income area – it’s unlikely that parents will pay for lost books and many students just move away.  But state law mandates that we have a textbook for every child – so I have to store the excess books – even though they are not being used.  In order to store them, I had to clear out the storage room that had a bunch of other materials in there.  So I pulled that stuff out and starting putting textbooks in.  Then I had to find another place to store all of the materials I pulled out.  Now the textbook storage shelves are mostly filled and I still have new books coming in October.  Not sure where I’m going to put those.  Another set of books had to be packed into boxes because they are now out of adoption and need to be picked up by the textbook warehouse drivers.  I packed 65 boxes of those books.  I just found out that they won’t be picked up until October so they will be sitting in the library until then. 

So under normal circumstances, with two people working together and an aide handling the majority of the textbook responsibilities, I could have probably opened the library this week.  But doing the job by myself it wasn’t possible.  The other reason why it hasn’t opened is because I didn’t get the instructions for importing the student data into the circulation software until Wednesday.  I got that imported on Friday morning so I plan to open on Tuesday.  So hopefully this clarifies the mess I’ve been dealing with.  Now I just need to figure out how to process all the new books sitting in my office that I haven’t touched since the first week I started working. 


Anonymous said...

That is really a lot of work, it must be good that they're out of the way. Thanks for explaining. I guess I was confused about textbooks and library books. I really admire how you got the new job and planned the move and started off your librarian-career. Enjoy the weekend!

Andrew said...

Calm down, calm down folks. Remember, we have Annabel on the job.