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1.  screw stapler, 3-hole punch, paper cutter; chain scissors and single
hole punch to a table (being sure to have a recycling/garbage pail nearby)
to an old table - saves the "can I borrow...? routine)

2.  have students pre-date your date due cards, bundle each date tightly
with a piece of paper & use them instead of those slips pasted into the books

3.  invest time with a student and/or parent library volunteer club

4.  always write the name of the file on the item to be filed.  This
includes catalogs (you can clip the cover until you get to a page you can
write on).  Keep your filing system Simple - it takes less time to locate
something than when it is a complex one.

5.  purchase extras of items you use - stamp pads, staples, paper, bulbs,
disks, etc.  You waste more time ordering.  And keep a list of where you
get those specialty items.

6.  get rid of unsightly books (etc.), have grafiti walls painted
(preferably enamel-based paint), refinish table tops with arborite, etc.
The library will be kept cleaner if someone shows that it's a nice place.

7.  take a close look at your library space -  is it efficient or
cluttered?  A streamlined library space will lessen your supervision and
increase traffic flow.

8.  get rid of "left over" furniture - filing cabinets that won't carry the
weight, tip, etc.  Chairs that break easily or are always in need of repair.

9.  Streamlne routines.  Everything from booking the library (a full school
year's preprinted schedule sheets for each week in a binder at the desk),
checkout routines (limited number of date  due options), repair (all the
items with the  repair equipment), cataloguing (Sears and Dewey there, use
p-slips (from recycled photocopier paper, parents can make these) and put
only Dewey, Sears, "extras" on them, supplies (keep like items together in
one place), shelving (enough carts), etc.

10.  Be sure to take breaks.  An overworked and tired library staff will
not perform as efficiently (and as effectively).  You also gather
information about what is going on much more efficiently than attending
committee meetings or gathering written requests.  Be sure to take time,
too, with the kids - they have no hesitation on telling you what is needed
or "really going on".  And don't forget that there are some days that
"SHOULD" be taken off for  either physical or mental health.  Be sure to
have a regular "something" for your library staff - a luncheon at a local
restaurant, a birthday cake, etc. will be real incentive to give just that
little bit of extra effort to make the library a better place for all.

11.  Invest in  decor.  Classroom posters are classroom posters, libraries
can purchase and store for future use items like lengths of cloth, banners,
realia, paintings, die-cut lettering, etc.  Install eye-hooks (or other
similar things) onto ceilings and walls on a regular pattern for future
use.  Use fishing line to hang things.  Watch out for colors! - bright reds
will jolt everyone - including the kids - into activity ; browns will
welcome and sooth.  Minimize the homemade posters - nice looking but take a
lot of time.  Get student's work to display - plexiglass that can be hung
or mounted with the student's work is quite effective.  Other ways :  have
fabric-covered wall plaque-style boards made (a styrofoam or cork between
the fabric and the board help with any tacking or stapling required)

12.  Keep an eye on staff.  Those who require extreme supervision, are not
motivated, can not follow directions, etc. should be replaced as soon as
legally possible.  Be sure that they receive continual training, including
incentives to take upgrading courses.

13.  Make GOOD friends with those that really count - the janitor and the
secretary.  Amazing how fast things can get done!

14.  Centralize your suppliers.  And, if possible, ensure that they have
online databases that you can use (either for online ordering or to
generate your various lists).  Don't "nickle and dime" - no one else does.

15.  use your e-mail!  If a contact has no e-mail he/she/they are really
not interested in your business or supporting you.  Get specific names of
persons within that organization to contact.

16.  stick with LM_Net - you'll save tremendous time by information
provided by colleagues around the world

17.  be honest with your dealing with the kids - they do understand when
your gumpy or they're beyond what you expect of their behavior ; they do
respond when you ask for help ; and  - where appropriate - appreciate a hug
or a friendly tickle


Earl P Sande
Elementary School Librarian
Director of Library Services
Carol Morgan School
Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic
e-mail :  sandes@codetel.net.do

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