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I have been observing a number of postings that address how little time we
have available to do the things we need to do - and how others are trying to
get us to what they want us to do without realizing we just don't have extra
time!! Or how unrealistic  others are in what they want us to do.  I think
the problem lies in that we all want to be available for the students and
faculty but we get overwhelmed, and, of course, a lot of people don't
realize just what we do.  We have to educate them.

Early in my career (going on 22 years) I realized there was no way I could
do everything and still be flexible enough to meet the needs of the students
and faculty. So I spent some time thinking through each job I needed to do
and how long it took me.  Then I added some "interrupt" time. With this in
mind, I then set up a two things: a Procedures Manual in which I outlined
every thing  that needed to be done, from ordering to cataloging, to
checking out materials to shelf reading, etc.,  and a flexible schedule.
During the day as I did things I noted the time: when I did it as well as
how long - and kept this in a notebook(now I use a Day-Timer ) and made
notes on how I could streamline any procedures  so I could revise the
Over time I was able to track just how long things really took.  Then when
my principal  wanted me to do something,  I could look at my schedule and
say, "Oh,  I can have that done by..." ( always giving myself a little extra
time).  If that time was questioned I would show them my schedule - and
casually pull out my manual and open it to the section that pertained to
what they wanted me to do - or what I really needed to be doing to explain
why  I couldn't finish before then.  After awhile, it became apparent that :
A. I was able to get things done in a timely manner; B. I would follow
through on when I said I would have things done, and sometimes was even
early with it; C. I was organized and didn't panic when  something came up
that  seemed to completely wreck my schedule as I could easily move  things
around though they didn't know that I had rearranged it.
Every year when I did my year - end report, I had lots to put in - how many
research classes did I have in, how many times did I collaborate with a
teacher - and on what lessons, how many lessons did I teach, how many books
did I catalog - how long it took me, when I was unavailable - and why:
meetings, conferences, workshops, how much time did  I take to set up
displays, do lesson plans, shelve books, etc.
I worked for over 13 years in a very busy K-8 school of over 600 students.
I had no aides and did all things myself most of the time.  I would order
once a year and all books came in during the summer so when I  started back
in the Fall I would have the magazines, the mail, the books etc. to do. I
would sort the books, checking for anything that the classes would be
covering early in the year and for Reference items.  Those got processed
first.  The rest I got simple cataloging. I was not automated so I would
type the  shelflist card and a title card first and get the title card filed
into the card catalog . The shelflist card was in a file  box on my desk.
Books went on the shelf with spine labels, book cards, etc. and the rest of
the catalog cards got typed and filed as I had time.
 We were very busy  with lots of activities, assemblies, special projects
and there were lots of times when I had to stop doing  my things to help
out,  but when I documented everything my principal realized just how my
time was really spent. She then realized that  I needed to have prep and
planning time just as the other faculty did and so she insisted that I have
that time.  Others began to realize that I, too, was a professional who,
just like them, needed time to finish my work.  Some were very surprised at
all that I did manage to get done.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is:
        Don't be intimidated, but be prepared.  Sit down this weekend and
list those things that you always do, try to figure out how long they take
you, start to keep track - even if it is just a line on your calendar, and
be sure to note when you are interrupted and why. Set up a  Professional
folder and put into it a copy of every note you send to teachers, every
bibliography, every lesson plan, every idea for a display that you set up ,
every conference, workshop , etc.  you attend. Fill it with examples of
everything you do.  Set up a schedule and when you have to move something to
another day, write it in a different color so you can find it easily when
you note  your changes.
Then, you can go back and say, "I'm sorry, but I can't have all 500 books
done in one month and still attend to the needs of the students and faculty
and here is why."

Now, I will step down and end my  lecture...
Have a happy weekend.

Toni Koontz, Library Media Specialist
St. Charles Preparatory School
Columbus, OH
Carpe Diem

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