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First off - thanks to all who gave input. You gave me lots to chew on. I
always try to work on the work by utilizing students because I know it
improves learning. I could close for a month and pack boxes but ...I don't
want kids to be without books and...I want them to learn responsibility and
...I want them to buy in to their new school's collection. Most of you
thought I was nuts but you are not the first.  Some asked how we survive the
numbers and here's the answer for the good of the group (the hit on
splitting the collection follows):

I have two sign up books - one for upper and one for lower levels. In lower
my teachers want a fixed class checkout time so this year I had to make it
1/2 hr. every other week. In each 1/2 hr. time slot for both levels I have
sign-up space for checkout and research. Research is always flex. Checkout
for upper is flex. All students are encouraged to checkout flexibly - even
K. More elementary checkout this year on flex because two weeks is too long
to wait! We average 100 students per 1/2 hr. and circulate an average of
700 books per day. We have 2 media specialists, 1 aide, 3 circulation
computers, 4 student assistants and about 15 students grades 5-8 who shelve
sporadically. Surprisingly we have been an A school in the 3 years I've been
here. When I started here we had only 1400 kids and I had a blessed year to
train my faculty which has made this survivable. They are always patient
with us because we work hard at saying yes and being patient too. This too
shall pass.....we laugh a lot because 1. I'm silly and 2.  if we don't we'll

LM NET Hit on splitting a collection:

We have not moved in this way, but our students are able to check out up to
5 books. I would not allow your students who have overdue and lost to
participate, because those books will not return.

I don't know how you will split the collection; you may have to replace some
books that would be appropriate for grades 5-8. For example, I am working at
a K-5 school now, and previously worked at a 6-8 school. Both schools have
Harry Potter and  the Dark Materials trilogy; and many other novels are in
both collections, as well as things like Tintin, Calvin and Hobbes, etc.

<My thought - new school has some startup money to purchase new books so
most fiction will stay middle.>

We went through the same thing in my school district three years ago,
when we opened a new 4-6 intermediate school. The kids in Grades 4 and
5 left their K-5 elementary schools in  midyear. In those three
elementary schools, the library media specialists had already decided
which books were going to the new school. A month before the books were
to be sent to the new school, any student who had one of those books
checked out was asked to return it, and none of those books were
allowed to be checked out. Then they had parent volunteers help them
pack the books into boxes. There was a specific order that the books
were packed, and each box was clearly labeled as to which books were
inside it (i.e. 620-640, or FIC ABE to FIC BAU). At my school, we sent
1,300 books to the new school. Many of them had been specifically
purchased for the collection at the new school, with special funds
earmarked for that purpose. We marked them all with blue dots on the
spine label so we could pull them off the shelves easily (we have over
20,000 books in our collection). We had "moving days" that spring,
since all of our 6th grade teachers had to pack up their classrooms to
move them up to the new school for the fall. Any staff member who
wasn't moving to the new school had to help someone who was. I
convinced our principal to give me a bunch of paraprofessionals and
they helped up pack the boxes, check off the books that were going up,
etc. Based on our experiences, I wouldn't recommend letting the kids
who are going to the new school check out books with the assumption
they'll end up at the new school. I would instead try to get them all
turned in at least a month before the move, and then get parent
volunteers to help you load them. The school custodial staff should be
responsible for moving the boxes. I would also preselect as soon as
possible the books that are going to move to the new school and start
making a list and marking them. That will make it a lot easier when the
time comes to ship them to the new school.
There's no easy way to do this, but I think you're asking for trouble
if you let kids going to the new school check out five books with the
assumption they'll return them to the new school. It's better if you
have control over the collection that is to be moved.

<My thought - I'm not very "in control" anyway. Menopause and all....kidding
aside - good point and I do plan to control the 5 books highly selectively.>

Do you have standards of learning or something similar? I would make sure I
took the books that will support the classrooms in k-5 and the curriculum
and I would make sure I took the picture books and the fiction for the level
you will have as well as any other materials which will help teachers teach.
You might get some teachers from each grade level to help you identify which
materials are most needed.
I would get some boxes and start packing. Label each box by what it
contains. Get a mover or someone with trucks to move all the items. You will
need a lot of help I would think.
I have packed up a library for renovation and then reopened it. It went well
because of planning and help.
Be sure to weed heavily in both levels so that you do not move things that
you then week later.

<My thought - I better make sure I invite the middle school teachers too so
they can fight it out. I will definitely wear a referee outfit and a whistle
that day. As far as standards, benchmarks, info literacy, big 6, FINDS, WOW,
etc. does LA.D.1.3.2 mean anything to you? Me either. I will however remind
you that I am in Florida, home of the FCAT and very few brave.>

I have just resubscribed to LM_NET in order to get information about how
to handle the same situation.  Moving 3rd & 4th grades and part of the
collection from the elementary school, and 5th grade and part of the
middle school collection to a new 3-4-5 school to be opened next fall.
I hope I am only answering to you and would like to chart with you at
length about your process and concerns I have in areas of recataloging,
no new monies, etc.What we'll probably do is to invite the librarian from
the other school
over to select books. Then we'll get boxes from the district and have them
transferred. It will be easy to delete the holdings but harder to export
them to the other school. We have to check with Winnebago to find if
there's an easy way to do it. Since each school has a special distinct
number range, all moved books must be given a new number. I'll give away
but don't want anything from the other schools. I have a great collection
but a lot of books already. I could use the freed up space on the shelves.
I have been buying more young non-fiction books and will allow the
younger kids to select them freely.

<My thought - we will definitely stay in touch. Yikes on changing range per
school!!! I can't even keep up with my own school's vendor ranges!!!!!>

I cannot imagine teaching in an elementary school with 2400 students! I
hope you are not the only librarian. Do you have a fixed schedule or
flex? How do you even get  those kids into the library each week to
Just a thought, but will you need to change the barcodes and ID on all
of your books?

<My thought - the media specialist I'm working with now will probably get to
have all the fun if changing barcodes if necessary. Bless her 60 year old
heart.... she is taking the computer proctor with her who was my aide the
first year and is one of the best media aides I've ever had so don't feel
too sorry for her...thanks again all for helping me build bridges over
troubled waters cause otherwise I might drown.>

Monica Campana, School Library Media Specialist
Indian Trails K8
Palm Coast, Fl. 32137

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