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 Hi i new to your group, i was horrified at your conditions of work, and how much 
your principal is on your back. near the end of class i would send over to the 
principal and vice prinicpal at least 6 students asking for help with borrowing, 
maybe send all students wishing to borrow, that way you can teach your class and 
send the borrowers to your principal he/she would have to bring them all back to 
the library and do the circulation. no maybe not all your borrowers, but some so 
they (the principal) could see how busy you are, and if you do it offten enough 
they would be annoyed at be disturbed all the time and may be get you some help.

Joyce Hatherell
Library Technician 
HOrsham College Victoria Australia
-----Original Message-----
From: School Library Media & Network Communications
Sent: 7/11/2004 3:05 AM
Subject: ELEM: vent and tear hair...HELP!

Dear Netters,
        There have been a series of events with my principal that
culminated yesterday in a threatening letter.  It started (from her
point of view) a couple of years ago when parents complained because
kids weren't taking out books.  I had delayed due to the amount of
work to get students into their current rooms on the computer and in
the rolladex of patron bar codes  and get shelf marker cards
(glorified name tags) made for 700 kids.  I was having parent
volunteers do that, as there was no way for me to do it and to teach
all the classes. (I'm in prep coverage rotation and I get no time at
the beginning or at the end of school for opening or closing jobs.
I'm supposed to start up on day one).  She started by saying I had to
come in before school started to do this work.  Union regs meant she
couldn't push that, tho.  We finally worked out a way.  At the time I
felt a bit bewildered at having something I'd been doing for seven
years questioned and made out to be a horrendous irresponsibility.
        This year, everyone was taking out books by the fourth week
of school (learning rules and routines for the first graders,
everyone else started the second week.)  Except for one first grade
class that had no parent volunteer and where I'd tried doing a
limited checkout, but stopped it in the middle of the attempt when it
became clear to me that there was no way I could go behind the desk
and leave the class to its impulses all over the library.  I worked
with the library volunteer coordinator to get someone in, sending
letters home asking for help (with no response).  Also several
kindergarten classes weren't taking out books yet because each had
several kids who couldn't even sit and listen to a story.
        Principal came and observed the class (we had parent
volunteers that day and books were being checked out.)  Then she
wrote a note asking about what she'd heard that the kids hadn't been
taking out books.  I met with her and told her what the situation
was.  She said that under no circumstances should I depend on
volunteers for book circulation, that I needed to figure out a way
for them to take out books.  Such as limiting their selection and
have them do some art or craft thing at the tables while I had them
come up one at a time to check out their books.  The impression I got
was that I needed to send books home with kids no matter what.
Didn't matter what books, I gathered.  Just send them home with
books.  To say nothing of what it would do to trying to establish a
routine.  Ok, I said, I understand.  Adapt in any way possible for a
class to take out books.
        (Several years ago I had a first grade class who could not
walk around the library and select books.  so I filled boxes with
books and put them on each table.  For the whole year kids picked
books from the box.  They even had to be assigned seats.  There is no
way I could have done this alone.  I had a terrific volunteer who
pretty much co-taught the class with me.  Don't know if principal was
aware of this.)
        So I thought that was done with and was trying to calm my
anger that none of what I do in that library seems to matter to the
principal unless a parent complains.  I was just about putting it
behind me when I got a letter in my box from her going through the
whole talk we'd had, angry that this had come up AGAIN.  She thought
she had made it clear two years ago that I couldn't let book
circulation be dependent on parent volunteers.  " You may not deny
students the ability to take home books because a volunteer is not
available." (I'm not allowed to say that I can't teach without parent
volunteers, although I say all the time that they make the program I
have in the library possible.)
        She wrote "If you need further support in designing lessons
that enable you to manage both students and check out procedures, I
expect you to ask for help.  Both Jon (Assist Prin) and I are
available for support. .....In the future , if students are not
allowed to borrow books during a regularly scheduled library time, I
may be forced to take disciplinary action."
        Perspective please?  comments?  Advice on response?   She has
gone on these rampages before.  Two years ago she was on my case all
year, not just the circ thing at the beginning.  I am hoping
desparately that this will not be another year like that, but my
hopes are not high.
        Thanks for listening!

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