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You know you're an elementary school librarian when:
> you are happy if your books are simply in order by the first letter
or first number 
> having your books in perfect order is something that only happens
once or twice a year and doesn't last past the first class coming in to
check out
> you wish you had a nickel for every book you had turned around so
that the spine label was facing out or turned over so the spine label
was right side up again
> you wish you have a dime for everytime you had heard that the student
never checked out the book or has already turned it in only to have them
return it to you a bit later after they found it in their desk (room,
> your definition of a dirty book is the ones that leave your fingers
gray with grime after a reshelving session, and you have a lot of those
> you consider putting the books you want them to read on the
to-be-reshelved cart because students seem to love looking there first
> the students actually want to help you in the library, but you know
you are likely to have to redo what they help with after they are gone
> any storytime book brings a round of hands up with stories they have
to tell you,  very few of which are actually on the actual topic and
most of which are related to some minor element in the story -- if you
are lucky
>your highest check out times are right before a state test where they
must have a book to read  if they finish early or the week immediately
proceeding the due date for AR (or RC) goals to be met for the reward
if you think your name is Liberry
Every teacher wants all the materials for ---- (current holiday) right
Every first grade teacher wants books on rocks.
Every second grade students wants a book on bats.  (and I would add
every kindergarten students wants a book on dinosaurs)
>Instead of measuring their height, the kindergarten kids want to
measure where there feet touch the chair legs until their feet finally
touch the floor.
>It's the end of the year when you're putting chairs on the tables,
you find the little darling who had the Sharpie marker and was
practicing their initials...on the bottom of every single chair.
>The kids hardly remember any story you read, or how to make the
work, but the little visual mnemonic you showed them (and their older
siblings) for remembering your name is ingrained in their memory.
>It's absolutely useless having any sign with the word "quiet". 
for a low roar, and make them understand they have to be able to hear
the teacher, and you have to be able to hear the child checking out a
>You get excited when the 3rd grade comes in because they can read
>When all the stars are aligned correctly at the same time, and you
make children, teachers, and yourself happy because a company comes
with popular comic book characters with Accelerated Reader tests.
>Your end-of-the-year overdue books get checked in or paid for because
no one wants to miss field day/field trip.  And your teachers back you
up on it.
>The kids get excited at book fairs, RIF distributions, and
opportunities to check out more books than usual.
>T-shirts with library sayings are acceptable professional wear on
that aren't Friday
You have socks (sweaters, jewelry etc) for every holiday and season.
You have shirts for at least 3 different authors.
You know that Jack and Annie books are the Magic Treehouse series.
When reading a book to the little guys, they immediately say, "Read it
when Pre-K is happy to come to get a book, but do not know their last
name and are too shy to tell you their first name
You've had your 100th request this week for Hannah
Montana / Pokemon / High School Musical books
You hear "Can you help me find this..." in your sleep

I wish I had a nickel for every time a student asks, "I want that red
book Bobby had last week, you know the one with the dog on the front."
You have sections of genre books that are filled with dust bunnies
until the annual genre book report is assigned
You have several low readers who try to convince you that they CAN read
the thickest Harry Potter book in a week
The dewey numbers on the spines wrap around to the front of the book
because the books are so thin!
EVERY girl in 1st through 3rd grade wants a "princess" book...but not
THAT one.
You automatically multitask:  you continue reading a story aloud while
nodding to allow one child to go to the bathroom, pointing another
student toward the Kleenex box, and signal to a couple of talking girls
to "put a bubble in it" without pause.  
   In questioning a child about why the brand new book now has red
pages, you learn that her/his Jell-O leaked on it their book bag.   
    When meeting your students in Wal-Mart or at the mall they have two
basic reactions:  They are either stunned to see that you don't actually
live in the library full-time or announce at the top of their lungs,
"Hey! That's my library teacher!".
    After the first book fair of the year, a preK student calls you the
book fairy
When a procession of kids come into the library wiping
their noses with their hands/coughing into their
hands, and then hand you their book...and you know you
should probably schedule yourself a doctor's
appointment for next week..
You have ever had to utter the sentence "Please don't lick any of the
You have easily found a book that a student has promised "It's not
you preface everything with .... pretend there is a bubble in front of
your face - put it in your mouth.  Close your mouth.  Keep it closed so
you don't loose the bubble.
You can hold a book with one hand, a puppet on the other hand, and
point with your feet in the direction you want the kids to move.
You talk to your hand and notice that the puppet is missing.
when you are known by your puppet collection!
>three students who never have any idea what they want to read have
claimed the three step stools to browse on the high shelves just because
they can, while three others need them to get a specific book that they
need for the next class
>every Kindergarten story time begins with several students raising
their hands to tell you "I heard that story at my Pre-School," and only
if you are very lucky will none of them tell the "surprise" ending
-You find your student's breakfast inside a book when they return it
[cookie crumbs, cocoa spilled on the pages...] 
-You find all the pages ripped a bit on the edges of the paper.
-You ALWAYS find sand on the chairs, floor, shelves, etc, after you
that first grade class coming after recess.
-You ALWAYS hear [no matter how many times you've said it's only ONE
section] "where are the horror/ fantasy/ mystery books?"
-You can't make a quiet place out of your library.
-When a class comes in, you ALWAYS get at least one hug, and all the
things listed before, disappear.  
Students insist on helping you by pushing books neatly to the back of
the shelves.
Students use the “shelf markers” as swords.
 The library is used for baby showers, wedding showers, testing,
luncheons, staff development, etc. and the teachers complain about the
uncomfortable chairs. 
The first graders go for the biggest book they can find because they
it's cool.  The older kids go for the smallest book they can find
they think they're cool.
Your name is Ms. Library Teacher or Ms. Libearian
-Each student in your school expects you to remember the book with the
blue or maybe green cover about dragons or maybe dinosaurs that he read
last year or maybe in first grade.
--Every day, at least one student says or does something so endearing
you can't imagine working anywhere else.  (Last Friday I got 4 comments
from first graders on my new upswept hairdo, and my husband didn't even
I was also amused by the upper grade librarians who said some of my
list still fit their older kiddos.
Thanks all for contributing and I hope you enjoyed the reading.


Betsy Ruffin
Cleburne ISD 
Cleburne, TX 
Stephen Abram, vice-president of Micromedia Ltd., Canada's largest
electronic publisher. "But although technology is vastly changing their
roles, librarians are still seen as "trusted agents" and their role as
navigators of the Internet will be critical to everyday life and the
future economy."

It is the policy of Cleburne ISD not to discriminate on the basis of
race, color, national origin, gender or handicap in its school programs,
services, or activities.

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