25 Productive Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes For Your School Library

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity and how I use my time.  I wanted to figure out how to use my brief chunks of spare time in order to become more productive. So I came up with a list of quick, productive actions I can take to improve my school library.

Photo courtesy of Graham Briggs via http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1340424

  1. Walk through the stacks and pick up any trash or books that have been left behind.
  2. Dust a small section of shelves.
  3. Read the latest blog post from my favorite library bloggers.
  4. Sharpen the pencils I leave out for students.
  5. Write a thank-you note to a teacher, parent, student volunteer, or community member who supports my library.
  6. Shelve books.  Do as many as I can in 5 minutes!
  7. Look through last year’s yearbook and learn the names of 5 students I recognize, but don’t know their names.
  8. Clean computer screens or keyboards.
  9. Check spam email folder.  Delete!
  10. Wipe down tables or study carrels.
  11. Shelf-read or block a small section of shelves
  12. Check under your tables and study carrels for gum.  Gross, but necessary.
  13. Go through paper files and recycle or shred any outdated or irrelevant paperwork.
  14. Chat with the next student who approaches the circ desk.  Ask him how his day was or how his week is going so far.
  15. Decide which library events and promotions (Teen Read Week, Black History Month, etc.) I want to celebrate.  I use this “Dates to Remember” sheet to make sure my calendar isn’t overcrowded.
  16. Start tracking how you spend your time.  This will help you justify more hours, a second staff member, volunteers, or to justify your existence as more than a book-stamper!  I use this simple time tracker sheet.
  17. Read a few reviews of the latest YA or children’s lit books.
  18. Recycle outdated catalogs and mailings.
  19. List some long-term goals you have for your library.  Make sure you revisit them when you have the time to flesh out the steps you’ll need to take to reach them.
  20. Take a quick inventory of supplies you use often.  Make note of any supplies you need to replenish soon.
  21. Take pictures of students using your library.  These may come in handy for future reports or promotional materials.
  22. Throw out any unhealthy snacks you keep for yourself.  They only sap your energy.  Pick up some healthy options (like almonds or dried fruit) on your next trip to the grocery store.
  23. Straighten up and dust your desk.
  24. Delete rarely-used shortcuts and icons from your computer desktop.
  25. Browse your own stacks.  You might find some gems you forgot you had.

What are the quick, productive things you do in your school library?  Please share in the comments below.

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  • Sandra Mason

    I am so enjoying your blog. Keep it up! It is full of intelligent, thoughtful and practical information for school librarians. Your blog is my new best friend. Thank you

    • http://deeplibrarian.com/ Deep Librarian

      Thank you, Sandra!   I appreciate your kind words!