I often hear new school librarians ask for advice from those of us who are a bit more seasoned. I could list several things, but here are two major things that took me awhile to figure out.
Forget catalog perfection
When I started my first library job, I spent hours trying to clean up my catalog and make every record perfect. It was like I was scared the library police would arrive one day to strip me of my MLIS.
I eventually realized no one else cares. As long as your catalog is searchable and the your students can find what they need, it is good enough.
Overdues are not a big deal
If you’re lucky enough to have assistants, let them be responsible for collecting overdues. If you don’t have assistants, do your best to get overdues back, but don’t harass kids to the point where they’re afraid to run into you in the hallway.
Yes, it’s important that students learn responsibility, but your job title is not “Responsibility Officer” (at least I hope not). Your job is to get students reading and learning. Some students will return their books. Some won’t. If you don’t get every book back, just consider it as a part of the cost of doing business.
What about you? Are you a new librarian who has questions for us veterans? If you’re more experienced, what advice would you give to a newbie? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Also, if you’re a new librarian looking for more advice on how to start your career on a positive note, check out my e-book, Help! I’m a New School Librarian!