Monthly Review Printable

I don’t know about you, but I like statistics!  So every month I compile some basic information that helps me keep track of what happened.

I have a Google spreadsheet that contains very detailed information, but it recently occurred to me that it might be a good idea to have a paper version handy.  I can quickly access an easy-to-read glimpse into my library for any parent, teacher, or administrator who wants to know how things are going.

(Updated note 8/23/13): For some reason, the image of the printable does not seem to show up if you’re viewing this on an iPhone or iPad.  However, the links to download should still work.)

monthly review

This might also come in handy in June when I need to write annual end-of-the-year report.  I’ll be able to quickly glance at my sheets and find all the relevant highlights and statistics.

You can download the printable by clicking on the image above or by clicking here.  Enjoy!

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Printable Selection Rubric


Collection development can be one of the trickiest thing a Christian school librarian does.  We want to provide our students with great resources, but we also want to make sure we’re honoring our faith and our school’s values.  Sometimes it’s hard to make a decision about a specific book, so I developed a rubric that may be helpful in those instances.

Click the image above to download the rubric.

The rubric guides you in looking at different selection criteria to evaluate the book as whole.  Here is a breakdown of each section:

Reading & Interest Level:  I was surprised when I learned early in my career that reading level and interest level are not the same.  Reading level relates to the amount of reading comprehension and skill the reader needs, while interest level lets you know which age group the book is generally appropriate for.  You can usually find reading and interest level information in the product description on sites like Amazon, Follett’s Titlewave, and most library book suppliers.

Awards: There are dozens of different literary awards, both Christian and secular.  It’s always a good idea to see if a book has won awards and if so, what is it being praised for?  (See this post for a list of Christian book awards and check out YALSA’s and ALSC’s lists, too).

Reviews:  Good sources of reviews include School Library Journal, Booklist, and Amazon.  If you’re looking for reviews from a parental point of view, you might consider Junior Library Guild and Common Sense Media.  There are Christian review sites like Christian Library Journal, Redeemed Reader, and Faithful Reader, but I find that they usually have a smaller selection of reviews and aren’t very current.

Bibliographies:  Many states have state-approved reading lists for each grade level.  Check your state’s department of education for reading lists.  YALSA and ALSC are also great resources for bibliographies.

Demand:  Be sure to take demand into consideration.  Will your students be clamoring to check out this book or will it most likely sit on your shelves?

Curriculum:  This should be one of the biggest factors in your decision.  Whenever I find a book that directly supports my curriculum, I will always purchase it if finances allow.

Discussion Potential:  Christian school librarians are often afraid to add controversial books to our collection.  But we need to be willing to take a look at the controversy.  Does it really glorify and encourage sinful behavior, or could we use it to engage students in an age-appropriate conversation that points them towards Christ’s truth, love, and mercy?

You can download the rubric here or you can click on the image above.

I hope you enjoy the rubric!  If you found it useful, please leave a comment below or pin this to Pinterest.

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Free Weeding Printable

I love weeding!  There’s something very satisfying about clearing out the old to make room for the new.  I’ve learned (through trial and error) to be very organized when I weed.  One tool that helps me keep track of the reasons for weeding each book is my weeding bookmark.

The weeding bookmark allows me to make note of why I’m weeding a particular book.  I use the MUSTY acronym as my criteria, and I check off each criteria that pertains to the book in question.  Once I’ve checked the reasons it’s being weeding, I stick the bookmark in the book and place the books on a separate shelf.

The bookmarks come in handy when members of my school community question why I’m “throwing away” books.  It’s easy to pull out the bookmark and give them a brief run-down of the MUSTY criteria and point out why this book meets the criteria.  You can also use the bookmarks as easy reference if you keep permanent records (like in a spreadsheet or in your circ system) about why you certain weeded books.

I’m currently working on re-designing my weeding bookmarks, but I’m happy to share my former version with you.  I hope they help you with your own weeding projects!  You can download the PDF file below or click on the image above.

Weeding Bookmark (Black & White) PDF

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Free Library Procedures Printable

I don’t know about you, but I love free printables.  I’m always looking for something to help me get organized and stay organized.

It’s the beginning of the year so you might soon find yourself training parent volunteers, new library staff, or student aides.  In my experience, one of the most difficult things for new library workers to remember are the opening and closing routines.

I’ve created a free printable for you to document your library’s opening and closing routines.  There’s a checklist for several items and a notes section.  You might consider laminating it or putting it in a plastic sleeve protector.  This will allow you to use a dry erase marker to check items off each day.  It’s super easy to get organized AND save paper!

(Click on the images above for larger previews).

You can download the free, 2-page printable in black-and-white or color below (PDF files).

If you liked these printables, please share it with others by tweeting this link or sharing it on Facebook.  

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