Top 5 School Library Pet Peeves


1.  An un-weeded collection.  

Weeding is an essential part of collection development.  It is not something you should do eventually; it is something you should do regularly.  We all know why we need to weed- so why don’t some librarians do it?  Yes, it’s tedious and it can be dirty.  But it’s part of what we signed up for and neglecting to weed is a form of incompetence.  I’m not saying you have to weed your entire collection every year.  But at least weed something.  Your students (and the people who inherit your library when you retire) will thank you.

2.  Fiction sections that should be labeled “Old Lady Fiction” (or “Christian Mom Fiction”)

Christian schools’ fiction sections should include Christian fiction- for sure.  But let’s make sure our fiction sections have appropriate secular fiction and updated (keyword: updated) Christian fiction. I cringe when I see Christian school libraries whose fiction sections are filled with Christian romance novels and Christian chick-lit from the 1990s.  Please make sure you choose titles that are appealing to both boys and girls, and that they’re recent titles.

3.  Tech-terrified library staff

We all have varying levels of technology expertise and experience.  We may not be that confident about learning new technologies.  But there’s a difference between being a little hesitant and being tech-terrified. You don’t have to be a tech genius, but we need to be open to improving our existing skills and experimenting with new technologies.  Don’t be too proud to learn from your students.  Many students will blossom when given the opportunity to teach something to an adult.

4.  Librarians who don’t like kids.

Why are some school libraries staffed by people who appear to dislike children and teenagers?  If you don’t like kids, or if you can’t deal with some noise, then why did you take the job?

5.  Dirty, dusty libraries.

I’ll admit I’m not the neatest person in the world.  I struggle with keeping my home and workplace clean, just like everyone else.  But there comes a point when the level of uncleanliness I’ve seen in some libraries can be dangerous to your health and your students’ health.  If you’ve never dusted your desk or your shelves, you need to start.  Set up a reminder in your calendar, and do it on a regular basis.  You don’t need to dust the entire collection every week.  But perhaps you can dust one row of books each week.  A cleaner, less-dusty library makes for a more attractive and healthier space for everyone.

What are you library pet peeves?  Please share in the comments section below! ThisShare on Facebook+1Share on LinkedInPin it on PinterestSubmit to redditSubmit to StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on Twitter Share

10 Things School Librarians Love

These ten things are guaranteed to brighten any school librarian’s day:
  1. A long list of holds & reserves
  2. A short list of overdues
  3. Students lined up outside the library before it’s open
  4. The student who checks out a huge stack of novels to read over the weekend
  5. A day without a printer jam
  6. Teachers who stay with their class the entire time they’re in the library
  7. Volunteer shelvers who already know the Dewey Decimal system
  8. Brand new books that arrive fully-processed and in shelf-order
  9. New bookmarks
  10. That rare moment of calm when everyone is quietly reading or studying

What brightens your day as a school librarian?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below. ThisShare on Facebook+1Share on LinkedInPin it on PinterestSubmit to redditSubmit to StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on Twitter Share

31 Resources for Christian School Librarians

There is an abundance of resources for libraries and libraries.   Resources for Christian libraries and librarians, however, are a little harder to find.

I’ve compiled a list of resources that have been helpful to me.  Not all of them are directly related to Christian school libraries, but they may be helpful anyways.

Associations, Organizations & Publications

  • Association of Christian Librarians
  • Christian Library Journal
  • Evangelical Church Library Association
  • National Church Library Association


  • Children’s Crown Award
  • The Christy Award
  • ECPA Christian Book Awards
  • The INSPY Award (for excellence in faith-driven literature)
Books *
  • Christian Librarianship:  Essays on the Integration of Faith & Profession
  • Sacred Stacks:  The Higher Purpose of Libraries & Librarianship
Christian Publishers & Christian Book Vendors
  • Baker
  • Banner of Truth
  • Berean Christian Stores
  • Bethany House
  • Crossway
  • Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
  • Intervarsity Press
  • Lamplighter Publishing
  • Moody Publishers
  • NavPress
  • Thomas Nelson
  • Tyndale House
  • Zondervan


  • California Christian School Librarians Facebook Group (Full disclosure: This is a group I created)
  • Christian College Librarians Facebook Group
  • Christian Librarian Networking LinkedIn Group
  • Christian School Librarians LinkedIn Group (Full disclosure: This is a group I created)
  • Christianity Today: Books.   Make sure you also check out their book awards.
  • Librarians’ Christian Fellowship Facebook Group

Did I leave out your favorite Christian resource?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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50 Essential Sites and People for School Librarians

Here are my top 50 essential websites, people, or blog posts for school librarians.  These are people and sites to which I consistently return.  Some of the entries below are skewed towards California school libraries, but I think they’re beneficial for anyone.

Listed in no particular order.

  1. American Association of School Librarians (AASL). I continually refer to their Standards for the 21st Century Learner.
  2. School Library Journal (SLJ).  If you can’t afford a print subscription, you can still access a lot of their articles and reviews.
  3. School Library Monthly- In-depth articles that focus on instruction and collaboration.
  4. Buffy Hamilton, a.k.a. The Unquiet Librarian.  Pretty much anything she does is noteworthy.
  5. Joyce Valenza’s Never Ending Search Blog.  Great posts on research, new tools, and improving our instruction.
  6. David Loertscher.  One of my library school professors.  His classes and his books shaped my views on instruction and collaboration.
  7. Doug Achterman’s dissertation: Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California.
  8. School Libraries Work! (PDF file). Evidence that school libraries and school librarians make a difference in student achievement.
  9. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).  Training, resources, and conferences on using technology in educational settings.
  10. American Library Association (ALA).  Arguably the most influential library advocacy association in the world.
  11. 2CoolTools.  Technology-related tips from CSLA‘s Jackie Siminitus.
  12. A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet.  A collection of web resources organized by grade level.
  13. Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). A division of ALA that focuses on college-level libraries.
  14. Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).  Writing, grammar, style, and citation help.
  15. Librarians Are Go.  Thoughts from Stacey Taylor, a librarian in Sydney.
  16. Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (TRAILS). It’s just what it sounds like- an assessment of info lit skills.
  17. Tales from a Loud Librarian.  Ideas from Elizabeth Kahn, one of the winners of AASL’s 2012 Information Technology Pathfinder Award.
  18. National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL). An organization which seeks to integrat info lit into every area of society.
  19. Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). A division of ALA that advocates for children’s library services.
  20. The Adventures of Library Girl.  Thoughts and ideas from Jennifer LaGarde.
  21. TLC= Tech + Library + Classroom.  A blog by Tara, an International School librarian, that combines ideas from the library, technology, and classroom settings
  22. VanMeter Library Voice.  Thoughts from Shannon McClintock Miller.
  23. The Big 6.  A 6-step research model/process.
  24. Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog.  Great tech-related thoughts.
  25. Resources for School Librarians.  Very extensive list of resources for school librarians.  Maintained by Bertland.
  26. Tim Gauntley’s Resourceful Curriculum for 21st Century Learning in a Classroom.  Lots of great resources for instruction.
  27. Library Journal.  A magazine aimed mostly at public libraries, but good for school librarians who want to be well-informed about all types of libraries.
  28. ReadWriteThink.  Resources for reading and language arts.
  29. Association of Independent School Libraries (AISL).  Advocacy for independent schools and librarians.
  30. Resource Shelf.  Interesting blog focusing mostly on digital search resources.
  31. LM_Net.  An email list serve for K-12 librarians across the world.  This has been invaluable to me.
  32. International Association of School Librarianship (IASL).  An organization for school librarians on an international level.
  33. Library Displays  Creative uses of library displays.  Maintained by Elaine Pearson.
  34. Partnership for 21st Century Skills.  Advocates for 21st century skills on a national level.
  35. Cool Cat Teacher Blog.  Great teaching ideas from Vicki Davis that easily transfer to the library.
  36. Tasha Bergson-Michelson, contributor to the Mind/Shift blog.  Great articles about searching from a member of the Google Search Education team.
  37. ALA Tech Source Blog.  Articles on library and library-related technology.
  38. Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).  A division of ALA that focuses on youth services.
  39. Noodle Tools.  Online tools (some free, some paid) for researching and creating citations.
  40. Library Ergonomic Training for Stacking.  A useful online ergonomics training from the University System of Georgia.
  41. Tweendom.  “Tween” book reviews from Stacy Dillon.
  42. Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers Blog.  Awesome tutorials and articles on using free technology.
  43. Library & Media Center Facilities Design K-12.  Dozens of resources on school library and media center design from the National Clearninghouse for Educational Facilities.
  44. iLibrarian.  Thoughts from Ellyssa Kroski on Library 2.0.
  45. Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch Blog.  The ed-tech diva!
  46. TeleRead.  A news blog on e-books and publishing.
  47. Google in Education.  Cool tools and training for teachers from Google.
  48. Teach Information Literacy and Critical Thinking.  A large collection of links and resources maintained by Esther Grassian.
  49.  Teacher Librarian Magazine.  Articles and news for teacher librarians.
  50. YA Books Central.  User-submitted reviews for YA books.
  51. Updated 11/12/12.  Bonus!  Lesley Farmer has a Digital Citizenship wiki with sample lessons and resources.
  52. Updated 11/12/12.  Bonus #2!  CSLA’s Teacher Librarian Research Update blog posts the latest in school library-related research.

Did I leave out your favorite website or person?  Please leave a comment below.

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