Friday, March 7, 2008

What's New This Week?

Twenty-two newly trained TOCs, possibly the best-trained you've ever seen, qualified for call-out to school libraries. With a full agenda over two after-school sessions -- four hours -- this week, these keen educators new to Vancouver schools learned about Horizon, shelving, databases, planning collaboratively, using library cards, finding borrowers, and more. A few of the trainees are still at UBC (student teachers who are getting ready to jump in as TOCS to school libraries in September) -- now that's keen! A huge thanks to Denise, Gwen, and David for an amazing job of piling on the learning and, well, everyone seemed to like the snacks as well. Over 40 TOCs have been trained this year, and we are still getting calls asking about the next session!

Refreshments -- I have learned these are an important part of TL get-togethers. There are TLs who decide whether or not they are coming only after phoning me to find out what is being served. This week's feature items were the red pepper hummus and toasted pita chips as well as the ginger cookies with grapes from Costco. One of those calls about the menu has resulted in the change in the Starbucks coffee order to de-caf, as noted above! Cheriee got up early on Thursday morning to make a fantastic chocolate mousse.

We finished a second Spring Weeding workshop with lots of joyful chatter and more great refreshments. What a great group and fun experience. David showed half the group how to create the Discard IGE and one that tells the age of your collection while the other half of us weeded.

Where Cheriee had been loathe to consider pulling 1800, she is now talking 5 000 with some conviction. Here are some of us considering the art of pulling:

Julia has proven to be an excellent student of TL'ship!
She has just the right amount of obeisance, I'm sure you'll agree, Chris.

That may -- I repeat, may -- be Cheriee putting something back!

The first week for me and for my new friend, teacher Yvette, was much easier than the second. Yvette and I had no problem weeding old sports books. But sports are followed by poetry and, as we moved along this week into the poetry section, we knew we were going to face challenges. In fact, five of us debated what makes an old poetry book worth keeping: we discussed names of editors, writers, and illustrators, quality and colour in the illustrations, the lack of illustrations, what was sticking to the pages, the age, sanitary characteristics, and reader appeal of the grimy fingerprints, and of course, the copyright date and recent use of the book; we set a few old ones aside for repair, so charming were the poems or the illustrations; many didn't make it past our group scrutiny and were sent summarily to the deepening discard pile.

Everyone agreed it was a good experience. Meanwhile, back at the mothership, Irina reports a growing interest in weeding ... TLs are calling for reports on their collections in record numbers and venturing into sections in need of thinning with a sense of discovery and adventure.

One attendee at Thursday evening's session pointed out that Doug Johnson, in the article I had given out for reading last week, states that an unweeded collection signifies nothing more than ... well, read for yourself .... "Weed!" by Doug Johnson (Head for the Edge, Library Media Collection, Sept/Oct 2003).

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