For the last three weeks I've been working in a state of organised chaos in the school library. It's annual stock taking, has been for the past three weeks. First comes the battle to get all the books back from the learners and the teachers, teachers are the worst. Although I remind every one weeks in advance that they need to return all library material each year it's the same story. A bit like pulling teeth without anaesthetic.
During the stock take I make use of the opportunity to remove all old, tattered and out of date stock. Above old stock on my work table.
For a decade before I arrived items were only added never removed, when I took over 3 years ago it was almost impossible to take a book of the shelves they were so jammed in. First thing I did was have a big clean up. One of the rural schools just outside of town benefited and received about 2000 books, a few cartons went to a school in Mozambique.
More books removed from stock, mostly old non-fiction. During this year I've added more than 2000 new books to the stock. One third non-fiction and the rest fiction. Last year was slightly less. So space just has to be made.
Above mostly old fiction, my criteria for removing a book, is it old and unsightly and if it hasn't been read in the last 3 - 4 years. A lot of these books will go to class reading corners. I'll have a book sale and the rest will go to schools who have no books.
Shelves on the right part of the fiction section, all completed and neat. When I took over 3 years ago these shelves were all jammed with books, fiction going back to the 50's which no learner today would read. Strangely enough, Hardy Boys books, and Enid Blyton, remain favourites.
Above part of the non-fiction section. The library has a very comprehensive non-fiction section.
Ideally I should have a lap top with a scanner, (all our books and other material are bar coded), and scan the books at the shelves. Unfortunately I don't have it so I start at one end pack a batch of books on the book trolly, wheel the lot to the PC and do it there, that finished I take them back and repack the shelves.
In spite of my drastic clean out the library still has more than 8000 items in stock.
Tomorrow I start the reserve section, after that teachers resource material. Teachers resource material gets messed more than the rest. Returned to the wrong shelf, put in back to front, upside down and all jumbled up, while they are browsing, looking for something not quite sure what. Will know when they see it.
When I've finished with the above it's the last lap, DVD's, videos & CD's. Then comes the problem of hunting down missing books.
All of this gets done by yours truly all on his ownsome.