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I’ve recently returned to work after an absence and gained an intriguing insight into the mental and physical demands of the job that I just wouldn’t have noticed while I was caught up with all my usual responsibilities.

Managing a school library means an infinite number of different activities per nanosecond, concentrating on detailed tasks while people are holding discussions and working and trying out their solo talks all around; it’s constant interruptions for rulers, pens, paper, sharpeners, calculators, more paper, and pleas to help with computers and printers in between making making phone calls about missing deliveries of prospectuses; it’s solving problems like timetabling 20 classes into 10 periods and suggesting ideas for how to produce a team poster on four separate computers, while mentally juggling the demands of every class and department, every extra-curricular club and council wide initiative and remaining on top of  them all and making connections between them whenever links appear, and communicating possibilities for new resources and activities; it’s writing lesson plans and teaching classes, and identifying difficulties and changing those plans at a moment’s notice according to the class mood or behaviour; it’s identifying the right book for the right person at the right time;  and returning to it all suddenly after a break  is somewhat startling!

But. It’s so lovely to be back:  the friendly faces; the 6th years miraculously appearing in the LRC without using the doors; the anguished cries for help; and of course, the lunacy:

Miss, what would happen if you fell in love with an ape?

School librarianship: exhausting but exhilarating.

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