Friday, June 04, 2010

The Last Day of School

I got to sub in a library today and I was happy to be walking into a school on the very last day of the school year. 

There was a giddy frenzy in the steps of the children as they piled off buses and charged through the doors. "No running!"  I called to kids who were tearing past me early this morning and about to encounter the door with their craniums instead of their hands.  I think it is the only morning of the year where they run, headlong towards class.  Are they thinking "the sooner I get in here the sooner I'm free? "

The last day of school in a library is a equally fast paced as kids gleefully skip towards the desk with last minute book finds, 

"It was in the back seat of our car!"
There is also the doleful walk towards the desk, as they present a  last minute payment for lost books which is usually accompanied by heavy sighs and an anguished wad of dollar bills or a damp, sweaty personal check which has ridden to school in a hand or in a shoe.

"I always try to offer a hopeful, "If you find the book over the summer, you will get your money back!" but paying for lost library books is just a downer, no doubt about it. Receipts have to be written, change has to be made.  It all takes so much time.  The kids are leaving soon. Write the receipt faster!

The library staff makes repeated trips to the shelf,  looking one LAST time for the missing Predator book and begging teachers NOT to cover the librarian's office desk with globes and CD players to be checked in.  

Library person:  "Just leave them on the circulation desk. We will scan them in.

"Well, I don't want the stuff I'm checking in to get lost or mixed up with the kids' books.  I will just leave them here on your chair.  So, am I clear yet?
Library person thinking to self this is the 4th time she has cleared her chair today and it is not 10:30 a.m. yet:   *sigh*
The final bell rings, the voice on the intercom announces, "Teachers, all buses have been called," and for a few minutes, there is a total silence.  Often this is followed by loud hearty teacher laughter and at one point today, a jubilant shriek of happiness.  
Hmmm...wonder who was in that class this year? 

Still, there is no time to actually work for the library.  Carts of books still need cataloging because there is never enough time to finish that.  Fixed asset tag numbers have to be recorded in MARC records but there is no time as more equipment from the classrooms appears to be checked-in and teachers ask, "Am I clear yet?"  

Carts with overheads huddle around the circ desk waiting to be rolled to the central location where they will be cleaned over the summer .   Then the rush tapers off. 

As I left the building today,  bulletin boards were already dismantled and empty.  The hallways looked like an industrial Swiffer had swept away all traces of the year.  

The halls were quiet and the air was still as if the building was saying, "Just let me catch my breath for a moment and I'll be good to go again."

1 comment:

tanita✿davis said...

YOu are such a good writer! I felt like I was in the crazy end-of-school moment -- probably the one shrieking with joy.

You are also an immensely patient person... I'd have thought about whacking the next person who set anything on my chair!!!!

Here's to catching one's breath...