Category Archives: BJHS

Chronicles of a Media Center Renovation: Part V

We’ve been in school for a little over two weeks, and the wall has finally come down. From the courtyard, the media lab seems HUGE.  Inside, the new entrance has been framed, and the two media stations that will flank the front doors are taking shape.

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Chronicles of a Media Center Renovation: Part II

After a month of working 10.5-11.5-hour days, the media center was packed and ready to be stored for six months. Whew!

I’ll be setting up my mini library in a classroom for the first semester probably starting next week.  Every book truck, A/V cart, iPad and laptop cart I’ve got is sitting in a classroom crammed with boxes of files, filing cabinets, and several hundred books just waiting to be organized for the upcoming school year.  I’m not sure how this will work, but minimal library access is better than none.  There was no way I was going to shut down the library for an entire semester. I just couldn’t do it. All those freshmen beginning their high school career with no library – what kind of message would that send? Besides, I had way too many teachers and students requesting specific materials to be kept available.  Circulation may decline because of the small space, but I’ve got a plan – I’ll go from classroom to classroom if I have to delivering books.

According to the building plans, my office and the other two study rooms will be demolished; the AV room will be converted into two faculty bathrooms, the front window will become the new entrance, and other windows and walls will be knocked out to make way for the new media lab.

Weeding: WWBGD?

I knew in January that this semester would be busy with the renovations beginning in May, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it, not really.

After the last meeting with the architects, I was told that I would need to get rid of about 8,000 books to reduce the collection to 10,000. I almost cried – actually, I think I did shed a few tears before the day was over. The tears were not for the loss of so many books, but for the loss of the space I’d worked so hard for the last 18 months to create, and the loss of the “library” as I knew it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m the first to embrace technology, eBooks, Web 2.0 tools, and such. Digital literacy was my focus throughout grad school. I just get a little nostalgic for the way things used to be sometimes. Part of me misses searching for books using the card catalog.

Suffice it to say, I had a monumental task that lay before me and needed a plan. So I asked myself, “Self, what would Barbara Gordon do?

Since I’d already weeded several sections last spring, I decided to begin where I left off – the 300’s and go section by section until I had gone through every single book in my library. Not only did I clear entire shelves of books, but I also staged each shelf similar to book stores and photographed each section before and after.


No sooner had I finished one section, the books started flying off the shelves. Keep in mind, I was working in the 300’s – not the fairy tales or true crime sections either – I was right in the middle of economics and government. Teachers would walk by to see what I was up to on their way to their monthly meetings and, as if by magic, a book would catch their attention. I had more folks – students and teachers alike – make the same few comments: “I didn’t know we had this book!” and “Are these new?” and my personal favorite “Ooh! Can I check this one out?”

At this point, I had become obsessed with weeding. I looked forward to each new conquest and eagerly anticipated finding the next “gem” that should’ve been retired decades earlier (but due to former accreditation standards, these books were retained simply to satisfy quotas – number of books per student).

I found a book on steroids from the early ’90’s – which may not sound that old, but the guy on the cover was sporting a mighty fine mullet with a perm. Moving down the shelves into the section on various communicable diseases (616.9), I discovered that VD was all the rage in the ’70’s. Sadly, even the book entitled “The Love Bug” had to go. But the most memorable find was “The Dating Book: A Guide to the Social Scene” circa 1983. This little gem had some “student annotations” that certainly spiced up the content a tad (watch out E.L. James!). This book was mistakenly pulled from the shelf during my library orientation scavenger hunt (which reinforced the need to teach students how to read spine labels), and subsequently checked out by a student later that same day. Not only did this student take the book home, but she showed it to her parents. Oh, the horror!  Needless to say, that one provided hours of laughs, so much so that I kept it.

After two and a half months of 10.5 – 12 hour days, I had weeded a grand total of 6,665 books, 4,955 nonfiction and 1,710 fiction. I must admit that I was a little bummed when the weeding was finished, mostly because I knew what was next: packing it all up.   But that’s another story . . .

22 Books You Should Read Now, Based On Your Childhood Favorites


Christina Lu / BuzzFeed

Christina Lu / BuzzFeed


It’s All About the Kids

BJHS students supporting the children of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. (at Bob Jones High School)

Caught ‘Y’all Reading – Banned Books

We love #BannedBooks! (at BJHS Media Center)

Caught ‘Ya Reading – Perks of Being a Wallflower

Banning Perks of Being a Wallflower can’t stop Leah. #bbw (at BJHS Media Center)

Caught ‘Ya Reading – The Great Gatsby

Here Rashaan reads The Great Gatsby, a banned book #WhoKnew #bbw (at BJHS Media Center)

BJHS Spirit Wear

Hey, BJHS! New t-shirt design just came in. (at BJHS Media Center)

BJHS Spirit Wear – New Chevron T’s

You can see the front design in the stack of shirts – which, by the way, are for sale in the Media Center.

PC Sweeney

The Journey is the Destination

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

Mr. Library Dude

Blogging about libraries, technology, teaching, and more

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

BJHS College Cheat Sheets

Just another site

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