Two disasters – or near disasters – this week: First, I’ve been updating the Excel database file that I copied onto my school computer (a MAC). That seems like a reasonable thing to do when adding books that got missed on the first pass through a book box. I also have been bolding the titles of books as the labels are attached so that I can tell which books have been fully labeled and accounted for and which books might be squirreled away in a student’s desk. Seems like it should work, right?
Well, wrong. I am admittedly a PC person – outside of dealing with Macs in the schools in which I work, I don’t use Apple hardware or software. I don’t remember when I first used Excel, but I’m guessing I’ve been using it since about the first version of it and definitely know my way around the PC version. What happened to me in using the MAC version is that the save button in the tool tray didn’t actually save the file — you’d think that might be a requirement, but I guess not. The only way this file was getting actually saved on the MAC was through the dropdown menu. By the time I figured out why changes and inserted cells/rows were all messed up (my technical term), the entire file was a disaster (sigh). I believe it’s now been righted — had to compare the PC Excel file on my laptop to a printed hardcopy of the MAC version. Lesson learned: don’t get too cute by having multiple files going back and forth between operating systems and software versions.
The second glitch this week was in the color coded baskets. There are WAY too many books — can you believe it — for the baskets I have. And the small stacking baskets, while just the right size for paperback chapter books, are too small for the picture books unless I turn the basket on the long side. This means I lose some shelf space and will probably mean the goal of getting books off of the counters in not reasonable. I’ve noticed that Really Good Stuff has recently begun selling sets of 12 medium-sized baskets all in the same color so there is a solution, but not a cheap one.
I’ve started a preliminary sort of some of the labeled books as you can see from the image at the left. The decision of which books are in the baskets hasn’t been carved into stone of course, but it seemed like progress was being made when some of the new baskets finally appeared on the bookshelves. I still need to make labels for the baskets so the students will be able to replace books when making trades. That will take some planning.
Now, what to do with those cardboard magazine boxes? They’re too good to throw away (and if you are or live with a teacher you know throwing things away just isn’t something we do). I’ll need to come to a decision soon as they are starting to take over the table and desk space!
So on the To-Do list for the coming week is to finish labeling the rest of the newly categorized library, solve the basket issue, and, oh yes…. get rid of the clutter before it drives everyone crazy.