When I decided to retire, my conscience would not let me just walk out the door and let my replacement fend for herself. There is so much to being an elementary librarian that others do not see and the beginning of new school year can be overwhelming if one has never taken on these tasks before.
First of all, each returning student's record must be updated in the database. That means changing at least three fields (homeroom, grade, and class) for each student...all 700+ of them. There are shortcuts but the particular company that provides our circulation software does not include them in its manual.
Likewise all teacher records in the database must be updated, especially if there were classroom or grade level changes.
And then there is equipment to be checked out to each teacher.
And lesson plans for the first day of school.
And instructions on the set up and operation of the morning announcements close circuit television system.
Not to mention decorating and making the library feel like "home".
Because I did not want any new person to come in and flounder or face overwhelming tasks, I spent many hours preparing a Binion Elementary library manual complete with instructions on how to handle all of the above situations and providing all of the passwords that the new librarian would need to even begin to operate the library. I scheduled the book fairs for 2013-14, started the book orders in my favorite book selection sites, alphabetized all of the returning students' library cards, left one year's worth of lesson plans, gave her all of the shortcuts that would make data entry easier, and cleaned up all of the errors that I could locate in the database.
All of this information was saved on a flash drive and given to the principal who labeled it and put it away for safekeeping. As a back up, I provided the lead librarian with a copy of the flash drive and told key teachers of its existence.
Well, I am happy to say, that the work payed off. Today I received a call from the new librarian (I cannot call her my replacement because I'm irreplaceable, right?) gushing her thanks for my time and effort. The flash drive was MIA until today and she had been at a loss on where to even begin. She had checked all of my files and there was no paper trail. Thankfully my buds mentioned the flash drive's existence to her and she was able to jog the principal's memory. She has admitted to having a few sleepless nights so I hope that since we spoke Mrs. V will get a good night's sleep tonight.
I am still struggling with the "did I make the right decision" concerns but at least I know that I did not abandon my former life without instructions to the new kid. Every little victory helps.