Our annual round of standardized testing has brought with it the rare opportunity to dedicate a decent amount of time to weeding the collection. Over the past four days I have discarded hundreds of books. It felt amazing to be able to do this kind of work during the school day, with limited interruption. Even though I am not a big fan of high stakes testing, days like this make me look forward to state testing time.
As I pulled book after book from the shelf, added them to my cart and scanned their bar codes into the system, I smiled to myself, knowing that once it was all said and done, my hard work would be rewarded with a shiny new average collection age at least one year closer to 2013. I looked forward to uploading the data to Follett's Titlewave and seeing the average collection age change as a result of all the work I had done. I pictured the new date displayed proudly on my annual report. For the past few years I have only been able to shave one year off of the average collection age. But this time, it would be two years! I just knew it. Deliberately, I waited until I was done working for the day to do upload the collection and savor the results. What a great way to finish my day! Excited, I sat down at the computer. After a few clicks the collection analysis appeared, but there was something wrong. It was the same. There was no change in the age. I had deleted 451 titles and there was no change in the date.
I thought to myself, "I must be right at the cusp of a date change here. A few more books should do the trick. I didn't work in the biographies or the 700's. I'll do that tomorrow and then work on summer reading stuff."
I go home, defeated, yet hoping that I am just a few books away from a date change. I am like a gambler at a casino in front of a slot machine, feeding it money, hoping for the big payoff. This could be dangerous. I must be on the verge of making that date change. The jackpot is about to hit. It must be.
One day and 175 deleted titles later . . .
Another upload. Okay, so I've uploaded twice already. This is the last time. I swear. I have told a couple of my co-workers and even a few students about my "situation". We wait for the collection analysis to appear on my screen, refreshing over and over until it appears at the top of the list. I secretly hope they will bring me luck. And there it is. I click on the link.
Nothing. No change.
"No!" I said.
How is it that I can discard all these books and get nothing? NOTHING!
At this point I have truly given up. I check my calendar. Can I weed on Monday? No. I have to give up. There is no more time for weeding after today. Testing is over and my schedule is maxed out for the rest of the year.
But, I hear the lottery is up to $270 million! Or maybe I'll just go to school over the weekend for a few hours.