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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

What’s on Your Desk?

Remember the commercial  with the line "What’s in YOUR wallet?" Librarians should periodically survey their rooms to see "What’s on YOUR desk?" or even "What’s in YOUR library?"

The question was asked on LM_NET today and I remembered writing something about that before so I went to the LM_NET archives (a Wonderful resource) and started searching. I found it on April 16, 2001 with the topic: Cool things for the desk. 

I’m putting that original post here: 
Hello All, Because I care very deeply about students who learn in ACTIVE ways, I always put "touchable objects" on the checkout desk and throughout the Library. Last week two students were examining some of the stuff and I overheard one say, "Mrs. Chen always has the coolest stuff for us to learn about." I was so pleased, but the pressure is on to keep getting better/different/more intriguing. As I travel around the world, I look for objects that spark curiousity. However, this summer I don’t think I will be traveling far and I am looking for new ideas. Any suggestions? Here are *some" of the objects that I have featured (yes the magnets did gradually disappear until only one was left):

  • ROMP’s magnet set from the Nature Store (magnets on base & pendulum magnet)
  • Amethysts from Thunder Bay
  • Pottery vase from Mexico (palm size)
  • Puppet 3 Blind Mice in a present box
  • mini battery-operated fans
  • smooth and rough rocks
  • Chinese objects galore!
  • German clock
  • my son’s Tacofish pottery projects
  • Clifford stamps with red ink (they stamp their hands so teacher knows they have checked out at the beginning of the year in K-1)
  • Zen garden with sand & rakes
  • Chiming Massage balls & lots of stress relievers
  • President dolls
  • 4 " high metal knights from Germany
  • dancing dolls for holidays with music to dance with the day before holiday
  • puppets and dolls like the armadillo & the cockroach
  • Race cars & hotwheels next to a photo of my son in grandpa’s racecar
  • sandalwood fans
  • beanie babies like the Penguin so we can play Emperor Penguin while in line 

Several years down the road, what have I had recently on my desk?

  • A box that looks like a present but contains 3 mice as puppetsgp Whats on Your Desk?
  • My collection of "special" rocks in a jewelry box
  • Coins from around the world
  • An array of glass coffee cups with messages
  • A big treasure chest of rocks shared by a student
  • Tapestry curtain samples with an Oriental theme that make fun individual placemats
  • My personal mission statement in a little acrylic frame for everyone to read
  • Character Counts bookmarks and surveys for the Guidance Counselor
  • My dragon from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry
  • Touristy photos and postcards from ALA Conferences to show that professionals travel and are involved with their organizations
  • Gumby doll (to remind me to be flexible)
  • Enough pencils to help 200 children at a time so they never can use the excuse that they don’t have a pencil with them.
  • A jar that says "Grace" to remind me to always be gracious to everyone and the yellow silk flowers my sons gave me to remind me that I’m loved
  • Animal eyeballs taped at various heights that these animals would be (Emperor Penguins, Grizzly bears, Adelie penguins, Rats

I think this summer I’ll once again explore changing my "stuff." Maybe I should consider this to be a mini museum exhibit with structured scheduling or maybe I should just continue to have fun and drive my assistant bonkers with all my "stuff" for people to touch?. Hmm. Off to do some thinking on this dreary grey day.