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Help me crowdsource TL monthly checklists?

I’ve had these in my files for a couple of years doing nobody no good.

So, I thought it was time to crowd-source, update and improve a series of checklists I’ve planning to work on and share.

The checklists are meant to be a handy list of things to plan, do, and celebrate month-by-month in the life of a practicing teacher librarian.

Here’s my take on this month.  (I combined the August list with this one because it’s a slightly delayed post.)


  • Prepare for the grand opening!
  • Prepare the OPAC for circulation with the school district calendar.
  • Get bulletin boards in order and ready for a fall theme
  • Create or update forms and passes. Review any changes in policies or procedures and inform staff.
  • Greet custodians and ask (gently) about any critical cleaning or furniture/equipment moving issues. Follow up with e-mail.  If your facility looks fabulous, send a polite note or email to maintenance to thank them.  Consider CCing an administrator.
  • Order materials for Banned Books Week
  • Update pathfinders for fall projects
  • Examine scores on standardized tests and look for skills that might be supported by your own instruction.
  • Distribute curriculum-mapping documents in classroom teachers’ mailboxes.
  • Prepare or update your list of online databases with remote access passwords for faculty and students. Check vendor invoices and correspondence for any changes since last year’s list. Make sure your own IP has not changed.
  • Distribute information about new and useful apps for learning
  • Schedule appropriate student orientations with faculty.
  • Distribute an upbeat and welcoming newsletter for teachers with updated media and database lists and any forms they will need to get started. Invite collaboration!  Your newsletter may take the form of a blog, an online poster, a LibGuide, etc. If your newsletter begins as a print tool, remember to save a copy in document or PDF form to post on your website.
  • Stop by the local public library with appropriate resource materials.
  • Check the public library schedule of events to promote with students and teachers.
  • Prepare or update policies for circulation, computer use, etc.
  • Get class sign-up (on- and offline) sheets ready for early bird teachers.
  • Recruit new and veteran student aides.
  • Orient and train new volunteers and aides
  • Catalog and process new materials.
  • Submit annual goals to principal.
  • Approach principal (in-person or by memo or e-mail) with initial plans for any major events—book fairs, author visits, etc.—and include associated costs.
  • Join any building/district committee that seems relevant to your mission or interesting to you personally.
  • Solicit new members for Advisory Committee (parents, students, faculty, admins)
  • Submit forms to ensure permission to attend state and national professional conferences.
  • Prepare a list of professional magazines for faculty use—distribute Current Awareness Program reminder form.
  • Greet the art teachers. Ask sweetly for any emergency supplies you may need. Solicit and welcome any displays of student work. Your facility will be much enhanced by any such exhibits!

Bulletin Board Themes/Celebrations: Welcome back, Labor Day, Autumn, Leaves, Constitution Day/Week, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Deaf Awareness Week, Hispanic Heritage Month, Banned Books Week, Study skills, Teachers’ or students’ favorite summer reads, Library Card Sign-up Month, International Literacy Day, National Literacy Month, Fruit and Vegetable Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Ramadan, Grandparents’ Day, Paralympics, Google’s Birthday, National No Bully Week, Rosh Hashanah, 9/11 Remembrance, Talk Like a Pirate Day,

Literary Birthdays: Bernard Most (2), Aliki (3), Richard Wright (4), Sid Hoff (4), Paul Fleischman (5), Gloria Jean Pinkney (5), Jack Prelutsky (8), Jon Scieszka (8), Valerie Tripp (12), Mildred Taylor (13), Roald Dahl (13), John Steptoe (14), Diane Goode (14), Agatha Christie (15), Tomie DePaola (15), Robert McCloskey (15), H.A. Rey (16), Paul Goble (17), Ken Kesey (17), H. G. Wells (21), Stephen King (22), Bruce Brooks (23), F. Scott Fitzgerald (24), William Faulkner (25), Shel Silverstein (25), T.S. Eliot (26), Bernard Waber (27), Stan Berenstain (29), Marissa Moss (29), Edgar Parin d’Aulaire (30), Alvin Tresselt (30), Elie Wiesel (30)

Please feel free to add to and update the full year of checklists on this Google Doc.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Tracy Ferguson says

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!!! Please keep it up!
    What a handy reference!

  2. Randie Groden says

    All the things I do or are on my to-do list in a checklist – so helpful. Will share with my department at our 1st official meeting this week. Thanks for this post, and your others!

  3. Leslie Hesterman says

    This is so wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Is it possible that the links are not working?

  4. Hi Joyce, Love this concept, however I can’t access the google doc.
    I thought it was just the missing h in the url but still no luck!
    Take care and have a super new teaching year.

  5. Joyce Valenza Joyce Valenza says

    Sorry, friends! I fixed the link! Try:

  6. This is awesome, thank you! Just what I may need to keep focused as I balance teaching at 2 schools.

  7. Thank you! Plan to share at our next newly for Librarian’s PLC,

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