Saturday, June 25, 2011

This week at the library; or, seriously, librarians should have higher salaries or at least free chocolate!

Before I regale you with the tale of this week, I must post a little reminder. For those of you who are thinking "Superwoman! Blogging+summer reading+STUFF" I will say that I, being an obsessive person, have a huge backlog of scheduled blog posts. Enough to last me through November pretty much. I haven't actually read anything new beginning of June. Basically I get up, go to work, come home, work some more, and go to bed. All I'm reading are trashy paranormal romance novels and the fruit loops of fantasy (and they're re-reads. i haven't the energy to read something new) and a hugely miscellaneous collection of comics donated by our excellent local comic store. The shelf of galleys from ALA languishes. The pile of titles waiting for review sits sadly. The unread shelf is getting dusty. The library shelf is starting to mutter about overdues. But...well, this was my week:

  • This is the way Monday was supposed to go. I arrive around 8:45, put together a list of tasks for the volunteer coming at 9:30, efficiently juggle the information desk and a neat stack of tasks from my to do list until 1pm, have a relaxing lunch, set up a few chairs and the tv for our babysitting workshop presenter, retire to my office and plan at least three of my preschool interactive storytimes, finish a variety of other tasks, then a quick stop at the grocery store and home for a little gardening and a walk over to the hardware store for a tomato cage.
  • This is how Monday went:
  • I arrive at 8:45 (everything ok so far)
  • I turn on the opacs.
  • Computers don't work properly! Insane numbers of people with questions ranging from a request for a snowblower manual to why can't I get into my aol mail (b/c it's evil, duh) to hordes of children streaming through for summer reading registration, prizes, and readers advisory (one girl suggests we have an "advanced summer reading program" because she's almost finished her 20 hours and what can she do next? I agree. Totally unprepared for volunteer, take her on impromptu tour whilst constantly dodging back to information desk
  • Finally grab some lunch around 1:45. Have finished nothing, other than making one girl ecstatic by finding the last two Avalon books on interlibrary loan. The snowblower patron was pretty happy too, although she had to come back b/c the dang computers were so wonky.
  • Opacs still not working.
  • I set up a few chairs and tv, then do 1001 things that suddenly appear, another volunteer, suddenly realize I never put in a request to pay my poor presenter, so I have no check for her, also neglected to call her and warn about no parking b/c the city has torn out half our parking lot and access street.
  • She arrives on time! Having parking somewhere far far away. We discover the tv and dvd player do not work.
  • Neither does the laptop and projector.
  • Someone else is using the other laptop.
  • I go home to get my laptop.
  • When I get back, the tv and dvd player are working.
  • We did have 11 kids at the babysitting workshop, which was great!
  • I get one storytime planned. Mostly.
  • I realize we have 0 people signed up for my author visit on Wednesday, probably no one is going to come, and my poor author will be horribly upset, and also the online registration that I have been working on since April really doesn't work.
  • I go to the grocery store and finally get home around 6pm where I read trashy romance novels get the picture.
  • I arrive around 8:30, optimistically expecting to Get Something Done on the desk. And people say I'm pessimistic. Ha!
  • Vast hordes of toddlers for toddler storytime with the redoubtable Miss Pattie
  • Lots of people. Very busy morning.
  • Set up our community room and pray that lots of people will come for the magician, Tim Glander (including the people who accidentally came on Monday for this program)
  • Lots of people came! Yay! Great program! Over 100!
  • Vast amounts of rain, all the electricity goes out and our computers crash.
  • Brief planning meeting
  • Publicity and massive piles of new books
  • Go home. More publicity. Read comics (curse you Tryke! your generosity in handing me a sampler of comics is now revealed as an evil ploy to deplete my budget, since I now see about six storylines where I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT)
  • Sleep, dishes, food, Very Important Phone Call
  • Slide into work at 11am for 11:30 author visit with Siobhan Vivian (I'm not actually supposed to be at work until 12 anyways and my lovely intern set up the room) Great author visit, although we only had 12 people. But, considering that out of the 7-10 programs PER WEEK we do all year, only about 4 programs PER YEAR are for teens, we just don't have the base to draw from. I got a hug from one of my tweens afterwards and a "best librarian ever" so I am happy!
  • Assignments for volunteers and intern, working through more new books, publicity, etc.
  • Due to the iffy weather, we move the Messy Art Club project inside. It was supposed to be splatter paint. We just go with paint on giant sheets of paper cut off our huge rolls.
  • Sixty people come. SIXTY PEOPLE. Average attendance for messy art is usually around 25. Everyone has fun, lots of paint is laid out, and it take mes and my aide 45 minutes to clean up!
  • Which brings me to 5pm and desk time, during which I sorted donations, worked through more new books and talked to my colleague from the school who does baby and toddler storytimes (did I mention she wasn't able to come this morning and my intern did baby storytime at 10?) about new books and storytimes and stuff.
  • 8pm Walk home in rain and get thoroughly, if gently soaked. I am not complaining as long as I don't get hailed on. Which I don't like. Because it hurts.
  • I actually eat breakfast and whilst eating my actual breakfast and doing a little light collection development, see that there's going to be a new John Himmelman rescue book in September. Cows to the rescue! The day is looking up already!
  • I would like a new title. Call me SUPER LIBRARIAN! We had 35 people at storytime! Most I've ever had, although many were younger siblings and had to take a little break. I'm really excited that my hours of work on restructuring out preschool storytimes and publicity has paid off! (having said that, we'll probably have 2 next week...) 
  • Half day and no desk time! Well, sort of. Except for covering the desk for a couple hours so our reference assistant could do toddler storytime, b/c our regular Miss P was out and the thought of One More Program made me want to cry, so I happily handed it over to L. And I walked to work at 8:30 and then walked home around 11:30 and then I went to Walmart to buy more summer prizes, and made a Very Important Phone Call and had to get some of our summer logs reprinted, and then I went back to work and had to get the publicity done...I went home around 4:30. Gah. And then I spent a couple hours working on collection development and migrating some of our google sites which I had initially hooked to my personal email and personal work email to our general email so they won't die if I move on, which is one of my projects this summer. Took me forever b/c I had forgotten one step and couldn't figure out what was wrong.
  • Another Saturday...I worked my colleague's Saturday shift so she would work my Friday shift b/c I thought I was Going Somewhere on Friday but that fell through, so...Saturdays. They're like Mondays only shorter. One of our circ people was out b/c she was having her baby RIGHT NOW. That is an acceptable excuse!
Random Thoughts on Summer Reading so far this's only been two weeks and already I can see there are still a lot of bugs to work out.
  • People really like the extra "challenges" on the ages 6-12 logs, so I can see that some kind of passport type of summer reading could be very popular.
  • Quite a few of my advanced and/or enthusiastic readers can easily finish their 20 hours of reading in the first week or so and then what's left for them the rest of the summer? I'm thinking about doing a thicker brochure with reading and projects for each week and doing registration AT the schools the last week so kids going on vacation can sign up.
  • As regards our new Beginners Club reading program for ages 0-5, I think a lot of parents don't want to take it for the little ones because it's just One More Thing, especially if they have multiple little ones, or multiple kids under the age of 12 for that matter. I wonder if it would be possible to put together some kind of "family log" with activities and reading that people marked off all together?
  • I think we're busy enough to consider a separate summer reading area next year, especially after big programs. We'd need some kind of table and volunteers to staff it and we'd have to figure out when to staff it as well. This is one of the reasons a combined services desk is a headache, but we don't have the staff to staff our upstairs reference desk, and anyways half our patrons don't realize we have an upstairs. Our director has been talking about the possibility of making an information desk area right at the door as you come in and that could be very nice, although we would still have a lot of computer-illiterate adults on the computer lab by the children's area.
  • The beginning prizes and children's prizes are very similar - and as always, very messy to dig through. I have combined them one big box but I wonder if some kind of box with dividers or a giant fishing tackle box or something would be better than digging through the big plastic tub? We have tried separate prizes for separate levels in the past and it's pure insanity.

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