Saturday, November 5, 2011

This week at the library; or, The week from hell

We officially dubbed this the week from hell last month, when we realized that half our staff would be on vacation or at the Wisconsin Library Association for most of the week, I have 100 first graders in addition to our regularly scheduled programs, and we're finishing the week with our big craft fair fundraiser.

In more philosophical news, I just finished reading Last child in the woods by Richard Louv and am thinking of ways I can incorporate more nature into programming and collection development. I'm thinking a snowman building program in January, more outdoor programming in the summer, and looking for more books on local flora and fauna, rather than more exotic creatures and locations.

Monday - Actually pretty quiet morning. Didn't even have any computer problems, other than the recurring issue of our website refusing to load on the reference desk computer, a patron who couldn't access her internet provider's email, someone who didn't know how to use the scanner, three printing issues, a sudden influx of a bunch of older teens requesting guest passes. Also the pacs all died as I went off the desk.

Afternoon - Working through displays, checking the new stuff  for old stuff, resetting the storytime room, scheduling groups and filling out paperwork for our Kohl's Wild Theater program. Belatedly remembered that A. I have a volunteer coming tomorrow while I'm gone, B. I have to sew 30 fingerpuppets before Wednesday morning and C. I forgot to write press releases for all the November/December publicity. Words inappropriate for a children's librarian were said. Random thought - I wonder if the constant headache I've been having at work is due to my sinuses or the stifling heat? I'm going with heat because I felt better as soon as I got outside and could breathe again (also, it was about 20 degrees cooler outside).

Evening (at home) - Five more Cybils reviews, drafted out a two-volume review for No Flying No Tights (it's a new edition of a classic comic, so I spent a long time carefully comparing it, panel by panel, to two previous editions to see if there were any changes), cut out 30 felt finger puppets, a little comfort reading, a few dishes (if the mold's not actually moving, it's not urgent) made arrangements for driving to my conference tomorrow.

Tuesday - Came in at 8:30, set up for my school visit, started working on more publicity. 40 1st graders at 9am prompt, I did a tour and long storytime, then gave the teachers library cards to hand out when they got back. Helped set up for toddler storytime for Ms. P. then worked on publicity then discussed picture books - I give Ms. P new ones to test out and we picked what I should order later. Checked order list to make sure it was ready to send next week and made supply lists for the rest of the year, mostly for our Twilight party and a few other things. Left at 11:30 with Sara The Librarian for our summer reading conference in Milwaukee at the Planetarium/Museum. I was kind of disappointed - we had a session with lots of facts about stars and various activities, but nothing I couldn't have picked up off the internet (and while the rockets looked cool, I am still working my way up to letting the kids use a hot glue gun!). Watched the new IMAX of Cleopatra - I've never seen IMAX before. Conclusion: I'm glad I didn't have anything but a cheesestick for lunch. IMAX is NOT for me! Then had a session about all the things the museum offered...for students and teachers in the vicinity of Milwaukee. Stopped for dinner with Sara The Librarian on the way back and at the fancy grocery store for cheese, artichokes, and special mangoes (I dunno what they're called, I just call them the curvy little yellow ones). Discussed collection development, teen programming, summer programs, and religion (we cover the ground). Got back to the library around 7pm, sent supply order, answered some emails, looked over some plans for Twilight party left by the Friend I'm collaborating with. Got home around 7:20. Sewed 30 finger puppets.

Wednesday - Came in around 8:20. Set up for school visit and storytime. 40 1st graders at 9am, our books for the two 1st grade visits were:

  • The book that eats people by John Perry (will have to retire this one as they've all heard it by now. Sigh.)
  • Happy pig day by Mo Willems
  • Leonardo the terrible monster by Mo Willems
  • Prudence wants a pet by Cathleen Daly
  • Pete the cat I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin (I didn't like this one at first, but the kids adore it and it's growing on me. Probably on others as well, since I have now taught approximately 300 kindergarten, 1st graders, 2nd graders, and preschoolers the "shoe song")
Immedately afterwards, preschool storytime. Extra big group! Then I raced through misc. emails and notes on my desk and put together various packages, took package to the school, book basket to preschool (missed them - will have to go tomorrow) and then a lightning visit to Walmart to buy programs stuff, and I managed lunch!
Desk from 1-4. Very quiet, which was good, as I had publicity and various planning things to get through, plus setting up for Lego club whilst leaping for the phone.
Lego club from 4-5. Our numbers are up again! Clean up. Get home around 5:30.

Thursday - left home early around 10:30 to take books to the preschool. Got the books in, but they were in the middle of storytime so I wasn't able to pick up last month's books. Will have to make a third visit. Do you see how this week is going? The rest of the afternoon was cleaning piles of repair books etc. off my desk, mailing stuff, meeting the Friend about the Twilight party (had to clean my desk off so I could lay out the stuff), updating displays, cleaning out the Storyroom, planning the crafts for Saturday, etc. etc. Evening on the desk was crazy busy and just plain crazy (weird racist outburst? creepy guy? annoying security cases that will not lock? library website still refuses to load on, and only on, reference computer? lights went out? large group of middle schoolers suddenly decide to tell me everything they don't like about the teen room, from the "boring" paint to the "naughty" books? yep, all of the above). I develop hamster brain and thankfully go home to bed (or rather to read romantic suspense b/c, you know, hamster brain!)

Friday - Almost to the end...came in at 8:30 to open, 9-12 on the desk; it's the first Friday of the month so most of the morning was toddlers and parents coming to storytime and stopping to complain about parking (first Friday of the month is when the Senior Travel Club meets in our community room, which is controlled by Parks and Recreation. They use up 90% of the parking and they get here early)
Stopped by the preschool (third visit this week!) to pick up our Halloween books
Went home, washed my hair, grabbed some lunch, read some E. Nesbit, wrote more Cybils reviews, had a Skype interview
Went back to the library, got one of the middle schoolers hanging around to help me carry the baskets and boxes in, picked up publicity, returned books from preschool, went back out to my car, yelled at the middle schoolers (it's a parking lot not a playground!)
Took publicity to two other libraries
Went back to library
Yelled at middle schoolers again
Started set up for tomorrow's programs
Got home around 5:45pm

Saturday - the final day! Got to work around 8:15 (remembered to walk at the last minute so I was a little late). Set up the storyroom for crafts, set up the children's area for the clown, discovered the computers weren't working, went over my November order lists, fiddled with the computers, filled in the displays, made more bookmarks (a horrendous process b/c our copier is insane), worked more with the computers...gave up on the pacs, as long as we have the internet computers up people will be happy.
Then it was 10 and time to open (although we'd been shooing people out for the last hour, since we have our silent auction items inside the library, but the craft fair is outside and opens at 9, but we don't open until 10...anyways, me and my sore throat were ready for business.
I had four tables of crafts in the storyroom - leaf streamers, feather masks, and two tables of beading. We had at least 50 people in and out during the day - Open Storyroom was very successful and I'll be trying that again in January I think.
Whistles the Clown, who did balloon animals was a big hit and about 30 kids got really cute balloons.
Whilst all this was happening, I was dealing with an endless stream of people, including genealogical questions (why today?) some of our...less pleasant...patrons, and dying computers, as the internet computers went dead one by one to join the pacs. It slowed down a little by 12:30, leaving me and my sore throat and headache in relative peace.
We closed at 2, I helped clean up from the craft fair, and arrived home around 3pm.

Finally over. I don't want weeks like this again please! (except in the summer, when every day is like this, but you expect that, so that's different)


Kelly J. said...

On the idea of nature programming, I'm assuming you already read Not Just Cute...but from there I stumbled upon this, which I used to think about nature programming a little. A small resource but one that at least'll fire a bit of different thinking:

Jennifer said...

that looks cool, thanks! I wish we could have outdoor storytimes, but our space is right by the road, so the cars are noisy. Messy Art Club outdoors in the summer seems to be the main option.

Katie said...

Congrats on making it through the week! Sounds like you had your hands full.

Jennifer said...

Yeah, and I had a car accident Sunday night. I should have stayed at home until the week was REALLY over!