Saturday, June 23, 2012

This week at the library; or, Starting with a stereotypically Mondayish Monday

This was an Alexanderine Monday. I spent about an hour at 7am trying to update the new website and still made mistakes. When I went in to work at 11:30 I ran into an issue which I accidentally started last week (but I was only peripherally involved in). The next snafu, a patron miscommunication, was my fault. I get flustered and say stupid things and I can't remember faces and the two combined have gotten me into trouble before. I will now stress out about this for the next three weeks or so, possibly longer. The arrest in our lobby was nothing to do with me however, but I am disappointed that I didn't get to see the police dogs who came to sniff for more drugs. My director did nicely pick up the extra cardboard for tomorrow so I could just go home after we closed at 8pm and we got through a quick standing meeting (literally) to make some budget changes. Oh, yeah, and I forgot the dead fish. Did I mention the dead fish?

June 19, the day of the Star Wars party, dawned bright and stressful. I got a lot of work done even though I was out at the children's desk all morning (finally, that desk has been neglected!) then Aide 1 helped set up for the party - we had a giant pinata for afterwards, 100 pieces of PVC pipe (cut in 2 or 3 ft sections) and tons of duct tape to make light sabers, cardboard, paper bags, ribbon, etc. to make costumes and instructions for making the original Origami Yoda, paper airplanes, etc. plus lots of books.

Result - pure chaos. We ran out of pipe in less than 10 minutes (that's 100+ kids right there, if you're counting) and I think we had somewhere around 150 or more people come. Nobody could hear a word I said, the room was crowded to the gills, and the pinata was an exercise in dangerous living. Despite my frantic cries and the assistance of some parents and Darth Vader and his bright red saber, I was unable to get the kids to move back and there were close calls. Fortunately, the only person who sustained a solid thwack was me. I don't know how anybody felt about it because it was so chaotic - a few people later said they enjoyed it, but others were unhappy with the crowds and the dangerous swinging of light sabers. So was I.

This is the final straw. I have been holding back on doing registration - one of the big pluses for our patrons is our drop-in programs - but we have gotten too big for this, especially if parents are going to expect me to exert control over 150 people while they watch in interest (to be fair, many parents are willing to help out, but someone still has to be In Charge).

Also, last year I had trouble with my two aides running into each other so this year I scheduled them separately. Of course, now I need two people at once. Argh!

Wednesday - Preschool Interactive. Very hot. We're out of summer reading bookmarks. Partly because I estimated approximately 200 per week and last week we gave out 400. Partly because, and I have no idea why, out of 4500 bookmarks we have given out 3135. Where is the other thousand or so? We do not know.

Thursday - First Messy Art Club of the summer with my new format, I'll be posting more on that later. Well, not really a format but a handout and more closely themed book display.

Finally Friday arrived and Girls' Night Out. Last year we called this Body Art and had it on a Tuesday night starting at, if I remember correctly, 6:30. At approximately 9:30 I told the girls they had to leave! The year before that we just called it henna tattoos. This is the only program I have consistently gotten teens to attend. This year, I tried telling girls they could bring their moms and you had to be 11 to come. We had henna and enough applicators for three people, temporary henna tattoos for those who wanted something less permanent, jewelry-making (still have tons of beads from a failed Twilight party a few years ago) and a cousin of Aide 1 who does awesome nail art (that was why last year went so late). This year I offered her an honorarium. I also tried to get the girls to bring snacks to share. We held it on Friday night, starting at 5:30 everyone gathered, then at 6 the library closed and the party got started.

I had over 20 girls signed up and about 18 girls came. However, only the eleven year olds who had signed up came! Everybody else was teens I had invited the day of. The snacks were miscellaneous, ranging from fancy cupcakes and brownies (the 11 year olds) to a back of doritos (last minute teen)

One package of henna wasn't enough - the bottles weren't full enough to squeeze easily. It worked out ok, but would have been easier if they'd been fuller.

Next year, we'll put everyone's names in a bowl for nails and draw names. The bigger girls pushed the younger and shyer ones out of the way. Drawing will be more fair, since there's no way everyone can get it done in the time allotted.

Some music would have made things "go" a little more, but I'm not sure what would have been acceptable to the wide range of tastes and personalities (homeschooled family, "nice" 11 year olds, and some girls who rode their bikes over and I doubt their parents knew, or cared, where they were).

Conclusion - I'm really bad at throwing parties, but this is as good as it's gonna get!

I actually was done around 8:30 (although I stayed to print out some things - I am one of those lucky people whose student loans got handed off to some shady company and I am panicking somewhat). Then I got home and discovered my computer had finally died.

All in all, it was a FUN WEEK.

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