Saturday, July 7, 2012

This week at the library; or, Planning? What planning?

Last year we started taking the week of July 4 as a programming break. I've had several dud programs where nobody came (including a free clogging program where the "audience" was the parents who had driven the kids over and ONE patron and her granddaughter) plus Miss Pattie is off this week, since it's a break week between summer school sessions so I'd have to find somebody to cover multiple storytimes. So, no programs and this is my planning week!

Ha ha ha ha ha

I arrived 30 minutes early on Monday, planning to go to the post office. I had discussed with a nearby daycare that they might bring over 7-15 kids, the 8 and up group, to browse and check out books etc. I drove up and saw around 30 kids as young as 5 or 6 waiting to go in. However, I need not have worried. This daycare has superb organization and they had marshalled the children into groups of ten kids and two adults, instructed them firmly on proper library behavior, supplied them with bookmarks to put on the shelves when they took books off, and after about 30 minutes they got the kids into an assembly line at the circulation desk and everyone checked out a book. So, unexpected, but good...but still an interruption.

More interruptions later, I got...1 and 1/2 storytimes planned and my monthly report written. Yay. We have had a massive month of June, btw. My attendance statistics (not counting Miss Pattie's programs) were 1050 !!! the children's circulation was up more than 4,000 from May (and is practically equal to the adult circulation, a goal I've been working towards for four years) (who, competitive? me?) and we have over 350 children participating in summer reading. Not just signed up - PARTICIPATING. Woo!

I took off Tuesday for a vacation and we're closed Wednesday.

Thursday was the Stuffed Animal Sleepover! I also felt really sick, but whatever...I wanted to do something during this down week and thought we'd try this out. Our adult services librarian (and all the staff) loved this idea and wanted to be involved so we had lots of props. I got the idea to make teddy bear tags from one of the Utube videos and had a volunteer make 50 teddy bear tags just in case lots of kids came. I also brought my big teddy bear (imaginatively named "Big Bear") to work because some of the little kids were worried about their stuffties staying all night alone!

Note to self - all those adorable movies we watched on utube...only had about 10, maybe 20 animals


I started taking pictures at 7 and our adult svs librarian joined me at 8 when we closed. We divided the animals into groups of 5, put a number on their tags and did two pictures per group. Then she set them all up for a couple final group shots while I organized the pictures to go to Walgreens.

We left at 9:30pm. Ack! It was fun, but not as simple as I had hoped for our week off program.

Next year, we need to add a few rules - only one animal per kid (this was only 2 or 3 kids, but still...) and they have to be small to medium. The four foot tiger was adorable, but difficult to photograph and lug around.
And we have to accept that our patrons are insanely enthusiastic and stuff that works at a small library our size where maybe 10 people participate won't work here, where we get about 50 people showing up for anything that sounds interesting.

And tell people not to come until after noon to pick them up, so we have time to process the pictures!

Friday I worked on uploading and creating a slideshow with the pictures (Angela was the one who got to stay up late last night and send them to Walgreens and pick them up this morning and label them and stuff them in envelopes...). When people came to pick up their animals on Friday, we matched the number on their tag with a photo and they got to take a picture home.

I spent most of Friday doing statistics and trying to finish the planning that hardly got started...

Not a bad week on the whole, and we're over the hump for summer so things will be a little more relaxed now.

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