Saturday, September 15, 2012

This week at the library; or, I love my work even when I don't

Keep your eye on the Cybils blog...there will be exciting announcements on Monday!

  • Homeschool Meet 'n' Greet, Tuesday at 6:30pm. This went great, beyond my expectations! I had my aide help out and we pulled the divider halfway across the community room. One side was art projects for the kids (basic collage - glue, scissors, etc.) one side had chairs, tables with resources, and a table for food. I gave a 10 minute spiel on library resources, then a speaker from the Wisconsin Parent's Association did a question and answer/informational thing. I think it was past 7 when the kids were getting really antsy, so we pulled out the food (cheese, crackers, grapes, chips, salsa, $35) and mixed and mingled. I talked to people, got lots of names and numbers, and one woman agreed to be the central contact (although not a leader per say) and they're going to have an initial meeting at the library. There were about 50 people there and I don't know how it will pan out as there was a lot of variety, from "serious" homeschoolers to people who were just thinking about it, some people were very anti-school and some weren't, and I got the impression that there was a lot of religious diversity too. However, in a small town if you're going to have a homeschool group you have to compromise so hopefully it will be fine.
  • Preschool Interactive Wednesday at 10. Woo! People came! I had a whole new group of kids, parents, grandparents, dads, and friends. I was a bit worried b/c 4k is going to five days a week, but lots of 3 year olds and some 4's from out of town came and we had a very good group, about 40. As usual at the beginning of the year, the age skewed younger and kids were very restless. I did reassure a couple parents (boys of course) that I'd rather their kids played with the trains and listened outside the door than they dragged them kicking and screaming into storytime. Luckily, I have an awesome story about a little boy who played outside the door with trains for a FULL YEAR before one day walking in and plunking himself down...and he knew every rhyme and song and participated in everything. He had been listening the whole year, just as I reassured his mom he was!
  • Lego Club Thursday 3:30-5. I was hoping that handing out flyers at the open houses of the two closest elementary schools would give us a bump in initial attendance but we still came out with about 35. Of course, it was raining, unexpectedly cold, and the first day back. On the one hand, I look back to when we got hordes pouring in, up to and over 50 people. The program was new and exciting, the time worked for a lot of people, it was crazy busy, and it was awesome. The numbers drifted down a bit and I decided to change it to Thursdays so people who were busy on Wednesday could attend and also so I didn't do storytime, school visits, Wednesday afternoon middle school madness, and after school clubs all in rapid succession. The numbers were high in the summer, but it looks like we will be settling down again to average in the 30s over the school year. And you know what? I am totally fine with that. We had a whole group of new people, it's a very relaxed program, and it's a chance for me to catch my breath, especially now that I am doing a Friday morning storytime. I could probably come up with something new and amazing (can't help looking at those awesome STEM programs...) but I don't think I could handle another intensive program. It's ok to have 35 people. It's ok to have a laid-back program. Now if I can just convince the board...
  • We Explore Friday at 10 This was our first We Explore and it was AWESOME. I did a new set up for the room, which got everybody up to me on the carpet, instead of sitting way back with an empty carpet between us. The mix of stories and songs was just right. It was a little crowded, with about 50 people, due to some problems with the registration system (I was aiming for 40ish) but I'll take it! Fewer people are registered for succeeding events and I don't know if that's because they think they're registering for everything when they sign up for one program, they wanted to try one and see if they liked it, or maybe they really don't want to explore monsters...although I did say they wouldn't be scary!
Other Stuff
  • Staff meeting, Staff out sick (we are not a very healthy group this year)
  • Completed homeschool contact list (very time-consuming)
  • Lots and lots of phone calls. Ugh.
  • Massive weeding project, which makes the news that my beloved vendor BWI has been, bought... by the evil monolith that is Baker and Taylor all the more horrifying. I am getting out my mourning clothes and looking for other options...
  • Miss Pattie was back with Tiny Tots on Monday evening, two sessions of Toddlers 'n' Books on Tuesday, and Books 'n' Babies on Thursday
  • We started registration for Miss Pattie's two Toddlers 'n' Books sessions today and it worked great, much to my relief. 34 people at the first session, 16 at the second, which rounds up to a total of 50, that being the average that normally attends the one program we used to have (when 75 people aren't showing up!) . The kids loved getting their "storytime stickers" and while a couple moms asked why we were changing things, they seemed satisfied with the answers and everybody was happy. Hopefully I will not have to turn anyone away and they will self-select for the different sessions!
  • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (herewith abbreviated to 10KBK) started on Monday and so far we've given out approximately 100 folders!
Random Commentary from the week
  • Somehow vacation is much less relaxing when you return and can't see your desk (which you left COMPLETELY clear). Programs start back this week, we're testing registration, my beloved vendor BWI has apparently sold some part of themselves to the evil monolith that is Baker and Taylor (I hate them. Their interface is all things horrible). My new programs haven't been fully integrated into the schedule yet, so I'm working more 8.5 and 9 hour days than I had bargained for (this doesn't sound long until you factor in that I am really bad about over-scheduling myself and usually get maybe 15 minutes for lunch if at all). Huge stacks of books on my desk, boxes of supplies, the storyroom to set up for programs, and so on.
Approximate Hours this week
  • Monday 11:30-8:00 (closing)
  • Tuesday 8:30-8:15
  • Wednesday 9:00-4:50
  • Thursday 9:20-6:00
  • Friday
  • I actually managed to get lunch every day! Mostly a quick 15 minute break and a grab for food, but it was FOOD

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