Saturday, May 25, 2013

This week at the library; or, Book Fairs and Hiring and Other Stuff, Oh My

Random (and LENGTHY) Commentary
  • The week in brief: Summer reading is planned!, finally hired an aide, Scholastic Bookfair, exciting police visit (I'm thinking we could make some money off the security tape, it's pretty thrilling) inspiring sharks and more...
  • For the past couple years I've run a Scholastic bookfair on the last weekend of summer reading. We usually end up with about 500 Scholastic dollars, which I then use at the big warehouse sales to buy books for summer reading prizes (and sometimes to add to the collection). Last year was particularly exhausting and I always have a hard time finding enough volunteers to cover the fair, so since we were ending programs early in May (and a better decision I have never made) I decided to run it for a week in May and convince our circulation staff to try putting the cash register at the circ desk.
  • Monday - Came in a little past 8 to finish setting up the fair and get the cash register set up. Sent out all the rejection emails except for my top 3 candidates for the youth services aide job. Please, please don't let anybody come back and yell at me this year...Left around 10:30 - no sales yet. [interlude for errands, breakfast, staring at the garden, skimming feedly, and doing some dishes] Went back to work a little before 2. We did maybe $100, $150 in sales? Had problems with the cash register - I think I need to get rid of all the pencils and stuff, it's too hard to deal with and that would be one less thing to worry about. Also need to close the fair down before the library closes so we aren't trying to close the library, check out last minute books, and run the register for last minute purchases. We didn't leave until past 8pm. Feeling vaguely unsettled. I blame the weather, which can't make up its mind whether we're going to have heavy storms or not.
  • Tuesday - a little overnight storm but not enough, imo. I moved out all the pencils and junk but the register is still buggy. Once again I cannot remember if I'm supposed to charge tax or not! I feel like I'm not and I think that's what I did last year...I guess I will find out if I'm wrong. Very quiet day, finished the publicity (except two flyers) and continued working on planning school visits which start next week. I had three candidates for my YS position - it wasn't really a case of "best" since all three would, I think, have been excellent. The first I picked (freshman! I wouldn't have to interview for 3-4 years!) couldn't work the schedule (swim team). Another had cross-country, couldn't work the schedule. Fortunately, my third person was available! Yay! Hiring process done! Now I have to train someone...I don't think I've done a particularly good job in the past (it's hard to train someone in the middle of summer) but I am going to do my best to improve my supervisory skills in this area. We're also hoping to get a 6 hour position added later this year or in the winter and if we do I won't have to interview, I can just slot in the freshman, because then later on she can transfer to the 10 hour position and I can bring in another person for the 6 hour position which would cover the swim season. Hiring high schoolers is complicated. (and before you ask, "why don't you hire adults?" been there, done that, and it's not a good idea. I'm not going to comment on the adult applications we received, because some of them are patrons)
  • Wednesday! Remembered before I left to clean out my closet - my landlord is making a hole and running a pipe through from the basement. I do not totally understand this, but he is a good landlord and I'm sure he knows what he's doing. It was a relatively peaceful day (enlivened by the sudden activity of the hamster - why he suddenly started running around like crazy we do not know) until the afterschool crowd. We are all, kids and adults, ready for school to be over and that is reflected in the mutual exasperation. We want the kids to wait somewhere else for two hours to be picked up; the kids don't see why they can't hang out at the library. I would like to ban a certain group of older teens I am morally certain are responsible for a recent rash of vandalism (including a number of anatomical drawings) but I haven't caught them yet, so I spent quite a while glaring at the security camera screen. I think we only sold one thing all day and I found items stolen from the book fair upstairs in the teen room. This may be the last year we do this.
  • Thursday! Alas, I did not get to work in the morning when the computers were down for updates and replacements. Nothing I like better than telling people there is no internet...I came in around noon and holed up in my office to prepare for my school visits. Checked the bookfair totals and we have only sold $350, of which we get a small percentage. Then around 2pm the 911 call went out and the police came (hey kids, don't do drugs or you too may be dragged out of the library flailing and making sounds like a dying octopus after having hallucinations and assaulting someone) and the updated computers didn't mesh right with the printers and then there was a whole involved and so far endless thing with a kid who stole another kid's library card and omg it's definitely a full moon. And I worked the desk in the evening until closing. By the time it was close to closing I told the last couple kids I didn't care if they tested their paper airplanes in the teen room as long as they were quiet. It was that kind of day.
  • Friday - I worked the desk all morning and then left around noon since I was coming in Saturday. Also, my director was on the desk earlier this week and could not find any shark books...and has therefore given me the go-ahead to start thinking about neighborhoods *drifts off into happy dream of organizing* this is going to be at least a year or two before we actually start doing something about it, but I am very, very excited and my idea fairy is equally thrilled. We had a long and fruitful discussion later in the evening while I was out walking. If you do not believe me, see all the notes that poured out my head under my new heading of Neighborhoods Project
  • Saturday! I came in around 11 to finish preparing for my school visits and pack up the bookfair. Spent a couple hours cutting things with my massive new donated paper cutter. We made a massive total of about $300. Not worth it.


Ms. Yingling said...

Book fair can be exhausting. I didn't have a spring one and didn't miss it too much. Reading about your experiences with students makes me want to just go and sit in the teen room and eye the students I have, but I'm sure there are many I don't know. Better week next week!

Ami said...

We run ours for the last week of srp and then the following week (I don't have story times during that last week, and other programs are outside.) We used to make a ton of money/books, but it has definitely been dwindling.

Jennifer said...

Yeah, well we ran it twice as long and made only half as much - but the Storyroom is way at the back of the library and with no programs people just didn't bother to come. Anyways, I have a big enough stash of books and a lot of Kohls money so I'm good for this year and next year maybe. One of our staff suggested doing it around Christmas and I'm going to have a winter reading program this year, so that might work.