Saturday, September 21, 2013

This week at the library; or, All My Numbers are Awesome!!

Random Commentary
  • The 2012 numbers for Wisconsin libraries came out and my numbers are TEH AWESOME. In our system, my 107,000 circulation of children's materials was beaten only by two other libraries, one only by a margin of 1,000. I had the most number of children's programs (305) and with over 11,000 children in attendance over the year, far and away the highest number of program attendance! Even the one big city library in our consortium didn't break 9,000. I am going to frame these numbers and sleep with them under my pillow.
  • I only had 1 person signed up for Tail Waggin' Tutors and was feeling pretty down about this, but I had forgotten how much our town hates signing up for anything. By the time people had dropped in and out, about 15-20 people came in the end I think. It's not exactly the "right" way to do a reading to dogs program, which is supposed to be one kid, one dog, sitting and reading for 10 minutes or whatever, but it worked for us. I had dog books on display, kids wandered in in family groups, and sat down to meet Max, pet him, and read him a book. I did scoot out a toddler who was getting disruptive, but most just read or petted quietly.
  • I had another staff member sticker kids for toddlers 'n' books, since I was out doing 3 outreach storytimes for the elementary school. Then I went straight from that to the youth services committee meeting at the system. I was only 15 minutes late and there was still pizza! I really thought this fall would be calmer - I didn't have an ALSC committee, I cut back on programs, but somehow everything seems to expand to fill the time available, ya know? Feeling a little (ok, maybe a lot) frantic and flustered and frustrated, not least because the children's area is a huge mess.
  • This was my first try at combining a preschool visit with Preschool Interactive. There is only one preschool/4K site within walking distance (the others are outside of town) and in the past they've all come to visit for one long week in April and the rest of the year I do a remote collection with them. So, this year, we talked it over and decided we really wanted the kids to check out more books and get to the library more often and I decided to combine it with my preschool storytime, so I wasn't doing additional programs. 18 four year old kindergarteners, a whole class, came around 9:30. I had the storytime craft and a selection of books ready in the Storyroom and they filed in and browsed the books and did the craft. Once they had picked their books, they went one by one back out to the circulation desk (I made them each bags by printing out labels with their room and name and sticking them on our plastic I Love My Library bags) and checked out their books. They put their craft and books in the bag (I'd already put 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten folders in), and hung it on our coat racks. Then they had some time to play with (and argue over) the trains and then they joined us for the regular Preschool Interactive program. The storytime portion ends at 10:30 and the school kids left then, while the "regular" kids moved on to the art project. I think this worked ok, although I was of course, worried about the numbers again. I can't decide if I should keep doing Preschool Interactive or not.
  • Thursday I got two different staff members to cover for Pattie and myself. Our Reference Associate did baby storytime, which she's done before. In fact, she's the only staff member who's been willing to sub for it more than once! Then our floater, who does everything from circulation duties to occasional stints at the reference desk, supervised Lego Club with set-up help from my aide. I left him a detailed map and instructions as well (this isn't a regular thing - I think I've had subs for my programs maybe...once a year? on average)
  • I got people to sub because Pattie (who was speaking) and I and another librarian all went up to Franklin for an early literacy workshop. I will admit, I was not feeling enthusiastic about going. I was happy to spend some time with my colleagues and some of the sessions looked interesting, but OMG NO MORE IDEAS PLEASE was the thought in the back of my head. I have so many half-finished projects, new program series, and masses of ideas already, from craft projects on Pinterest to programs I have yet to implement to my neighborhoods project and a gazillion other things...what I really wanted was a couple days off to catch up!
  • However, I did get several useful things (and no, I'm not talking about the watermelon Jolly Ranchers I snagged from Pattie). I especially enjoyed the session with an outreach librarian from Milwaukee (who actually remembered me from a brief meeting 2 years ago...and I've already forgotten her name) which reminded me it's really time I updated my Preschool Interactive to the five early literacy skills and I drafted out something which I'll be switching to in October I think. Pattie and I also planned out the rest of her science programs for the year, which ended up leaving me some extra $$ to buy more books! Yay!
  • Friday. It's been a looooong week. I started filling swimming pools for Pattie's science program when I came in and spent the rest of the day doing desk time, weeding, collection development, and cleaning off my desk. Only a few kids came for the program, but they made up for it with super cuteness! Also, my Wednesday outreach visits were a SUCCESS. A family came back today because the little boy was so excited about visiting the library and brought home 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. So the mom brought him and his little sister in. I don't know if they'd ever visited the library before, but his little sister got a 10KBK folder, and it was awesome!

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