Saturday, June 2, 2012

This week at the library; or, Goodbye Spring, Hello School Visits!

This week officially started on Monday evening (yes, I know it was a holiday) when I went over to the library to get ready for my school visits, then took the library shopping list to Walmart for a couple hours. I didn't think I'd remember to get to work an hour or so early on Tuesday.

I didn't feel very enthused about summer visits this year. I wasn't well-prepared (other than buying a new little collapsible dolly instead of my usual massive bags) and with everything going on this year haven't been reading as much middle grade as I would hope, so many "booktalks" were just me reading from the jackets in an entertaining manner. However, once I had gotten started things smoothed out, the kids generally had a good time, I had a good time (aside from the normal sore throat). I hope all the school visits will be worth it and will pay off in increased summer reading participation!

Tuesday, 8:30am to 5pm. My first summer school visit was to the elementary school down the street, Jackson. This year the 5th graders are coming to the library on their own next week, so I only saw grades K-4. This visit was about three hours and I sort of accidentally got a kid sent to the principal's office, but he was exonerated and it was all ok...finished off the day with a staff meeting and other stuff. Wrote up the minutes after I got home.

Wednesday, 7:45am to 5:20pm My middle school visit, just sixth grade, groups ranging from 20 to 100 kids. The visit lasted from 8am to 1pm with several breaks. I didn't hand out anything this year. The kids are too divided between teen and kid to hand out the srp bookmarks I think. One was long enough that I could run some errands, give a break at the desk, and do a few things. Then I worked on the school visit lists, which go are published online and go to teachers and school librarians, and a couple hours on the desk. Then I set things up for my next school visit. Why no, kindly but ill-informed storytime patron I do not get to "sleep in" on days when there is no storytime. Break doth not equal vacation.

Thursday, 8:45am to 4:15pm I was on the desk from 9 to about 11:45. Then I went out to the second elementary school, Tibbets. I was there from about 12pm to 3:30. Usually I don't see kindergarten, which tends to be on field trips, but this year I missed the third graders although I left bookmarks for them. Then I came back and got my school visit for tomorrow ready. After I got home I edited the website (had completely forgotten to put on summer reading).

Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm I decided to pass out summer session calendars instead of the bookmarks at our local Catholic school (partly because this is a smaller school and partly b/c I was so exhausted yesterday the thought of staying to print, cut, and count the bookmarks made me want to cry). This school has combined classes and this year they gave me their library times which meant...I got to see all the classes in order (no hopping back and forth from 5th to 1st grade) and I got to set up in the library! No lugging books from classroom to classroom! I love it! As I said, this is a small school so they have combined classes so I saw preschool through 2nd grade, then 3rd/4th and at the end 5th through 8th grade all came together. It's a little hard to pick books that aren't inappropriate for 5th grade but are still interesting to 8th grade! Nonfiction. Lots and lots of nonfiction. I have a nice format for this school where I talk about programs, booktalk, then they get to come lay hands on the books and argue over who gets to look at them and chat informally with me. Then back to the library to unload the car, off to the grocery store to grab some lunch and buy the last couple supplies for the Fancy Nancy party, wrote up my monthly report, discussed circulation statistics, repacked everything for next week's school visit, various other tasks, then three hours on the desk until closing. During those three hours the public copier crashed multiple times, several computers froze, the upstairs wifi stopped working, someone managed to hack from our opac to the internet and refused to leave, and a kid peed in the children's area.

Saturday, 9:45am to 12:45pm I stood outside our local grocery store for several hours, trying to get people to take summer calendars. I did this a few years before and it worked very well - lots of new, non-library users. It didn't go well this year, I doubt I got 20 people to take flyers. A. I was at the wrong side of the store (people exiting don't want to stop) B. there were hardly any kids (they were all at Bike Safety Day) C. last time I did it the store was having a "family fun day" this year it was just the 4-H kids at the brat hut. So, a few hours down the drain. Live and learn.

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