Saturday, September 7, 2013

This week at the library; or, Back to school, back to work

Random Commentary
  • All the kids went back to school on Tuesday but we don't start programs until next week. I like to give parents and kids a week to settle into school routine - and myself an extra week to plan! After all my cleaning and organizing efforts, I still had a lot of programs to plan, especially since I don't really have much planning time during actual sessions, so I try to have all my program plans written out through December.
  • I was feeling guilty about working so long in my office, so I went out to the children's desk all day on Tuesday. On the one hand, I talked to a lot of parents about programs, so some good marketing there. On the other hand, nothing got planned.
  • Budget problems. Oooooh, my head.
  • Then teen problems. I am going to be Cranky Librarian this year. I am not putting up with this shit.
  • I hope to present my Neighborhood Manifesto to the staff as a whole soon. I spent some time revising and sending them resources to look at. *crosses fingers*
  • That was Tuesday, pretty much.
  • Wednesday, the city guys came to measure for my chalkboard wall. I AM SO EXCITED. Also, planning programs, or trying to. A constant stream of interruptions from staff and patrons, mostly asking about programs, which is good but...interrupting. Mad Scientists Club hasn't exactly gelled in my head yet and I am a little worried about that.
  • I have HAD IT with the disruptive teens. It's a specific group of about 15 kids, probably if we kicked out 2 of them the rest would go. The director and I gave a group of them final warning - if they misbehave to the point where we have to ask them to leave, it will be for the entire school year, no second chances. Middle schoolers we'll still give some leeway too (as I pointed out to H, when he asked, their frontal lobes haven't fully fused so they get more second chances...)
  • The queen of the toilet plungers (that would be me) strikes again!
  • Thursday. Well, that didn't work. Let's face it, we are wimps. After spending over an hour talking to the teens, talking to the director, talking to staff, I finally had them leave and then discovered they had trashed my suggestion jar (ranging from sexual obscenities to crumpled blank paper, to nasty bullying notes about other teens). Starting Friday, I am going to give up my afternoons and work on asking them to leave when they misbehave, then rinse, wash, and repeat. This is the only thing that has worked in the past, and the thought of doing one more thing, especially when I'm not on the desk, is making me cry in exhausted stress, but it's just too busy at the information desk for the person on duty to deal with this and for some other reasons I'm the only person that can take care of this. 
  • I did get a lot of suggestions online from other librarians and I am going to push for moving the teen area downstairs so they will have more supervision and I don't have to keep going upstairs and leaving all the kids and families in the children's area who want readers' advisory to go deal with disruptive behavior.
  • I did manage to finish planning September programs in the midst of all this though!
  • I got some of the partially written October plans finished on Friday, although I came in late (long story, involving the high school, yearbooks, and my aide's limited access to a car). I was on the information desk from 3-6 and after psyching myself up, of course none of the naughty teens, except one, came in. Snapped a pic of said teen and friend. "Why are you taking pictures?" "Because the staff don't know who you are." " when we misbehave?" "Yes." Teens practically tiptoed up the stairs and started READING. I am so keeping the camera ready and waiting! Otherwise an avalanche of hold requests, reader's advisory, reference, etc.

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