This was a really interesting year in work for me. I'm part-time (by choice) and the bulk of my responsibility has been reference work, with a side of helping plan and run programs, as well as selecting teen fiction and non-fiction for the library.
With a retirement and with a co-worker leaving the library, things changed a lot. I worked the same amount of hours (around 12 or 15 a week), but I had a lot more responsibility. I was in charge of planning and running all of the teen programming -- which I do get help with from another person with my hours per week or so -- and I was put in charge of all ordering and selecting of teen materials. In short, I took on a full-time job with my very not full-time hours. And all of my work is done on our very busy reference desk. I don't get regular "off desk" time. Maybe I've had 10 or 15 hours off-desk this year.
It hasn't been an easy transition but I've tried to work with it. Now with the year wrapping up, I thought reflecting a bit on those changes was worthwhile.
Over the course of this year, I:
- Wrote and developed a series of reader's advisory guides, as pictured above. Previously, there was no RA material specifically for the teen collection. Now there is.
- Increased our program offerings. Last year on my annual evaluation, the goal setting noted that I'd run one program a quarter for teens. Since May of this year, I've developed and ran at least three programs per month.
- Developed and ran the most successful teen program of my career, with over 40 teens. I also started a monthly club based on what my teens were begging me for, and the attendance for that has been great, as has the enthusiasm from those teens and from colleagues (I'll blog about it next month -- getting to that).
- Wrote two mini-grants for teen collection development.
- Weeded all of the teen fiction and non-fiction.
- Reworked our audiobook shelving. Like most libraries, we shelved audiobooks separately from fiction and non-fiction, but because our audiobook collection isn't huge, I thought shelving them right along with the books would be beneficial. I haven't yet collected stats, since this change happened last month, but it's a change I'm really proud of and happy with.
- Expressed my dislike for those 50- to 100- page, library bound "non-fiction" works that cost way too much per unit and never circulate but which remain a dinosaur in a lot of libraries because they're "useful for teen research." In expressing that, I was given the okay that I don't have to buy them if I don't want. Seems small, but it's a big deal because it means the teen non-fiction collection can be a true browsing collection. Of course there are good books there for research and education but I don't feel the need to continue buying things I hate buying and that I don't think are worth buying for our collection.
- Created and displayed shelf talkers in the teen area to book talk titles passively to readers. I'm looking forward to swapping up which books are featured in the coming month.
- Saw engagement on our teen Facebook page. Not much -- but every little bit helps. The kids are getting a kick out of seeing their pictures used as our profile picture and they're enjoying seeing photos of themselves from events.
- Implemented passive programs and saw some of them actually be successful.
Breaking it down and looking at it piece by piece makes me feel pretty good about 2014. It's less about adding more (because actually, I'm trying to shed some responsibilities) to increase numbers, but it's more about creating sustainable projects that go a little deeper/can be repeated and enjoyed. Some of my goals include:
- Sustaining a teen book-to-film monthly program. We've already got the films picked out through the end of August.
- Building our monthly yu-gi-oh and game club. This is the one that teens asked for and have been so enthusiastic about. They bring their own cards and go to town. I give them a drink and a snack. I hope it continues to be popular and well-attended because it's such an easy program and it's one they love.
- Continuing to implement passive programming. I've been brainstorming monthly ideas and hope to do one or two a quarter, since monthly might be pushing it.
- See an increase in summer reading club participation. The programming was decently attended. But the program itself had such small numbers. I'm hoping because of more programming and more advertising and more getting-to-know the teens, we'll have more of them participating in the actual program. If I can hit 90 or 100 kids signed up with the club, I'd be over the moon.
- Engaging teens in a new quarterly book club. I'm so excited about trying this, and I am hopeful we get some participation. Teens who sign up get a free copy of the book and the discussion is held over a pizza dinner, so it seems like it should be a hit. Plus, we're talking great YA books.
- Weeding even more aggressively. I used a 2-to-3 year average to get started this year. I might go even harder and pull stuff that hasn't moved in a year and a half. We're tight on space.
Of course, my other goal is to be a better blogger over here. I'd love to try to write up two posts a month talking programming and other library-related topics. I'd like to roundup great programming links, too.
But part of me wonders if maybe what I want to say and share is better suited for tumblr, rather than a traditional blog. Or maybe crossposting is worthwhile. We shall see.