Monday, January 24, 2011

Library Day in the Life!

I've been a bad library blogger, but not for naught. I have so much stored up to share. It's just sitting down and doing it. But today, I bring you an installment of Library Day in the Life!

On Mondays, I am the evening librarian, so my day begins later than most!

11:45 a.m.: Roll into work and remember the towering pile of books on my desk is meant to be checked out. Half are circ record check outs from story time (oops) and the other half are meant for two separate teacher collections, one on friendship and one on horses. Noted to self we need more horse stories -- we own more books about sea horses than ponies.

12:15 p.m.: Being by making up a blog post about our new teen book club and creating a GoodReads group for it. Email all the people who joined. Emailed the author of the book we chose about setting up a Facebook chat with my kids. Then tackle this box on my desk with a day care kit. I needed to update the contents, and as I opened the file I figured out someone already did. Print, print, print. Then on to going through the piles of new youth and teen books. I don't read them all but pay attention to titles, covers, and authors, as well as books that look like potential good story time picks. Write up my stats from Friday's programs. We had 60 kids at our 101 Dalmatian birthday party and 5 at my new high school book club. Then I wrote up my numbers from story times and remembered I had a baby bag to make up. Which leads me to . . .

12:45 p.m.: Make up a baby bag for a patron. We have a program where expecting moms can request a Welcome Baby bag. It includes a ton of new parenting information, baby's first board book, and a coupon for baby's first library card. I whip it up and call the mom-to-be.

1:00 p.m.: I remember I haven't even read through the stories for story time today. I breeze through them and make sure everything I need is together. I deal with a few questions from coworkers and talk to my boss about some things she wants me to think about, including putting the I Spy books together. I did a display of them a couple weeks ago, and now patrons are trying to find them but discover that they're by different authors. Sent an email to pubyac asking for help with how to fund a book club. See, we can't get enough current books to borrow from the system, and my boss and I are against the idea of becoming the default book club library (the one people know they can rely on). So we're toying with some other options.

1:30 p.m.: I'm out of the office for story times. I do preschool, kindergarten, and day care story time at the Lutheran school. This week's theme is transportation, and I bring Duck on a Bike, Freight Train, Sputter Sputter Sput, and Sheep in a Jeep. We sing "Wheels on the Bus" (huge hit!) and play a few rousing rounds of Little Mouse.

1:45 p.m.: Preschool story time. This is my all-time favorite group of kids. I get hugs before AND after I start. When I finish their story time, the kids tell me they wish I could come EVERY DAY to sing and read to them. My little heart? It MELTS.

2:20 p.m.: Kindergarten story time. This group is always so rowdy. And boy are they cheaters at little mouse.

2:40 p.m.: Day care story time. I don't do Little Mouse with them because we make a craft. We make Stop Light Necklaces. Yeah, I totally stole the entire story time from here. And the craft they LOVED and did with such pride. One issue I remembered too late from this, though, is that in Wisconsin, we don't have normal stop lights. So, we don't have the up and down kind but the side to side kind. One of the kids put his lights on backward. . .and the teachers? They said they were eager to play "Stoplight" with them. SWEET. Awesome craft as always.

3:15 p.m.: Lunch at home. The best part of where I work is that I get to eat lunch at home every day. I spent the hour catching up on critique work for a crit group I'm a part of, emailing some folks, and putzing on Twitter.

4:15 p.m.: Back at work. I email with the girl who works across town about a meeting we have Friday in the Milwaukee burbs. I do some emailing with a magician and finish putting the order of books together for our book club. My community service person shows up a little early and I'm caught without something for her to do, again. I get her started on shelf reading since she's pretty good at it. This is followed by talking with a coworker about summer reading for so long that. . .

5:05 p.m.: I make us both late for our reference desk shifts. Eesh. I relieve my coworker and set up shop. I'm VERY lucky in my job, since I can read at the reference desk. This is necessary because I need the mental break, and it's actually my thinking time. I have a few transactions all night, including one by a little boy who tells me all about the book he's getting. It's about microscopic bugs. Then he says they live all over our bodies and his mom must have a TON because she's so big. Mom and I were dying of laughter. Kid made my night.

6:15 p.m.: Boss is waiting for her program to begin, so we get to talking about teens and what mine want from programming. She's shocked and not shocked. I give my community service person another small task of shelving books.

7:00 p.m.: Coworker and I talk about what to do in the teen area since it's so crammed on space. I tell her I'll go up tomorrow and work on it because I've got some ideas for improvement. Space! We need it SO BAD.

8:15 p.m.: Write myself a to-do list for tomorrow after seeing I'm only on desk 2 hours. I can accomplish so much. My list includes making out the summer reading plans, booking a magician, making magic happen in the teen area, prepping a middle school book talk for February, and planning/buying the supplies for my huge story time next month on pets.

8:29 p.m.: Coworker asks to buzz out early to pick up her kid from sports practice. Apologizes. I am the worst supervisor ever because I don't think it requires an apology. Things come up. We have one minute before close. I lock up the kid's area, then head upstairs to help my other coworker lock up.

8:35 p.m.: I'm at home and popping dinner in!

This was a pretty average day. I didn't get enough done but then felt completely fulfilled with story time stuff. I feel like I am pretty bad at the administration stuff at work but am good at the fun and creative things. Nothing makes me happier than visiting 80 kids and making them fall in love with a story.


  1. I feel like a slacker compared to you.

  2. Thanks for sharing your day. I know this is months later from when you blogged this, but thought I'd let you know I'm impressed. I've tried to journal my day and just can't get it all down. My time isn't structured which makes it difficult for me to really get anything accomplished at work. I take too much home with me. I'm the resident computer "advisor". Interruptions to help patrons on the computer takes me downstairs then back up, downstairs, then back up to my desk. Our teen area is half a wall, no floor space or bulletin space AND it is next to the painting of the man whose land our library is built on. Can't make it teen friendly when it looks stoic. Teen books are becoming a hit with adults, though. I've steered adults to them and they are liking what they read. Labeling it Young Adult instead of Teen helps. My programs that are a hit are Duct Tape Tuesday, month of Hispanic Heritage programs including pumpkin luminaries for the last week, Are You Smarter Than a 4th Grader? (my age group to make programs for starts with 4th grade.) Pizza and Pages is when I hold back new books and have a pizza party to share the new titles. Kids love getting short book talks and pouring over the new titles and the entitlement of first pick of them. This is done only 3 times a year. Book buddies during the summer reading program is the best attended program. Older kids read with or listen to younger readers. It's an hour of so many books being read. Noisy but productive. We made Molas this summer with paper, not cloth, and it was a big hit. Simple and time-consuming. Kids were so proud of their creations.
    Again, thanks for your blog and willingness to share with other librarians. I'm working on my own blog. One page, one line in one month. I'll never be a writer!!!!