Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Reading Program = iPad

That's right. There's a huge incentive for this year's SRP.

I'm excited to host the first raffle of the summer on Saturday, June 13th at noon. This raffle is one of four that is a teaser of sorts for the kiddos. Three kids in each age group (0-5, 6-12, 13-19) will have a chance to pick a prize bag with goodies inside. "What kinds of goodies?" you ask. Books, games, and video games!! Oh, yeah, that's right, video games. The teens asked for it so I supplied it.

The raffle begins at noonish on Saturday. I say noonish because there has been some confusion as to when the "official check-in" happens. Easiest answer, once a child has reached 280 minutes, he or she is eligible for a coupon to Micky D's, a voucher for the Indiana Fevers Women's B-Ball, and a raffle ticket. The more you read, the more raffle tickets you can earn; however, subsequent check-ins will not allow for more coupons and vouchers. Essentially, after the 280 minute mark, every 20 minute interval equals one raffle ticket. I've also found a list of ALA/ALSC approved books as bonus books. 

Check-in so far have been sporadic, which is fine. Until today, that is when we ran out of tickets! Oh, no! Last I checked there were 100 tickets. Since few kids had been checking in until this point, and when they did they only earned 12 extra tickets, I thought we'd be in the clear. Well, little did I know that some kids love reading (okay, I knew that, but boy do they read!). One patron had 47 (or so) tickets! Can you say the game is on? Fortunately, I picked up a roll of tickets (2000) and dropped them off at work. I have a feeling that many people will wait until raffle day to check-in. Thankfully, I'm now restocked and I hope to be fully staffed and volunteer'd for this event.

The oatmeal containers that I duct taped to look super jazzy (okay, the kids helped) are nearly full. My team and I will have to do some super shaking to make it fair. I plan to have kids help pull tickets for me (especially since I've lost my voice). There will also be light refreshments for patrons before the raffle. I'm hoping to make this a big thing since it's our first summer in our new space. Go big or go home, right?!

Send good vibes our way. We're going to need them. And, light refreshments with a little silly soda might be helpful.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Panel Presentation Panic!

ALA Midwinter just rolled by. I caught a glimpse of it, before the weather hit too hard. Saturday morning drive to spend the afternoon/evening exploring the city and Sunday to present on a panel.

What time does my panel start? Oh, I think 12:30pm. I'll just catch the next bus. Luck was on my side. Not only did I catch the right bus, but I made it to the convention with 2 minutes to spare! The panel began at 12pm and went until 12:30. Good golly! I blame the time change.

Whilst running to the meeting room (almost literally), the door gal scanned my badge and I hear, "Is Mollie here?" Whew, I made it under the wire. I'm so distraught from running late that I don't notice who's on the panel until I see . . . my first graduate instructor! She said, "I thought that was you." As it happens, I was seated next to her for the presentation. (And you thought class presentations were hard. Try presenting to a "class" of 60 with your instructor by your side!)

Just like class presentations (shhh, don't tell my instructors) I didn't rehearse. Duh, I didn't even set my power point to slide every 15 seconds. My motto is, "fake it till you make it." Well, I guess it still applies. 

The very brief, 5 minute presentation went rather well. I raved about my library and the kitchen. I talked about the programs I've done with food (of course) and video games. I mentioned my upcoming program, Tasty Travels, for our summer schedule. The teens and 'tweens were mentioned because they are a huge part of why I create my programs. Afterward, another librarian said she liked what I had to say. (Maybe she just liked that I shake tail feathers with the kids.) My only regret was that I didn't have any business cards! Note to self: make business cards!

Moral of the Story: Be prepared! Arrive early, practice your speech, and have business cards. Or, keep your fingers crossed for all eternity.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Programming Made Simple

A few weeks ago, I held a Teen Night for the kids, 12-19. It was the last day of winter break for the library (we're closed Sundays) and it was also rainy. The kids came in earlier than the start time for the program. It was the first after-hours program on a Saturday, which was scheduled from 5-7. Kids showed up as early as 2! This combination was dangerous. The kids were kids! Who would have thought? Bumper chairs, tag in wheely chairs, and cartwheels. (One mom asked since when did we become a babysitting service. Sorry! but our policy states that they can be there without a parent.) (She wasn't upset, just more concerned because the kids were so rambunctious.)

The 'tweens like to play "Doctor". When I hear them say that in the library I kind of worry what parents will think. Their game is much more fun. They play with our "puppet stage area" as a reception desk and will hang a sign that reads, "Doctors Office". Then the kids will play with dolls. I could create a real title for it and make it a real program, but would anyone show up?

Instead, I formed a 'tween advisory group, "TAG". After the Saturday ordeal I came up with a dodge ball night to allow the kids to run around. (Thankfully my library has a meeting room with very high and narrow windows and wide open space.) At our TAG meeting recently, I asked them what we should do. I've got plans to buy NERF balls, put Velcro on them, and have the kids hurl them at me for a points system (that is, I'll have to wear a Velcro suit or something. I'm in the early stages of planning.) There is a grand prize, a huge candy bar, the one on the right! (I'm sure I'll buy enough to allow for each kid to have something.) We also discussed ideas for spring break, which is a mere eight weeks away!

I met with the teens, and they were a little more difficult to work with. Only five showed up because everyone has the flu (*knock on wood). One turned down all my ideas yet wouldn't come up with anything of his own. That's okay. The two new girls to the group (though they are regulars at the library) came up with fun ideas. Their list is a little short so I'll borrow from the 'tweens for teen programming. A list I've created consists of baking cupcakes, making origami/ductigami (crafts with duct tape), and a few games.

Moral of the Story: Give them what they want and no one gets hurt . . . unless your number one rule is, "No Blood!". Then Murphy comes to town and lays down his law. Dun dun dun.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Oh, to be a kid again . . . or maybe not.

Sure, Santa is in town. He just visited the library. The kids enjoyed acting out "The Night Before Christmas". After that, all the kids had their turn to ask Santa for toys and such. I even heard one kid ask for a PS4, which is featured in the IP. Perhaps they will get their wishes.

What do you do when you bypass Santa and go straight to the source, your parents? (Sorry, kids, Santa isn't real.) What if all you wanted for Christmas was a library card?

One young patron of mine was so desperate for a card that she . . .

. . . forged a letter to her parents, complete with a self addressed stamped envelope!

This is a librarian's dream come true! Well, minus the misspellings. I'm not mad that my name is spelled wrong, after all, Mollie and Molly are homophones. The young girl consulted a dictionary for "responsibility", which she defended when her mom asked about misspellings. "Inshure" was one that kind of hurt.

Alas, she was not able to get her library card yet. I agree with mom this time. With x amount of cards there are more books to be responsible for. She'll just have to wait another year. Maybe if she asks Santa she might get it?

Moral of the Story: Crime doesn't pay! Even with Christmas right around the corner, not everyone will experience a miracle. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Maniacal Mollie

Note to self: Don't move to a new place that's not ready. Especially while your job requires more moving.

It's been a few weeks since I posted anything. And that's because I've gone off the deep end. With moving to Indiana (into a 3br), moving YS to a temporary location, moving to a newly built unit (1br), moving YS back to its permanent location, and moving out of the new unit to an old fraternity house, I've had to deal with a lot of stress. My thoughts are running all over the place. It's hard to focus on one issue at a time. I compare it to the Tasmanian Devil running loose in my head.

I think things are finally starting to simmer down. My much needed vacation is just a few days away and I'll be able to relax with family and friends.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I go home at the end of they day with a feeling of accomplishment. The other day a teen said to me that PCPL was his home away from home. Super win!!

I have started some of the programs I had envisioned when I first started. Yes, there is a learning curve, but overall it's a huge success. Families are coming in and making food together. I'm going to present at the ALA Mid-Winter Conference at the end of January and talk about how our programming area works. (A coworker helped to film the last event.)

Moral of the Story: Be careful what you wish for? I wanted an adventure, and I got one. :D

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mrs. Manager

I made it through the ILF conference in Indy. It was a blast. Yes, there was some homework, and I got lost; however, I made a new friend and I learned a lot. Conferences are great. Plus, the free breakfast at the hotel wasn't too shabby. And did I mention the lunch buffet? Oh, well, that's not the point of this blog post.

In the past, conferences meant meeting librarians, attending sessions geared for youth services, and getting tons of free stuff. This year, I sought knitters, management courses, and free chocolate!

As a librarian, there are a few credentials one must meet: you have a cat, or you knit. Sure, you can do both, but we know how cats are with yarn. Anyway, in previous conferences, I saw many knitters, which sparked my interest in knitting. This year, I brought my cowl (seed stitch) to work on while listening to presentations. During a seat shuffle, I dropped a stitch. A generous knitting librarian helped to find the issue and all is well with the cowl. My new friend laughed at this theory, but it turns out she cross-stitches. Needlework is needlework. Perhaps I should modify my theory.

Now that I'm a manager, I thought I would attend a few sessions that would beef up my confidence. It's not that I can't say "no", it's just I don't have a problem working with people. One session was called "Shooting Yourself in the Foot". Mind opener!! One volunteer didn't fall for excuses and stuck to his guns. Many of us in the audience were thinking of alternatives, but the speaker said that the volunteer was doing everything right. (Note to self: their problem is not my problem.)

Oh, I can't forget about my quest for chocolate. It seemed that every booth had chocolate. One booth offered whole Crunch bars! I was tempted to grab one, but the guilt of not engaging in conversation prevented me. (Otherwise it's stealing?)

Moral of the story: I love conferences!! I will take what I learned and apply them in the field. My goal for the next conference (whenever it may be) is to present. Kitchen Creations at ALA Mid-winter? Vote!!