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!! http://connect.ala.org/node/230704

Monday, November 17, 2014

ILF Conference Pre-Game

Note to self: Don't pretend to know Indy when you live in Greencastle. Especially since you've only just hit the six-month mark. You are not a Hoosier.

Like any "newb" in town, I thought Marriott was the Marriott and got dropped off at the J. W. Marriott, almost 10 miles from the Marriott East! It's a good thing I have a great friend to come back to take me to the right establishment.

I'm very excited about the conference. Earlier this morning, I picked up my poster. It looks gorgeous, btw. I decided against having hand-outs because I'm both cheap and green. I know that I never look at hand-outs when I get home. They will be tossed and/or forgotten about the minute librarians leave my table.

Did I mention that my library will be featured at the conference? I can't wait to walk to the table and see my library.

Last Friday, the design team had professional photographers come to the IP. You may know that I modeled for a bus ad for my school, so naturally, I was a pro for this event. I also had some of my TAB kids there to be models. Most of them had a great time. The shoot lasted about 2 hours, but some kids ended up leaving before the final shots; however, there was a young girl who walked in with her mom within the last 10 minutes of the shoot. I asked if they wanted to participate. The young girl was very excited to be a model, after all, she had just gone to the dentist and has a sparkling smile. (It really did glisten.)  Some scenes were fabricated, but the girl with the glistening smile was on cue. She played with a stuffed animal pretending it was a puppet and really put on a show for the other models in beanbag chairs. I could hear her soft barks from across the room. The design gal and I were laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. It's one of the best perks of my job (children's imaginations, not the photo shoot).

Moral of the story: Library conferences are a blast, especially when you and your library are featured, especially when you love your job. #GreencastleFamous #ImaModelAgain #RightSaidFred



Friday, November 14, 2014

Dad Stories

I went into work yesterday to find the nature table filled with pelts (rabbit and beaver) and deer hides along with antlers. Finally, I wasn't repulsed by the nature table. (Remember the bugs and butterflies??)

Towards the end of the day, a little girl asked lots of questions about the furs. Thanks to my dad, I knew a whole lot about the objects on the table. For example, did you know that animals will eat fallen antlers for calcium? One of the sets of antlers had visible marks on it from rodents' teeth. My explanation included how we drink milk for strong bones and animals will eat antlers for the same reason. The young girl's father was impressed with my knowledge of this world . . .

And then he asked me out and gave me his number! Like, OMG!

First, I've heard that this happens all the time, so I shouldn't be flattered. Good thing I'm not; however, I've been at PCPL for 6 months and this was the first time it's happened. Perhaps I have a good hiding spot in the basement. Second, I'm not looking for a boyfriend. Sure, the holidays are around the corner, and I don't have plans with a special guy, but I'm okay spending Thanksgiving day with 2 guys . . . 2 Jacks . . . Jack Daniels and Jack's Frozen Pizza. (Okay, that's mostly a joke. I don't care too much for whiskey.)

Moral of the Story: Invest in a knock-out ring!! My dad will give me great advice, but not protect me from guys while I'm at work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Homework Blues . . .


When I finished my last class I sang the classic Alice Cooper song. I should have known better. Homework never ends! And that's okay. Professional development is an important part of being a librarian.

Attending conferences is one way to build professional development. It's an easy way to earn LEUs (Library Education Units). Bonus, I get paid to attend. Remember Las Vegas? I sure do (maybe I shouldn't?)! It was a great learning opportunity and it didn't feel like homework.

Presenting at conferences is a different story. I submitted a proposal to ILF for a poster idea. Success: it was accepted. Now it's time to create the poster. I have a good start on it; however, part of me feels like it should be super impressive. It's only slightly impressive. I've created a flow chart describing why Latino author should be included in libraries. Funny thing is, there are not a whole lot of us out there writing. I feel like my list is old news.

Perhaps I should think optimistically about the poster and its contents. I will proudly stand in front of my poster and encourage librarians all around Indiana to include Latino authors in their collections. Here in Greencastle, there aren't many Latinos within the community; however, that doesn't mean that the community shouldn't learn about the fastest growing minority population. Another way to think of it, the community may have an opportunity to learn a little more about their librarian. As a minority, I want every librarian to include more minority authors, not just Latino authors. 

Moral of the Story: Hard work pays off. So does a positive attitude. Still, keep your fingers crossed for me ;D

Thursday, November 6, 2014

National Nacho Night

Did you know that there is a food holiday for every day of the year? A quick search will result in a few links to food holidays. Here are a few for November: nachos, more nachos, and NACHOS!. I discovered this some time ago, and now that the IP has a kitchen, I'm going to start celebrating regularly.

National Nachos Day was our theme today. I began in Spanish. "Lavarse sus manos" and I mimed hand washing. Then, I gave a brief introduction to books using a non-fiction Mexican history book, and transitioned to nachos. With our 65" monitor behind me, many of the kids were distracted with the screensaver images than what I had to say. I explained how cheese was the last ingredient; however, it was hard to hear with all of the excitement. Some kids had cheese under toppings. I explained that the melted cheese tells how we know nachos are ready. Of course, we added more cheese. While nachos were baking, I showed a few videos on how to make nachos, homemade cheese sauce, and homemade chips. (The kids and I were laughing at a man using a triangle cookie cutter to make homemade chips.) The use of videos was a great way to incorporate 21st Century learning tools.

Thanks to my team of TABs and other volunteers, the program ended without any casualties. In other words, no one was burned, cut, or maimed in any way. Whew. My "amazing family" was in attendance. When latecomers arrived, and we were out of chips, mom ran to the store to buy more ingredients. (The receipt was submitted and she will be reimbursed. AMAZING FAMILY!! )

I learned a few things about how to work in a kitchen. Okay, I know how to work in a kitchen, but now I know how to work in a kitchen with an audience. It helped to remind kids that the kitchen can be a dangerous place. They weren't too upset when I asked them to sit and wait for their nachos instead of hovering behind me (in front of a 350 degree oven).

I also learned that for my next "Feature and Feast" the food that should be celebrated is Beaujolais Nouveau. Wine!?!? Well, not all food holidays can be celebrated in the IP ;D I leave it up to the patrons to decide. I've shared a post on social media and the whiteboard in YA. Which will win? Pizza, tacos, or mac & cheese with mix-ins. Feel free to vote. The poll closes November 13, 2014 at 8pm.


Moral of the Story: Food brings people together. Note to self: never run out of featured food. Leftovers don't exist in the library :D

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Well, I survived. I didn't turn into a zombie, either. There was a juicy brain, but I had eaten too many cookies to sample John Doe's brain.

The last few weeks were rough. A brief recap won't do. Instead, I'll focus on the positives in the last couple of days.

Yesterday, I had a short shift, 5-8pm. With all of the overtime in the last week, I could take time off, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, which I desperately needed. I walked into the door and super swooned when I saw all of the furniture in place. Thanks to my coworkers and amazing volunteers (a very special family especially), it seemed as though things fell into place. (I can't leave out the contractors who hung the monitors on the wall.) Computers were up and running, my desk was situated in its home, and the kitchen/programming space was completely furnished. Later in the evening, around 6pm or so, I got a call from a gal who would bring the cushions after hours. I was only too glad to stick around after hours to ensure that they were there for the grand opening . . . 

Today: Grand Opening/Halloween party. The weather was not ideal (wet and cold) but there were many people who turned out for the event. Our introduction speech was cancelled at the last minute (whew) when we realized people would not be paying attention to us. They were mesmerized by all of the cool gadgetry, space, and colors of the new space. There were free books for trick-or-treaters, as well. In the Kiwanis room, now that we're finally out, scientists from DePauw brought a few fun things. Patrons stood in line for ice cream (made from liquid nitrogen) and cookies, and to hold a snake and a hissing cockroach, ew ew ew! One of the board members thought I was joking when I freaked out at the rodent sized insect. Uh, no.

All day I had been wearing my costume.With a fake moustache, worn to heck jeans and jacket, I was an undercover cop. I had a badge and everything. Every so often I would deepen my voice and throw people off. "Hey, only one book per person. Hey." It was so much fun to be able to mingle with patrons. (In the past, as a volunteer for Milwaukee Public Library, I was stationed in one spot for 3 hours.) I saw many new faces, and plenty of friends around.

In the last 30 minutes or so, I discovered that we had about 700 cookies left! Oh no! There's no way I could eat all of those myself, so I took a bin of about 500 of them upstairs to circulation. "Take 2 and call me in the morning," was my catch-phrase. I also sang "Cookies!!" and that caught everyone's attention. A few of the circ gals were laughing at my antics. It seemed to work. By the time we closed the bin was empty.

Tomorrow we partner with Greencastle Parks and Recreation Department (GPRD) for Dia de los Muertos (which means I could leave decorations up tonight (muwahahahaha)). Two-fer, my TAB meeting is tomorrow. The kiddos can help clean up the rest of the mess/decorations from tonight. They can also help count left-over books to determine how many kids turned out. It's a good thing I have a ton of cookies to reward them with.

Moral of the story: A positive attitude can go a long way. As I told my boss today, "It can only go up from here." The Imagination Portal is open for business. I can't wait to see where we go on this adventure. #dreamjob

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sisyphus

"The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor." (http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/hell/camus.html)

This image is perfect. We're still under renovation. And my next step is redo everything I've done.

Our shelves are about a foot too far away from the wall. *so move them* Right, well, there are thousands of books on the shelves. The shelving guy won't move the shelves unless all the books are off.

I kind of have to laugh at this scenario. Granted, and a million thanks to my volunteers, I didn't do a whole lot of unpacking/shifting/moving, it still seems like a punishment for something. Perhaps because I wasn't hands-on enough with the project. Either way, the books have to come off the shelves so the shelving guy can do his job just to put the books back. On the bright side, he'll move the shelving units from the temporary location into the permanent location.

For the next week, we'll be moving books. The Kiwanis room (temporary location) will have a very limited browsing collection since patrons can't access the construction zone, aka IP. The payoff, there will be more books available. Picture books will finally be able to come out of storage. As I've written for my "professional" blog, there are searches one can do in order to find and request a book. My goal is to have the limited collection for a matter of days: Monday-Thursday. With the Grand Opening/Halloween Party next Friday (yikes) we've got to be as ready as possible.

Moral of the Story: Never take anyone's work for granted? Don't sweat the small stuff (books instead of a boulder)? In any case, I think I'll have to thank my volunteers with gifts.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Zen Den

Breathe in . . . Breathe out . . . repeat.

I had a meeting with my boss the other day. We discussed options regarding alternatives to shelving. Today, the guru came in. She was much better at finding a solution to our shelving problems. It turns out the shelving guy put too much room between the wall and the tall shelves. Simple solution: move the tall shelves back 12" and everything should fit as planned. (Whew)

She also approved of incorporating shelving units into the other parts of the library, which wasn't part of the original plan. This is great news since we no longer feel like we're hiding our collection.

Youth Services is in a "T" shape, sort of. In one upper portion will be computers arranged along the walls. In the opposite upper portion will be the majority of our collection. The glorious tree is in the center of the "T"; it is the focal point when walking in the room. My kitchen is in the lower half of the area, designated as the programming space. Finally, there is a puppet stage/storytelling area opposite the kitchen. (Guru's goal is to have our library featured (*cough* win an award *cough*) in a magazine. Keep your fingers crossed.)

Knowing that PCPL will still look and feel like a library (of the 21st Century) is such a relief for all of us on board. We're proud of our books, classic and modern tales, and our approach to other literacies, including information, digital, media, multicultural, et cetera. I found this helpful link to other literacies and their definitions: http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/5066

Moral of the Story: Everything happens for a reason. Cliché, I know, but without this snafu, we might not have found ways to bring books into other areas of the Imagination Portal.

Side note: the kitchen has frog handles on all the cabinetry. Yes, the kitchen will help to bridge multicultural literacy with standard literacy. (I can't wait!) 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jazz Hands

Back story: In my first semester of grad school, I met a funny, quiet guy, "The Don". We had all of the same classes. After that first semester, I made a pact with him to take at least one class with him per semester. Our second semester, we joined forces for a group project and called ourselves "Team Jazz Hands". We did our presentation complete with hand gestures. My third semester, I dropped our "approved" class for a recommended class, and, lucky me, he was also in the class (video game literacy (the sole purpose for my current position (or so I think))). Our final semester, we reunited with fellow SOISers and formed "Jazz Hands Four". Let's just say, we were a huge hit.

Fast forward: I was stressing about the move from the temporary location to the new Imagination Portal. Library dad is back, and I was moderately relieved. He shared his wisdom with me and put the move/transition into perspective. (I'm going to use quotes, but these are obviously not his exact words.) "It's kind of like jazz. You know where your solo is; you know that the other players are going to do their pieces, but you don't know for sure what it will sound like. You just have to trust that it will work out." When he gave me that analogy, all of my anxiety vanished. It was a perfect fit to put me at ease.

As I said, I know that our grand opening/Halloween party is set for October 31st at 3:30pm. I have arranged for cookies to be there. Books have been shipped, stamped, and waiting for display. And, I have my costume picked out. My part is done, mostly. I just have to sit back and see what happens next.

Moral of the Story: I have to play backup bass while the drummer has his solo. See what I did there? I played bass in a band (kinda) and the construction team is the drummer . . . you know, with their hammers and other loud equipment . . . oh, I don't claim this analogy.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Veruca Salt

"Daddy, I want a golden goose!" That was me all week: stomping my feet, crying about not getting my way, etc, etc. "Not cute," is all I have to say about that.

Who would have thought that I would have to be an interior designer in addition to a librarian. Okay, so I'm a writer, too, but I have experience in that field. Interior design? That's another story (no pun intended).

The blue prints show 4 tall and 6 short units. In reality, we have 4 tall units and 4 short units. I created an alternative layout for the reality of the shelves. We have 4 tall shelves comfortably in place. However, after moving one short unit to the space, I learned that it is almost four inches wider than the tall shelves. The previous layout that I configured just won't do. Now I have to start over. In other words, to prevent a claustrophobic attack on patrons and staff, I have to figure out how to make things fit. Have I mentioned that I have three weeks to make it happen?

I've written about the Grand Opening/Halloween party. The date has been confirmed all over town. It's been printed, documented online, verbally communicated with patrons, and so on. However, we're at a stand still on the transition for many reasons, most importantly of which is that my boss, "dad (of the library)", is out sick, hence my stomping around like Veruca Salt. He has the final say on shelving positions and such.

Thankfully, I can occupy my time with other library related tasks, especially preparation for the kitchen. My Servsafe certification test in less than 2 weeks. Perhaps I should focus my energies on that, rather than on not being able to do anything in the IP. After all, I won't be able to utilize my kitchen if I'm not certified. 

Moral of the Story: I have to learn to be more patient with the construction process, otherwise I may end up down a garbage chute.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Happiness is a Warm Pastry

Two weeks ago, Putnam County had a food fest. I was busy hosting my TAB so I couldn't attend, but one of my co-workers informed me of a local bakery in Coatesville, Cinnamon Girls Cafe, that was there. Since Greencastle doesn't have a local bakery, I decided I would investigate how much CGC would charge to prepare cookies for the Grand Opening/Halloween event (the chain bakery in the grocery store wanted way too much and basic Halloween Oreos wouldn't do for my event). Being a local business (and it shouldn't have been a surprise) their hours were very limited. I missed calling the shop by 20 minutes. By 2:20pm, I was late and missed connecting with anyone. Fortunately for me, they had Saturday hours. Fortunately for me, I had an upcoming 3-day-weekend.

On the Saturday of my lengthy weekend, I hopped on Bertha, my bike, and started pedaling for Coatesville, a modest 12 miles. It was a scenic route, lots of cornfields and farmlands. Again, no surprise in store. When I got there, I ordered a meal and a delicious pecan roll (which I totally earned!). Yum! Then I got to business.

The owner and I chatted regarding what I needed, and my budget. Since my budget was potentially non-existent, I asked if she could bring a sample of cookies to the library. You could say I was a clever cookie to persuade other departments to contribute to the Grand Opening by having warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookies, and scrumptious Oreo cheesecake cookies.

Well, wouldn't you know it? My tactic worked! Friends of the Library (FOL) is very generously contributing to the cookie fund. We're going to have 1,500 cookies for our bash and we'll be under budget! Perhaps it was the fact that we're going with a local bakery (Greencastle, and much of the area, is very fond of local business, as am I). Perhaps it was because it was to make a statement for the Grand Opening. I'm not really sure what sold the FOL, but I'm very grateful that we will have a phenomenal bash.

Moral of the Story: "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."--Carl Sagan

Monday, September 29, 2014

Little Pink Offices

John "Cougar" Mellencamp is from Indiana, Seymour, Indiana to be exact, roughly 100 miles from Greencastle. If you're not familiar with his work, he wrote a song called  Little Pink Houses. I hope you know where I'm going next.

As you might know, there were painting issues in the IP. What started out as a yellow area is now going to be a gray area. "We are not amused." Well, I don't mind it on the walls in the IP, I just don't find a gray office without windows to be very appealing, especially with fluorescent lighting. I might end up like Joe, with a brain cloud (Joe Versus the Volcano). But, since my boss is pretty cool, he said we could select an alternate color.

Ta da! Our office is pink. There's no carpet in it right now, but there will be at some point this week. (It's the same as the IP, green patterned swatches mixed with gray patterned swatches. Green and gray meet on most swatches to help bridge the patterns.) Finding a color that works with both gray and green was a bit tricky. A light blue wouldn't work, and neither would lavender. Pink would give the room a watermelon feel, kind of like summer all year round. Again, without windows and horrid lighting, it needed a bright, soft touch to it.

Many of the painters give me a hard time about it. But I remind them that I'll almost always match with it. Besides, it will give me an excuse to wear my favorite pink shoes with any outfit. 

Moral of the story: "ain't that America/For you and me/Ain't that America/Something to see, baby"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Game Plan

Storytelling area with puppet show cutout.
It's finally here; time to start planning the move into the new space. The walls are painted, carpet will be installed this week, and . . . the tree on Wednesday! Planning for the move has been difficult. Unlike the move to the temporary location, the dates for the move back keep changing. (Okay, the dates for the move to the temporary space changed a lot. I had to be out by the "start" date. Check. Start date? Postponed. Was I surprised? Not really. But there wasn't a "Grand Opening" to plan for!!) I've been told we'd be able to start moving back on September 25th. That was 3 days ago and we're still not ready to move. Well, guess what. The tree is coming and carpet has to be down for that.

I'm not blaming anyone or anything on the fact that we can't move yet; it's the basic construction schedule. (I guess I'm blaming construction, but not the construction team, if that makes sense. These guys have been great. I mentioned that we're a library and they had to keep noise down . . . and it worked . . . for 20 minutes.) As I stated in my previous post, you gotta roll with the punches in order to succeed. One easy step is to work with what you have. I have an exact date that the tree will be coming. Okay! Great!

Everything will fall into place. I just know it. I've called in volunteers to come in a week after the tree. By that time shelves should be in. Worst case scenario, they can pull boxes from storage, sort the books, and organize the boxes based on type of book. I have a few weeks before the Halloween Party/Grand Opening to ensure that the space is ready to go. I've got a great team and awesome volunteers who love the library willing to contribute their time to the cause.

Moral of the story: Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Have a plan. Also have a back-up plan. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Banned Blogs?

As a librarian, I support the freedom of speech and the right to share information. In anticipation of Banned Books Week, I gathered a few graphic novels that have been challenged. I also filled my whiteboard (the one in the YA area) with a list of classics that have been challenged, ie The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. By avoiding the newest challenged book, thereby censoring myself, I hope to prevent controversy in my library. My assistant and I worked together to create a sign for the display hanging from the ceiling. It's subtle but serves its purpose.

As a new librarian (in a new town, with many challenges ahead) I created this blog to document my experiences. Since it's a public blog, I creatively censor myself. My young patrons may stumble upon my work. Employees and coworkers have read my work. I keep things as anonymous as possible. Sure, if you're "in the know" you might infer who people are, but the definition states, "[to] deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements." I never point a finger. It's not my style.

As I stated, this is a public blog. After posting my blog about color changes in the IP, it was suggested that I double-check with my boss regarding sharing too much information. I kind of chuckled, and obliged her. I sent the link to many coworkers in the library, including my staff and my boss, after all, I rather liked my "punny" blog (my sister said it was the best one (but she has to say that, right?)). And, like my sister said, everyone seemed to love it, including my boss . . . except . . .

As you may gather, I've been asked to "censor" myself while writing my blog. I've been asked not to share information about . . . because people can infer who is who and what is what. Well, I say "F the [blog] police"! I post what I want! Sorry for the profanity, really, I am, but it's a saying after all and I'm an adult. (I eat cookies for breakfast (sometimes.)) If I want to post situations that happen to me at work, I will. Yes, I will continue to keep it anonymous; however, I will not leave out raging confrontations with coworkers or run-ins with patrons. My goal for this blog is to document what I've done in the hopes that a new librarian may stumble upon it. I have friends in library school who may end up in similar situations. So, I'm sorry if you want me to leave you out of this, but it will stifle my creative flow and I can't do it.

Moral of the story: Fight for what you believe in! Use your words, and use them wisely. Don't scream and shout to be heard.
“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, “The One Un-American Act”. Nieman Reports, vol. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1953): p. 20.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's a "Gray Area"

This is a situation where the pun is intended. One website (https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-colour.htm) states a gray area is "something without a clear rule or answer", and that goes for the walls in the Imagination Portal (IP).

A few weeks ago, I was called in for a meeting to discuss the paint scheme for the IP. Originally the walls were to be yellow. A verdict came in that yellow was out. I thought, "no big deal, we can find another color". After discussing with my boss and the interior designer, we decided on a pale rose with an undertone of yellow, "frangipane"; essentially, it was a warm color. We got the green light to continue with the project . . . until today.

My boss looked out of his office window into the lobby of the library. He saw me and frantically waved for me to come to his office. Out of blue he tells me that the interior designer thinks that the shade we chose won't work and that we must select one of two choices, both of which are gray. OH NO! Now my staff and I are seeing red because it wasn't easy to come up with the fallback color. Plus, gray? It seems rather drab, don't you think? And . . . we have to decide in a two hour window in order to ensure the project stays on target. Our deadline is October 20th, which is already a month or so behind schedule. 

Forever an optimist, I am tickled pink because it's a golden opportunity for my employees to no longer feel like black sheep in this project. Since there is a change of color for the room, and our office, we now can collaborate on a color for the office.

Moral of the story: The grass is always greener on the other side. As a manager, you might think you have a final say until you realize it's not always black and white and someone else makes a different call. Remember to roll with the punches to avoid being black and blue. Bonus if you do, you'll succeed with flying colors.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Haunted by Halloween

Did you ever get so stressed out that you dream about your problem? Yeah, that's happening to me right now. There's lots of pressure to have a grand Halloween party for the Imagination Portal. Halloween is by far the library's largest event at PCPL. Last year 1,300+ people showed up for the event. With Halloween landing on a Friday this year, I've been warned that more people will attend. Oh boy!

Each year PCPL gives away books. Tables are set up and books are put out for patrons (of trick-or-treating age). Will I have enough books for the event? There may or may not be candy. There may or may not be a pumpkin decorating set up. AHHHHHH! Perhaps I should schedule a meeting with my team to resolve these issues.

Halloween is huge and the whole county gets into the spirit, which means that there will be competition for attendance. With the launch of our new space, PCPL wants to make a grand spectacle. We want people to linger in our area to explore all that we have to offer. And why not? With a crowd as big as this, it's clear that we will reach an audience not normally using the library. There are so many possibilities for this event, I don't know where to begin.

Well, that last statement is not entirely true. I depleted my budget on books already. The order has been confirmed and shipped. Each book has to be stamped twice, one with our library information and two with "Friends of the Library" information. Will my TAB members help with this? I hope so! Our meeting on Saturday will confirm the volunteer schedule. We're also bribing the kids (I mean . . . rewarding them) with a pizza party.

I have scheduled a meeting with my gals for this afternoon. We'll talk about such things as candy, pumpkins, and entertainment.

Moral of the story: Plan, prepare, party! By setting up a meeting, I'll find out what to expect. With teens helping, I don't have to stress about finding more hours in the day. And, of course, that means I'll be able to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Top Ten Teen Tips

Each week I share tips with teens on the whiteboard in the YA section. (I think I mentioned that there is a whiteboard to encourage interaction since I hide in the basement.)

A few weeks ago (yes, it's been a while since I've last posted) I shared a list of tips that successful people do. A lot of the lists repeat the same information, stay positive, don't accept failure, et cetera, et cetera. The list for that week was called "5 Things successful People Never Do". The final item on the list states, "They don't say 'yes' to everyone, all the time." This is one tip that I have to start implementing.

I've been saying yes to my boss since I got here. It's not that I'm afraid to say "no" (okay, maybe it is) but it's more out of convenience. I live in the town where I work. The Putnam County Public Library is located in Greencastle, Indiana, aka "GC". I live 1.5ish miles away. My boss lives in another county and has to commute 45+ minutes. Also, our schedules don't sync. It's easier for me to come in early, work my normal shift, and take time off on Friday to balance the schedule than to have to find a time that works for both my boss and myself.

In the past I have said "yes" to meeting him on a Tuesday morning, generally around 11 despite my noon start time. After reading the article, I thought I would take its advice. When my boss proposed a meeting for this upcoming Tuesday at 11, I said "no", kind of. Instead of directly saying "no", I gave him the facts; I don't work until noon, and. since the meeting will be about minor details of the Imagination Portal, I was fine with having my co-workers take my place. He was very willing to be flexible with the time. The meeting has been successfully rescheduled for noon on Tuesday.

It might not be easy to say "no" but, like anything else, practice makes perfect. Now it's time to start implementing "track and budget what's spent and what's made" from "10 Things Successful People Do Every Day". Oh boy . . .

Thursday, August 21, 2014

To Replace or Not to Replace

Good ol' Shakespeare. His stuff remains on shelves at libraries (perhaps because few are interested in reading it recreationally?) New stuff, on the other hand, flies off the shelf at a much quicker rate. Controversial books sometimes don't come back. People have come to accept Shakespeare, complete with the suicides of 2 star-crossed lovers; why can't they accept modern works?

I've heard rumors that patrons will sometimes deliberately hide material. Supposedly, there were books in the ceiling! I could ask why someone would hide such information, but I already know the answer: Censorship. In other words, banned books become problematic.

Most recently, I was asked to make decisions regarding L/M/C materials. The first title, based on reviews, looked like a standard YA novel, with a bit of romance, etc. The second title, was a bit more suggestive. With a target audience of 12-14 (based on reviews), the book follows a 16-year-old girl dealing with the consequences of "sexting". She sent a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend, but when they break up the image goes viral. (surprised?) With a theme this intense, I wonder if the book that is catalogued as "lost" really is lost. Perhaps it is one of a few that are in the ceiling.

I'm all about sharing information. Books should not be banned. I try to be the best librarian I can be; however, I'm torn with this title. Should I replace it? OR, should I accept that it is missing and move on to the next book on my list? I know that books go missing or are "lost" due to content. Is this one of those titles? If I replace it, will it get lost again? If I don't replace it, will people think I am censoring them from its content? For the moment, especially in regards to expanding my YA non-fiction section, I will pass on the title. I guess I answered my own question, or did I?



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crazy for Caterpillars

Catarino is growing!!
Naman with "Naman"
Our nature nook is full of action. Catarino is getting bigger! Now that he's bigger, he's not so creepy. He reminds me of the caterpillar from "Alice in Wonderland", obviously the Disney movie. Catarino is roughly in his 4th instar. There will be one more instar before Catarino forms a chrysalis and transforms into bat food. Just kidding. He'll turn into a beautiful butterfly (eye roll) and then we'll know for sure if he's a boy or girl butterfly.

We have another larva, I mean caterpillar. In honor of our young volunteer, we have named him "Naman". "Naman" is in his 3rd instar. Naman has been helping around the library all week. He's very interested in our Nature Nook. (We have snake skins and turtle shells, too.) When he takes a break from shelving books, or breaking down Legos, he explores our creatures. Naman is one lucky kid. Not all of the kids are able to hold the caterpillars. We like to show our appreciation in simple ways. This is just one way we say thank you for helping. Thank you, Naman!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What A Mess!

It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.
Wallpaper and carpet are coming out! The crew finally (and I mean finally (June 26 was the original date)) came out today to remove the carpet and the wall covering. This was some of the mess that they left today. It's understandable. Patrons were in and out all day. The crew will be in around 7am to remove this mess and continue removing carpet and wall covering. 6 weeks and then we'll be ready to launch the new room and programs. Are you as stoked as I am?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Teachers Are Patrons, Too

Our new program is off to a great start. Last week, my director, our Technology Integrator, and I went out to visit a few schools to introduce a new program: The Teacher Card Program. Here's the inside scoop to the card.

With the standard card patrons can check out up to 50 items for up to 2 weeks. They can renew twice, but if they are late returning/renewing, there are fines to pay. The Teacher Card eliminates this issue first by allowing teachers to check out up to 75 items for up to 30 days, and they can renew twice. Oops, one was so busy that s/he forgot to return/renew on time. That's okay, teacher friend. Your fines are waived for late materials. Oh, and did I mention that we'll deliver and pick up material so you don't have to waste your valuable time driving 20 minutes or more to our one location? Yes, that's right, we'll deliver books to teachers every 2 weeks. "Where do I sign up?" you say.

Here I'm signing teachers up for the new card.
Despite our serious faces, we're excited for the program.
As I mentioned, a team of us are visiting Putnam County schools to sign teachers up. We'll get a new Teacher Card in your hand the same day! Don't live in Putnam County? No worries! By serving our community, you can still be eligible to sign up for all the great perks of a Teacher Card.

But, what about foreign language books? "I don't find a lot of Spanish titles in your collection." Well, my friend, which titles are you looking for? Let's work together to build a stronger collection for your students and our patrons! This goes for all of the subjects, too.

The team visited 3 schools so far. As of right now, sixty teachers have signed up for the program. There are a few more schools to visit. We're hoping to sign up every teacher in the county.

(And you thought class presentation day was tough. Talking to a group of new faces *gulp* can be scary!)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Music Mania

Metallica in the library? You better believe it.

I've mentioned that we have an upright piano in our small temporary room. We have it available for the kids to play with when they are here. The don't need any experience to play it either. On that note (get it?) many kids will play nothing, trying to create something. Most often, as with any experiment, there are failures. In other words, the sounds coming from the piano have made my ears bleed (figuratively).

The other day, a young boy sat down to play. Terror swept over me as he began playing the theme music to "Halloween". He played it from memory. There were a few other melodies he played. I finally asked him if he had a piano at home. He said that he normally played the guitar. What luck! I have an acoustic guitar (and a ukulele that my part-time practices with at home). I asked if he wanted to play and he did. I was very impressed with his talents. His mom suggested that he teach lessons here at the library. I don't blame him for not wanting to do it, but I hope he comes back to play again.

Since our piano is a big hit with the kids, our director is considering buying an 88-key digital piano/keyboard with MIDI hook-ups. How sweet would it be to have kids jamming on the keyboard, or wanking on guitars! Library garage band anyone?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Butterflies and Books

Creatures in the library
This just in: I'm afraid of bugs. If it has more than four legs, and/or flies, stay away!! The actual term for my phobia is entomophobia. I'm not sure when the phobia developed. Let's just say that I can't enjoy a nice sunny day when bees are buzzing, ants are marching, and caterpillars are crawling.What about butterflies? "They're so pretty!" FALSE. They freak me out!! Okay, it's true; butterflies are pretty . . . when their dead behind glass.

When my assistant told me about this guy, I did all I could to keep my composure. Little did I know when I interviewed that my patrons are fascinated with insects. We, at PCPL, meet their needs and have a Nature Nook, complete with living caterpillars. And, now that I'm here, I've got to adapt. I frequently train in the park, sitting under the shade of a tree reading books while flies, gnats, ants and other creepy crawlies are out and about. Yes, I still squirm and freak out when a bug lands/crawls on me, but it's getting better. I have to build up my endurance for when these bad boys hatch from their chrysalis.

Currently, in my library, in the small room that is our temporary location during the renovation, these creatures are thriving. We have two netted homes for them. This guy, we'll call him Catarino, was munching on leaves in his habitat. I was able to reach in and get a few inches away to take this photograph. (See? I told you I was getting better.)

The moral of this story: Respect. Butterflies serve a purpose. Without butterflies bats would go hungry.

Friday, August 1, 2014

1st Annual Water Balloon* Fight

BYOB (Bring Your Own Balloons) for this event! We supplied kiddos with sponges and buckets of water; they brought balloons, "water launching devices" (we don't use the "g" word), and gallons of water.

This event was sparked by my TAB. In the first month or so, I put up a whiteboard for the teens to comment on what they wanted to do. When I saw "water balloon fight", I was all about it. I advertized in the library, and kids helped to make signs. The event was open to all kids and teens.

As a group we came up with games to play; dodge sponge, "sprinkle, sprinkle, splash" (a water spinoff of duck, duck, goose) and freeze tag. Two teams formed for dodge sponge. The kids had a blast. Unfortunately we ran out of water and couldn't play freeze tag. I don't think the kids cared. How could they? They were excited to be pouring water on everyone. After sprinkle, sprinkle, splash the kids got into a full-on water fight. Water, water, everywhere!

Did I mention a newspaper photographer showed up? He spent the better part of our event snapping pictures. Here's a link to a great shot he took. http://www.bannergraphic.com/story/2105876.html The kids did a great job of respecting him and did not get him wet. Sorry parents' safe zone, you know how kids are ;D

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Teen Space

The other day my assistant mentioned that our teen collection was really tight. We separate our new books from older books. After six months or so, they come off the new shelf and are put into the regular collection. Since our collection is rather lacking at the moment, I didn't want to weed to many books. On the other hand, I ordered a plethora of YA non-fiction and will need to make room for the new books. Despite my hesitation to weed the collection, I created a list of books that haven't circulated in 4 years. Lo and behold, there were books on the list that hadn't circulated in nearly 10 years! Yikes.

I pulled the books that were on the list, with the exception of award books. There was only one award book; however, there were some books that were only five years old but never circulated. I decided to keep those and perhaps make a display for them. This process did not make much more room for the new books.

A few weeks back, the head of technical services pointed out an old barcode. She mentioned it to help weed the juvenile books, but I used it for my YA collection, as well. When I noticed that many of the books from the 4-year-no-circ list had the old barcode, I decided I should go through the rest of the collection to find all books with the old code. Sure enough, there were enough books to fill 2/3 of another cart.

There were some books that were outdated. They remain books discussed in classes, such as the YA materials class I took at UWM. One book, in particular, Annie on My Mind, was a super old copy. "Cover art ©1984 by Ellen Thompson" is something teens will see and immediately put back on the shelf.
This was what it looks like. Uh, no thanks. I barely want to read it, even though I know the content will be exactly the same as a newer edition. For this reason, I reordered many books that had the old barcode. The replacement book will probably take up just as much space as the old book; however, it might circulate better. So how does this help my space issue?


Well, I asked two future TAB members to come in on Monday to put together a new bookshelf. They are my superstar teens who have helped me so much with the move. It doesn't hurt that I buy them pizza and talk to them like real people. These kids are a good sign that my TAB will be a success. You can still keep your fingers crossed for me ;D

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PCPL at the Farmers' Market

After a few weeks of procrastinating, I finally set a date to attend the farmers' market in Greencastle.

The real story behind my procrastination is that there were so many other things coming up at the library. First, and foremost, the move to the temporary room, along with planning the new space. Second, summer reading program is insane! With the program ending tomorrow, so many kids have been coming in to claim their prize. Youth Services ran out of YA prizes weeks ago and third prizes for kids are gone as of today. Finally, my boss asked me to take responsibility for a new teacher card program. Really, I'm not complaining. I love my job, but it sure does keep me busy.

As I said, I put the idea of attending the market on the back-burner. But today the gal who runs the market visited PCPL. She explained her expectations while I'm there. No rowdiness from me. Dang! The farmers' market should be a good place to spread the word about a few things; the new space, of course, and my TAB! I'll have signup sheets there for the kids/parents to take home with them. It will be a unique opportunity to present a storytime for the kids. Now if I could think of a theme for the storytime . . .


Monday, July 28, 2014

Silly Safaris at the Museum

Today we ended summer with a smash hit: Silly Safaris at the Putnam County Museum. Austin from Silly Safaris had a wide variety of animals to show off for all the kiddos. There was a hare and a tortoise . . . guess who won the race. He showed off a kinkajou and a baby alligator. Halfway through the show it was time for a snack. Out comes the lunch box filled with hissing cockroaches. EW!! He put one in his mouth. Ew ew ew. There was an owl that flapped his wings when he said "wings". Kids tried to get the bird to flap his wings but the bird didn't want to listen. There was a tree frog that was slimy. And, my favorite part of the show, an albino Burmese Python. And there was Ellie, the elephant dog. She was really a Great Dane. About 70 people showed up to the event. It was a totally awesome way to end the Fizz Boom Read summer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Books

As Youth Services Manager, I'm responsible for both the kiddos and the teens. It's easy to work with the kids; they are always in my room. However, the teens are just too cool to come down to visit me. Plus, their collection of materials is upstairs sandwiched between the large print and the westerns in the adult area. How can I get them to come to the library?

I took the advice of a friend, who also is a librarian, and put a white board in their area to find out what they wanted. For the teens who use the library, they jotted a few items down. This week PCPL will host our first annual water balloon* fight. It's a BYOB (bring your own balloons) event; wet sponges will be easier to clean up. Teen Brick Club started because they asked for it. A group of 12 kids come in to build Lego-scapes. It's very cool. With these initiatives I'm hoping they will tell their friends how the library is changing in a positive way.

And now for the juicy part . . . I have books for them!! After reviewing my budget, I noticed that very little was spent on YA non-fiction this year. This changed in a matter of days, two to be exact. I spent nearly 75% of my budget on books other than graphic novels. Let me take that back, I bought a few graphic novels because they are a very valid form of literature; however, not all teens want to read it. Nor do they want to read Manga. Again, it's not that these are not valid forms of reading materials, it's just that there are so many more options for teens to read. Topics like fashion, with Coco Chanel's biography, or Jimmy Choo, might help to get the teens' creative juices flowing. Who knows, perhaps PCPL can create a program or two on these ideas.

I also stocked up on fiction books that our library lacked. Diverse authors and stories are making their way into the YA collection. Woo hoo!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Save the Date

We've confirmed a date to begin the renovation, August 11th!

On Wednesday this week we have confirmation from the construction firm and contractors that they will begin on (or before) this date. With the minimal amount of work that needs to be done, PCPL expects to be a fully functioning library by October 23. What is going to happen in the 2 months? Let me break it down for you.

Okay, I can't break it down in detail because I don't have the plans in front of me, but I am going to take a guess at it. First, a wall will come down. It's a curved wall that separates our storytime room from the rest of the youth services department. The room is within the Imagination Portal, but sectioned off. After construction, the room will be an open space with a projector and other AV materials, and I'm hoping a Wii or PS3. Video game nights, here we come!!

Walls will be painted a bright color. Carpet will be pulled up and replaced once the other debris is cleared. It will cover the entirety of the Imagination Portal.

After the carpet is down, kitchen appliances and cabinetry will go up. That's right, our library will have a kitchen complete with a range and refrigerator! After school (snack) specials brought to you by Mollie ;D.  I suggested that perhaps we can start putting shelving and books back in order after the carpet and paint are set. With the help of our amazing volunteers, we should be able to put the books back up rather quickly. The Neudeck family helped out so much. Not only did they label all of the boxes to make it super easy, they brought down the shelving units and plan to rebuild them when we're ready to move in. We are all very grateful for their generosity with their time.

One of the final steps is to make sure our tree will be assembled on time. The company designing it is from California and it will be built in our area. Essentially, the tree is designed in pieces and broken down. The pieces will be shipped from sunny California to the vast cornfields of Indiana to be planted in our Imagination Portal. They say it should take about 2 days to complete the tree once it arrives.
This is just an idea of what our Imagination Portal tree will look like. Our ceilings are not nearly as high.

We're going to have monitors installed on the walls to show videos and music all day long. The kiddos will love it. New computers will be in another area of the library. It will be an upgrade from the 2 that we currently have.

All of us here at PCPL are excited about how quickly this will be completed. The staff in Youth Services are especially excited since it means we can get out of the cramped temporary room. All kidding aside, the new room means that more programming will take place. As I mentioned with our kitchen, we'll offer foodie programs that will teach patrons how to make easy and quick meals so they don't have to hit up fast food restaurants. Video game literacy will be encouraged here along with other forms of digital literacy. Stay tuned for more adventures in the Imagination Portal.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Munchies with Mollie

As you may know, our library will begin construction this week. We (the royal we, of course) are very excited about it. And I never miss an opportunity to let patrons know of our soon-to-be new library.

Today a group of girls, around 5-7, decided to play with our toy kitchen set. I walked by and they stopped me. Of course I couldn't turn down plastic food. They were handing me donuts, cake, peas (no thanks), carrots (they needed salt), and apple pie complete with a wheel of cheese on top. I ate so much I was stuffed, just like Thanksgiving dinner. And that's when the gas bubbles started. I was burping and tooting. The girls were giggling non-stop. Every time they offered me more food, which I accepted, of course, the burps and toots would start all over again. I couldn't help it. I was so full! The Thanksgiving feast they prepared for me was amazing!

There were a few parents in the room when this went down. They were laughing while I played with the kiddos. Once I had the girls', and parents', attention, I explained how our library was going to have a real kitchen and we could make real food. The girls were so excited and dubbed me the best librarian! Best. Monday. Ever!

#ILoveMyJob


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Reading Program Wind-down

Our SRP is coming to an end soon. With schools in the area starting as early as August 6th, our summer program ends July 31st. Maybe kids will be able to experience a little bit of summer (I know I haven't had enough).

There are faces that I see, but don't check in for the program. I've asked them to sign up, but they've said they don't come in too often, or they left their books at home. With the end of the program right around the corner, is it considered cheating if I reward them on the day they register? They fill in their booklet with the stories they've read, either as a family or alone, so it should count, right?

Giving them a coupon for ice cream is harmless. It's a reward for the kids to keep reading. Plus, it makes me look like the cool librarian. I look both ways twice and whisper to make it super-top-secret, "don't tell anybody". It's fun being the boss ;D

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Scheduling Success

As Department Manager, I am responsible for scheduling my staff. Granted, there are only 2 other ladies, but it can be a challenge. Both have families and want to spend time with them. I, on the other hand, do not have a family in the area, so evenings and a Saturday for me are any other days of the week.

A few weeks back I suggested the idea of eliminating a rotating Saturday schedule. One of my gals was all for it; the other not so much. That was her day to serve as reference and get computer time. Okay, no big deal, we can work together on it. I presented her with another alternative, 2 Saturdays at 4 hours each. Well, that also didn't go over very well either. I can understand, though. To come in from 10-2 or 11-3 really puts a halt on any activity planned with the family.

My other gal, the one all for not having to come in on Saturdays, suggested that we keep the rotation, but that if I had a program, I could come in on Saturday and take the time off in the week. Again, that turns into a problem; I'd potentially have to be there 6 days per week. I might not have a family, but I definitely do not want to work 6 days per week.

The dream team came to a conclusion. We decided that I would come in 3 Saturdays a month and the last Saturday would be my part-timer's. It would give me an opportunity to work more with the kiddos and still give me a time to head home to my family in Milwaukee. It should be a bonus, actually. By default with a rotation, I'll essentially have a 3-day-weekend. And for those occasional weekends when I've had enough of traveling 10 hours round trip, I can always explore Greencastle and other parts on Indiana, like Cataract Falls.

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Pandemonium at PCPL!

Today's storytime theme was pandemonium . . . and did I let it get out of control!

Some of the kiddos came into storytime a little early, which was a nice surprise. Since there's usually 2 groups to come in, I decided to wait for the second group. While we waited we played a game of Duck, Duck, Goose, and I played right along with them. When the second group showed up, it was time to sit in front of the storytime chair. Some of the kids were still goofing off, so I asked them to sit on their "rump roasts". Most listened. I then asked who spoke Spanish. One girl said she did. I asked her in Spanish, "How do you say butt?" There are a few words that I know, and one bad one. She confirmed the palabra con un "n" is the bad word.

As in form with pandemonium, I started with a craft first. We made noise makers. The kids decorated a paper plate with markers and feathers, then they folded it in half and I filled the plate with frijoles, Spanish for beans. Once the kids were finished it was time for a snack and stories. We distributed the snacks as one brave girl read about a crazy library without any books! The room we were in did not have any books since it is the room we are going to renovate. The kids asked if the library looked like PCPL. Hilarious! We started talking about keisters before storytime, it was only appropriate to read a story about tushies at the zoo. They kiddos were so riled up from art and snack first that they wanted to play another game of Duck, Duck, Goose instead of reading a second story. Of course, I participated again.

By the end of storytime, my throat was a little sore and so were my palms. When the kids left the empty-ish room, I asked for high fives. Not one left me hanging.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Fizz Fantastically Fun

Our volunteer from DePauw visited the library today with his electro-thingy.

I wasn't sure if he was coming because I fell behind with ALA and the holiday landing on the previous Friday. I should have emailed or called the group of potential volunteers earlier in the week, but that task kept slipping away. It wasn't until Wednesday that I got in touch with one of the volunteers. Unfortunately she said she was unable to help out. Instead of begging for a last minute gig, I thought I'd fill in the activity with "Density". I had 3 different water containers set and ready to go; one had tap water, one had salt water, and one had soapy water. I also grabbed various things to put in the water; noodles, beans, candy, and other miscellaneous things. When the volunteer showed up ten minutes before we began, I asked the kids what that wanted. Of course, using "Jazz Hands" helped out. "Hey, kids, do you want to do boring water stuff or fun electricity stuff?" **insert jazz hands with "fun electricity stuff"** The kids were super thrilled to play with danger!

Our volunteer had a few demonstrations. One of the patrons asked a great question and they were able to experiment on the hypothesis. It was truly a Fizz, Boom, Read day. I only wish I had more time to hang out and learn about electricity. Instead, I had to "catalogue" books. I could always go back to school for another 6 years to learn more, like our volunteer. On second thought, I love my job and think I'll stick to it for a while.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I'm a Winner: Books, Libros, Buchen

Construction hasn't started yet, but I have started to imagine the layout of the new room. With limited space, I'll have to say goodbye to the series display. Series will have to be stored in alphabetical order, just like the rest of the books. I've also begun weeding the books that don't circulate. The only books not boxed up already were non-fiction (jnf and jbio). As I went through some of these books, those that might be chucked, I noticed that one was a Newbery winner. Of course, that book must stay. I got to thinking of how our library should have an award section. I went through the "PAC" and noticed my collection lacked many Newbery and Caldecott books. The order was placed today. Next on my list for awards will be Printz (YA), Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré, and the Mildred L. Batchelder for books. I'll also include videos and audiobooks to my award collection: I'm the cool librarian ;D

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Las Vegas Finale

Vegas (Baby!)
Yesterday was my first day back to work in over a week. It was great to be there. It was also the first day of "Teen Brick Club" a spinoff of a club that my assistant started for kids using building "bricks". For legal purposes we're not supposed to use the "L" word, I guess.

I almost forgot about it, until a teen reminded me about it. Oops! Quickly, I went to the other room and pulled out the bricks. I piled them on the floor. When most of the teens showed up I let them have at it. The theme was . . . Vegas, baby!

One of the shelvers, who came for the event, grabbed snacks for the group while another put music on. I told them they could take as long as they wanted. Since the shelver has helped out with the kids' brick club, she knew the protocol. The finished pieces were given titles and put on display for the week. In the end 9 kids made 7 projects in 2 hours with clean-up! Hopefully other teens will come into the library and see these masterpieces.

And, because the teens have such great talents, I will now require a little more information regarding their work. All great artists works have blurbs at museums and such, these works are no exception. Take a look!
Katy Perry Book Cover

The World's Deadliest Restaurant (complete with a shark tank (not pictured))

The Nom Cafe

The Lebowski Bowling Alley

The Lebowski Bowling Alley

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Vegas Recap

Whew, I'm back home . . . finally. Vegas was a super blast and all, but it's no Greencastle, IN!

An inside scoop as to why I was in Vegas to begin: ALA has a program called Students to Staff (S2S). The program provides accommodations such as registration, hotel, and per diem in exchange for a few hours (16) over the course of the annual conference. This year the conference was held in Las Vegas, NV.

I was scheduled to work everyday while I was there, excluding arrival and departure dates, at the Press Room. While working there, I met so many interesting people, including librarians from Colombia and Puerto Rico who spoke Spanish with me. They also gave me advise regarding practicing my Spanish. Name badges with titles and locations definitely helped to connect me with people, especially Youth Services Librarians. One gal gave me a shout out on Twitter because I let her use my phone so she could order Celine Dion tickets. Pretty snazzy! My "accomplice" and I were also on the look out for nerdy librarian types, if you know what I mean ;D.

Working the Press Room was a sloooow station. Few "press" were checking in. There were so many "where's the bathroom" questions, I thought I was working reference. Other common questions were, "where's room N116" or "where's the 's' rooms" (in the south hall). The lack of responsibilities was appreciated since it gave me ample time to peruse the schedule. I hit up a few important sessions and met authors (see previous posts).

Of course, the conference shut down after somewhat normal business hours, and since Vegas is open 24 hours a day, I did go out for some fun. I was on a limited budget (which, of course, I went over) so I didn't check out any shows. My per diem stretched as far as it could, but the (Win)Wynn Buffet was $30! I saw many of the Vegas "staples" such as the Belagio Light Show, The Mirage Fire and Water Show (these are not actual names of the shows) and Fremont Street. As I mentioned in other posts, I met so many great people. The best part was meeting fellow S2Sers and meeting up with them to tour Las Vegas. This was my first night in the city.


Half of the group at Carmine's


P. S. Keep your eyes peeled for video of me doing Karaoke and whirling around with a hula hoop! As my friend said, "What happens in Vegas sometimes gets posted to social media."


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

dinner date duo

Ahhhhh! I had dinner with e. E. Charlton-Trujillo and her accomplice, "Watson". Really, her last name is Watson. She is also an author and great person.

Dinner at Serendipity 3 with the two of them was a blast. Not only did e. find my ideas interesting, she wants to visit my library. I should mention that she is a film maker as well, and when she heard about the film project at PCPL she was very insistent that I invite her to visit. You don't have to ask me twice! We talked about so much and there's so much more we didn't get to; I have to have her back.

E. is very much into social media and snapped an Instagram of me. We also took a minute to do a selfie together. I am the happiest girl in the world.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Vegas (baby) or bust

I took a little break from the renovation at PCPL to attend my first ALA convention in Las Vegas. ALA sponsored my trip in exchange for a few hours of work. Thank you, ALA.

I met so many great people! Many Youth Services librarians and I exchanged info. I will be connecting with them to present at another conference in the future. I also met my mentor, which is awesome because she lives in California. She has encouraged me to panel or poster at these events.

Another major highlight: I met my favorite author, e. E. Charlton-Trujillo! We took pictures, shared some laughs, and I asked her out to dinner. She accepted in front of the fan line. Woo hoo! I'm working on finalizing dinner plans. Let's just hope I'm semi-articulate tonight.

I learned a bit about collaboration with public and school librarians. I also learned how to bring teens in with a "game jam". You can bet your bottom dollar that I'll implement this into my library! Simple games can be super fun when you create it yourself. The game we made was called "The Never Ending Story" because there were strict rules that tried to prevent players from advancing. However, there was a winner in our group. It was a blast to work together to see a winner, even if it wasn't me. I'll post more about the game later.

That's all for now. I have to get back to the desk at the Press Room.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let's Get Physical

We're slightly ahead of schedule. Sort of. Well, mostly on schedule, but you know how plans go.

Yesterday my boss and a fellow coworker helped to move 2 bookshelves. The bookshelves were empty of books and actual shelves, but they still weighed a ton. The library had moving pads to help with the haul, but there was a problem with the center structure of the shelves. Nothing good old cardboard couldn't fix. By placing cardboard under the trouble spot, they guys were able to slide the bookshelf to the smaller room. The plan was to move them today, Wednesday. Can't complain here!

We're slightly behind schedule with computer issues. This is not going to phase me. Moving computers is much easier. The Interwebs have been connected to the room. Plugging them in will not be a problem.

The hanging swans came down, posters are down, and most of the decor on the shelves are down. It's looking kind of sad in Youth Services.
On the brighter side, kids are pumped when I explain that we're going to be the coolest library in town. It doesn't hurt that we're the only library in the county ;D

My future goal is to get the teens in our library. Slowly but surely I'm getting input from them. Since I don't get an opportunity to connect with them, I'll have to find the teen hangouts and show them how cool the library is. Until school starts, I'll use my allies, our current shelvers and rock stars, to get them interested. The new area won't open until mid-September, so I've got time to plan my attack. I'll tell you more about my plan as it falls into place.