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.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's Get It Started

Last week we started the process of collecting books for the move. This week we started the move . . . slowly.

A few weeks back, I pulled reports on the most popular books. We spent most of last week collecting the picture books because we're moving the shelves to the temporary Youth Services area. Towards the end of last week we finished and started working on the "EZ readers". Those were also completed by Saturday.

I couldn't have done this without the help of volunteers. Of course, bribing them didn't hurt. There's a deli a few blocks over; they sell the BEST chocolate covered almonds, peanuts, raisins, malted milk balls, and pretzels. I stocked up on those and have offered it as a boost for the team. I've also promised a pizza party for Friday of this week, since this week is going to be "Action Week". I've had about 20 volunteers show up here and there helping with the move. To make my Monday perfect, I arrived to work early to find over 100 boxes at the door. One of the volunteers, a parent of a shelver, went to pick them up at 3am! Oh happy day!

Wednesday is when we move the majority of shelving. Tuesday and Thursday a few computers will go to the Kiwanis room. Overall, I'm feeling optimistic with the way things were planned and the way things are playing out. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that we have room to store books that didn't make the cut.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Just another Manic Monday . . . but it's Friday the 13th!!

Oh boy! Today was one of those days. You know those days: you walk in and your boss stops you, 2 coworkers stop you, and you barely have a chance to put your backpack down. Today was go, go, go.

After checking in with my assistant, 2 of us went out to Wal-Mart (first time in at least 5 years). Good news, I bought a ton of duct tape, Super Mario Brothers!! I also got supplies for crafts for the upcoming projects.

Back at the library and found that EVERYONE needed something from me. Things calmed down after lunch, about 2:30pm.

We started "weeding" another collection. I was able to box up quite a number of books. Next week is the big move to the Kiwanis Room. Let's just hope things go according to plan.

Until next week: I'm working tomorrow. First Saturday!! I'm not sure why librarians complain about working Saturdays; I guess I'll find out.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

And so it begins . . .

For the past few days I have had a handful of volunteers coming in to do a little weeding. Starting with the picturebooks because we're using the shelves, there is a system the kids are using to find, pull, and shelve the books.

Monday: I was polishing off the "plan". A coworker suggested an idea. I thought it was good until I started to do reports. 25,000 is a lot of books!!

Tuesday: while out for a run, I had an epiphany: pull the books on the list, store them on a cart, pull the books left on the shelf and box them up, and then refill the empty shelves with the books on the cart. The first 2 official volunteers showed up and helped for about an hour, or so.

Wednesday: My trusty volunteer, "A", came in early to help. She put in a super long day. I was so grateful to her for the hard work she did. She completed an entire list of 500 books!! The other volunteer came in shortly before lunch so I treated the 2 volunteers to pizza (it was an excuse for me to eat it instead of my modest can of soup).

Thursday, today: it's my day off! Well, kind of. With the responsibilities of Department Manager, I have to meet with my boss, but then I'm free. Oh, what to do?

Forecasting for Friday: The YMCA might be coming in with a group of 5-6 teen/tweens! This project is running fairly smoothly.

Next week: Physical labor! Dun  . . . dun . . . dun.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's not EZ being Green: Collection Management edition

My final class for the MLIS program will be collection management; however, I mentioned I have a collection that I have to move. Perhaps this class would help before I start the ordeal?!?!

We all know there's 101 ways to skin a cat. Well, there 101 ways to manage a large  collection. When I say large collection, I mean LARGE  collection, 25,000+ materials, including books, DVDs, video games, and audiobooks. My original plan was to pull the books I want to move since I'm only taking roughly 20% of the collection. I'm terrible at math, so I'll tell you it will be about 5,000 items. I know that all the video games, DVDs, and series (think the "Babysitters' Club" series) will be available during the move. These titles aren't on any list; we're just pulling them from the shelves. On the other hand, the books are a whole different game. I mentioned my plan to 2 coworkers, which was to pull the books I want to take with me, and store them in the room that we will occupy. One gal suggested that I pack up and start storing my materials I won't need. That sounded like a great idea, until I started to do the reports.

I had to create several reports to manage the collection and merge them to get one final report. With the second option, to pull the books I won't take, it means that I'd have a list of 20,000 books. It means that I would have to create several reports and merge them. It also means that I (or whoever is doing the task for the day) would have to pull the books based on the list, checking each one and searching on the shelf. 20,000 books would take too long. It means I'd have a list 150 pages long, at least, and would be on paper. Being "green" (pun intended) I opted for the first method of collecting the 5,000 items and taking them to the small room.

KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid (this does not reflect my opinion of my coworker. She is very helpful, smart, and friendly. It's a motto to me to follow). We've heard it before. If I'd been at the library longer, I would most likely go with my coworkers suggestion; however, I'm in my 4th week, hence the term "green", and I barely know what is in my collection.

I welcome opinions. If you think there is a better way to do this, I'd love to hear it. I'll be researching other library transitions to find out their methods. Stay tuned to learn more about this wild adventure.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Friday Fizz Fizzled

Friday Fizzes were set up by the previous Youth Services Department Manager. Volunteers from De Pauw University are going to come over at 4pm to talk to the kids about science stuff----> incorporating the summer reading program, Fizz Boom Read. This past Friday, a volunteer was going to bring in tadpoles and pond water, along with microscopes for the kiddos to look at. When she didn't show, oh, let's say around 3:50pm, I began to panic.

Thinking quick, I grabbed the books I pulled for the program and asked my staff to prep an experiment, water in bowls to demonstrate density. I introduced myself to the kids and began by sharing a book with a lot of different experiments. I found one that was so simple, all we needed was popsicle sticks. I grabbed a bunch of sticks in two sizes and showed the kids what to do. They had to put the stick in their molars and "pling pling pling" on the end of the stick. By doing this, the kids were able to hear sounds. One kid noticed that if you put the stick back farther it made a different sound. We also switched out the sticks to the smaller ones to notice for sounds.

When that one got "old" we began testing for static electricity. Yes, we even took off our stinky shoes to rub our feet on the floor. The storytime room lacks a charge. No one got zapped. 

Lo and behold, the volunteer showed up with pond water and tadpoles around 4:25. Whew, that was close. I kept the kids busy until she got there. They seemed to like it, too. Lesson learned: ABC------> Always Be Creative. By thinking on my feet, I was able to bring science to the improv storytime session.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I blue myself then I was caught red-handed

This, of course, is an "Arrested Development" pun. As you might know, Tobias F√ľnke, has a way with words. And with blue paint. Earlier today I decided to save some money. Instead of tossing dried out play dough, I revived it using massage therapy. The method consisted of giving it a quick rinse with water, letting it rest for a few minutes, then massage it till it relaxed. The method worked, thanks to a quick Google search, but left my hands with a thick coat of blue crust. Then there was the tub of red dough. The "money saving trick" cost me about an hour of my time. Hmm . . .

The moral of this story is, always see the bright side of things. Okay, so I lost an hour of my free time, but now I can say I blue myself then I was caught red-handed!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

International Children's Day

It's International Children's Day. As a Youth Services Librarian, I'm a huge advocate for all things literary and children. When LeVar Burton launched his kickstarter campaign, I was only too ready to help. Now it's your turn to help out! Follow this link to help raise funds to bring Reading Rainbow back, this time into classrooms and libraries: It’s #InternationalChildrensDay. Celebrate w/ us by pledging $5 to bring @ReadingRainbow to more kids & classrooms!