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There were some books that were outdated.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!


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




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.