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. 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