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!!

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