Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Library day in the life ... (St-Laurent style)

Ok, I know, I know. I cheated. I tagged that old post for the wiki, when I should be in the spirit of things and actually posting about my current week. And some of you haven't heard much about my new job, so I guess I should really shape up. Here's a valiant effort to actually remember what I did today and yesterday. Stay tuned for more, if I can spare a sliver of time.

Yesterday = Monday!

I came in early, around 8:15. I really, really like coming in early. It means an empty library, which I think is one of the most wonderful things in the entire world, frankly. Does that make me anti-social? A smidge. Anyway, plus, you get a lot done before the public bursts through the gates. BTW, we practically have gates at St-Laurent (forthwith = SL) - we have these floor to 30-foot ceiling wooden doors (alas, modern, not all swank and medieval) that slide open on a track. Ask Megan about the time they got stuck when closing - NOT fun.

Whooo, side-tracked. Can you tell this is stream-of-consciousness? Anyway. I got in early, just before the torrential downpour. First order of every early day (as opposed to twice a week when I work nights, so start late) is to MAKE COFFEE. I bring one in my Java U thermos from home, but that second cup is usually a good idea. After that, yesterday, I started pulling French picture books for withdrawal. I spent about an hour in the stacks (again, benefit of coming early = sitting on the floor in the picture books for an hour, and actually having time to go through and evaluate the collection uninterrupted - and un-stepped-upon!)

I'm on an inventory/organising binge this month. It's partially because I am new to the branch (coming from here) and am going through stuff to find out where everything is. Along the way, however, one inevitably stumbles upon ... colouring sheets from 1992, monthly reports from 1998, ripped posters, etc. We're also in the process of re-designing the staff workroom, so I'm trying to inventory what our department (Children's and Teens' Services - we call it CATS) has in there, what we need to keep, what we can move/get rid of, and how the space should be designed. So I've been chipping away at that, and also moving around some collections in CATS, and weeding (because what's the point, as in the workroom of moving stuff you may not want to keep, anyway?)

So Monday the bell tolled for French picture books, but fear not - other collections will also quake under my gaze soon. I found it took me awhile to feel OK about weeding regularly - in part, because I came from a one-branch library where I agonised about weeding (quite rightly) because if we got rid of it, it was Gone. Now, we have the luxury of 32 other branches, so it's less of an issue, especially when an item hasn't circulated in years. I'm not going to go into the intricacies of the merits of thoughtful weeding (if you care, read this, page 14). Basically, my former colleague did a major children's nonfic weed before she (sniff) departed, and since I've arrived I've done a few other collections (including teens, which is getting a major re-vamp this summer in anticipation of our Wii gaming kiosk), so now my goal this summer is to weed French and English picture books, finish organising the workroom, and maybe do some backshifting to make room for collections that currently can't breathe. Oh, and get rid of the spinners for children's paperbacks. Those things are the spawn of Satan.

So, 1 hour of weeding yesterday, in preparation for my colleague to process in the afternoon. Then I spent 5-10 mins preparing for a storytime for a class that did NOT show up. They didn't show up last time they booked a storytime, either, which is why this time I spent 5 mins preparing. Lesson learned. To be dealt with.....

I also worked on my Babytime for the afternoon (we read this - it's a bilingual babytime so I alternate Fr/Eng books each week and did these rhymes and songs). Crap - just uploading that file made me get Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in my head AGAIN.

Blah. I forget where the rest of my morning went. At some point, I checked my RSS feeds and, evidently, my e-mail! Oh yeah, I moved some of the stuff on the front of the children's Information desk (ya, we call Reference Information). We've been displaying the cardboard flashlights the kids have made for Summer Reading Club (SRC) all over the desk, partly 'cause it looks wicked cool and colourful, aaaand partly 'cause the desk is starting to show its age (10-12 years?) and has some injuries (book trucks can be brutal). Last week when I was going through our old posters (part of clean-up, but also, a local teacher asked if she could have a few for display in her classroom) I found 3 that were very SRC-themed: two Where's Waldo, and one from a great pop-up book we have in our program collection, called Trucks go pop.

(OMG I just had a moment of listening to myself and I realised this new gig at SL is turning me into a total children's librarian. Mixed feelings about this. Love it, but would rather be RA queen).

I also planned out tasks for my colleague to do in the afternoon: call volunteers to help out with Wednesday's board game program, call a patron I've been trying to reach about her complicated reference question since last week (don't want to leave a message, as my answer involves asking her follow-up Qs, English is not her first language, and it's about a sensitive health matter), etc. Ho hum. What else did I do? Oh, I chose the title for our September home-based learners' book club (I wanted to read The adoration of Jenna Fox, but we don't have enough copies, so we're reading The comet's curse by Dom Testa. I met with the coordinator at our branch to discuss various scheduling dilemmas (including Christmas holidays! Already! Wheeee!).

I think that's it. Today started with an electrocardiogram (yummy), involved more weeding and workroom organisation (gotta break it down into chunks!), discussions over shifting collections and about lost picture books that fall behind the stacks with a page (shelver), scanning images from livre-jeux such as this and this, and now, wasting my break writing this blog entry.

Thus spake the busy, busy children's librarian.

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