Ya, that was my week.
Our upgraded ILS finally went live late yesterday afternoon, and the massive check-ins of 2010 began! I hear Main Library checked in over 10, 000 items in a 3.5 hour period last night. We got through our 27 boxes and 9 bins by mid-day today, and then started on some other stuff (damaged, withdrawals, expired holds, etc.) I know my staff did an amazing job dealing with the massive backlog of material, checking in, dealing with problem items, sorting and re-shelving; I know this in part because I was right there beside them, checking in stuff too! It really was "all hands on deck" and it was kind of fun, in a crazy, chaotic, exhausting kind of way. So just don't read the comments here, because that might make you lose the will to live if you work for the library.
We did have to cancel one group visit today, because all of us were swamped with check-ins and shelving, but we did host our author visit yesterday afternoon. Local author Paul Glennon (whose adult book, Decameron, was a finalist for the GG, and his children's novel, Bookweird, which I loved, is the first of a planned trilogy) visited fair Rideau Library yesterday at 1 pm to talk to two local school classes. He was great; a little bit nervous at first, I think, but the kids in those two classes can be alternatively a handful or utterly uncommunicative, so I suppose I could have given him more warning about that. Paul talked about the plot of Bookweird, then read a bit from the opening scene where the main character, 11 year old Norman, wakes up inside the novel he was reading. The kids really loved when he did the accents for the animals in the book-inside-the-book. That was wonderful. Then Paul asked the kids about what they think would happen if they got stuck inside the book they were reading:
Kid: "Um, well, in class right now we're reading Oliver Twist, and, um, it's about this boy who's an orphan, and, um, I forgot his name..."
Paul: "Oliver Twist?"
Kid: "Yeah, that's it! Anyway, he ...." etc.
Best. Quote. Of. The. Day.
Actually, Oliver Twist made for a fertile discussion about what would happen if you got stuck inside a book. Paul also talked to the kids about what a writer does, and then read another passage from Bookweird and took questions from the kids. One particularly thoughtful question was, if Paul had this power of bookweird, would he use it? And what book would he like to travel into? Paul responded that he thinks he would be unable to resist using the power if he had it, and that he would most like to travel inside The Golden Compass, in part because he is interested to find out what his daemon would be (incidentally, did you know there is an online test you can take to find out? It's linked to a dating website, but is still kind of interesting).
So, yeah. Paul's visit was fun. He seems like a really nice, thoughtful, and interesting guy.
Then a kid threw up on the way out of the library, luckily not on the (new-ish) carpet, and luckily too, at least, not while the library was open (the only thing more gross than chunky vomit is chunky vomit that your library patrons have unwittingly tracked throughout the library).
Staff also rocked their creativity yesterday making some felts for me, before the system came online again - hooray! See you tomorrow - don't forget it's FELT FRIDAY! New felts unfinished and therefore not to be featured... yet.
Tomorrow: Hamilton. Flying Porter. Looking forward to that almost as much as the talk. Am psyched to meet some cool library techs.