I like December, because it's generally quieter, and especially over the holidays, it's a good catch-up period. Plus, mostly patrons are in good moods when they come in; whether it's their holiday season or not, most wish us a Merry Christmas.
While I was off being moulded like clay at NELI, my colleague was hosting a Lightfest storytelling event with Reb Arie. The event was a multifaith children’s storytelling circle celebrating Chanuka; Reb Arie explained, with much enthusiasm, the story of Hanukah to a group of local schoolchildren. The children also sang songs and played games with dreidels, and were ecstatic when Reb Arie told them that they could keep the dreidels!
A library school student shadowed me for an entire shift, during which time I taught her about reference, readers' advisory, programs and outreach. I crossed my fingers, and luckily nothing really scary/weird happened while she was here. We definitely notice changes in behaviour patterns and traffic in the branch during the cold weather; so far, I know most of our regulars on a first-name basis, and try to stay as positive as I can and greet everyone with a smile and eye contact. Respect goes a long way.
On my holiday to-do list was: updating the branch PowerPoint show to reflect Winter/Spring 2011 program information, weeding the Express collection, and writing new shelftalkers.
As usual, the Rideau staff pulled together in thick and thin, dealing with grey bins and shelving. We lost an employee we had "borrowed" from another location, but we're keeping on top of things for now. We also pitched in and helped at another nearby branch that has a staffing shortage on four different days (the holidays are tough for scheduling!).