Posts Tagged 'Librarians'

A Typical Tuesday During Summer Reading

My lovely friend Abby has a series of posts on her blog about a Day in the Life of a Children’s Librarian, and I have always wanted to do one.  I also kind of promised Lindsay that I would do one during BEDA, which I never got around to.  So today was a pretty cool day at work, and I thought I would share a step by step look at what I did.  Some of you might say that this is NOT a typical day, but I will do this every Tuesday for six weeks this summer, so yes, it is pretty typical for me.

8:35  Get in to work and check the book drop.  My boss and I are supposed to be at work at 9:00, but both of us snuck in at the same time today.  That is how hardcore things are during the summer at my library.

8:40  Set up the room for storytime and make quick example of the craft.

9:00  Went over stories for the program and jumped up and down in excitement over a delivery of new smelly markers from Dick Blick (they are so fancy!!!).

9:30  Storytime for one of the daycares with 27 people there.  We did around the world stories including “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” by Mem Fox, “My Granny Went to Market” by Stella Blackstone, and “Say Hello” by Rachel Isadora.  We also sang one of my very favorite songs “Sally the Camel.”  It’s great, look it up.

10:00  Craft time with the daycare.  All the kids got reading passports that we stamped with a “World Traveler” stamp and they drew their portrait inside.  Each week they will get a new stamp in their passport and then they take it home on the last day.  They also made their own personal flags out of cardstock and popsicle sticks.

10:20  Quickly clean up and reset the room at the same time for the next storytime.

10:30  Storytime for the public.  Do the same thing all over again for a crowd of 50.  It was one little guy’s last storytime before he moves and it was super sad to see him go.  He came to my very first storytime at the library over two years ago.  *Sniffle*

11:20  Clean up the room and reset it for the teen program this afternoon

11:40 Gather some last minute supplies for the teen program and then search frantically for my car keys.

11:50 Finally find my keys and head home for lunch.  (Even though I am at home, I use my lunch break to check work emails.)

12:40  Back at the library.  Spend a few minutes at the desk checking stuff in and shelving things.  Help a few kids pick up summer reading stuff.  Go over the I Spy that our lovely page did for the display window and say that it looks awesome.

1:30 Last minute set up for the teen program.  Get out display books and enough pens and pencils for the scavenger hunt.

1:45  Kids start arriving early so we start dishing out the ice cream cones.

2:00  The program has just started and the stream of kids coming in is not stopping.  I run to the store to get more ice cream!  We end up having 43 kids show up!!  They all eat their ice cream and then break up into teams for a library scavenger hunt.  I worried they might think it was kind of lame, but they went CRAZY over it.  They were running around the library like little cockroaches searching for the answers.  I loved it, but according to my boss, this is the last one we do for a while 🙂

2:40  Announce the winner of the hunt and give away prize books to 8 lucky kids.

2:45  Kids clear out and we clean up the drips of ice cream and put away the bean bag chairs.

3:10  Finish out my regular shift by working the desk.  I shelve, check stuff in, help people search for the hidden pictures in the library, and chat with a nice family that comes in for storytime.

5:00  Head home for a quick bite to eat.

6:00  Back at the library to get ready for our Family Night program.  A local wildlife rescue guy is bringing his reptiles to the library.

6:25  Let in the massive group of people gathered outside the door and try to get them to keep an aisle clear in the middle of the room.

6:35  We start the program and these are the things that happen

*115 people show up.

*My camera batteries run out after he brings out the second animal.

*I yell A LOT to get people to quiet down.  I adore my patrons, but they are always rowdy when performers come.

*The giant tortoise poops on the kitchen floor.

*When the tortoise tries to walk on the carpet he can’t get any traction so he just sits there swinging his huge legs.  SO CUTE!

*The cobra poops all over the presenter and our floor.

*The cobra literally escapes his container and we all scream bloody murder.  He doesn’t get very far, but it literally sounds like we are all being massacred.  I am halfway out the door ala George Costanza in a fire.  In a situation like that, I was like, “You’re on your own kids!”

*He brings out a Ball Python that is the hugest thing ever.  It is shedding its snake skin all over the carpet.

*Everybody gets a chance to touch all the animals (except that crafty cobra) and they all seem to have had a marvelous time.  Most kids go home with a piece of snake skin.  I was even brave enough to touch some of them.

7:30  I vacuum up the snake skin and try to clean the cobra poop off the carpet (I did not succeed).

7:50  I put the new receipt printer in the cash register since I have the magic touch.

8:05  I finally head home.

Phew!  So, every Tuesday for the next five weeks I have four programs.  But then I am halfway done with my programming for the week, so it is pretty easy peasy from here on out.  Sorry this was such a long post, but it was a really LONG day.


P.S.  Man, kids and parents are going to be talking about the escaped cobra for a long time.  It was so awesome how we all freaked out, and then laughed about it.


The only way I will exercise…

So somehow I seem to have forgotten about Mousercise for the last 20 years until the library started a wellness program where we have to stretch every morning. And since my supervisor is awesome, she interlibrary loaned the Mousercise soundtrack for us to listen to while side-bending and lunging. I totally had a mousercise VHS tape when I was little and felt totally AWESOME when I did my own work-outs. (I also did the Jane Fonda tapes with my mom which made me giggle uncontrollably) I actually don’t remember too much of it, but several of the librarians actually remembered whole routines–I am in such awe of my coworkers.


Ballad of a Children’s Librarian

During the past six weeks, I have done thirty-six storytimes by myself,

six teen programs,

and emceed six family nights without losing my voice,

for I am a children’s librarian.

I have watched 140 people cram into a room made for 80.

I have touched a baby alligator’s tail and fossils from the Devonian period,

for I am a children’s librarian.

I have gained upper body strength and painful back spasms from moving tables and chairs multiple times per day.

I have killed one vacuum while picking up sand, flour, popcorn, dirt, chips, sequins, and (fake) snow,

for I am a children’s librarian.

I have explained to not one, but two kids that they can’t have another prize if they threw theirs up on the roof.

I have made boats, sharks, bubble machines, terrariums, octopuses, and painted with sand,

for I am a children’s librarian.

I have placed multiple holds on the Clique series and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books whilst controlling my gag reflex.

I have worked so hard that I sweat through my clothes with three hours left to go of my shift,

for I am a children’s librarian.

I have battled screaming toddlers, water balloons, rude people, and sulky teens.

I have dealt with a power outage, bad weather, a movie that stopped in the middle for no reason, and figuring out how to open the attic door (we have an attic???),

for I am a children’s librarian.

I have impersonated an ocean wave, a seal, a turtle, many fish, and a snail.

In doing so, I have made a fool of myself in front of the whole town and several times made it into the local paper,

for I am a children’s librarian.

The summer reading program is now over, and I have survived to see another year.  Pretty soon the kids will go back to school and public librarians everywhere can breathe a much-needed sigh of relief.  I am already feeling the stress melt off my shoulders.  To all of you librarians suffering through the final push of summer reading, I wish you luck!  You can do it (Abby)!!!!


BEA Highs and Lows

I am very relieved that I survived my first (and probably last) BEA experience.  It was a whirlwind trip that is unfortunately still going on.  My flight to Chicago got canceled, so I am chilling in a hotel (that I had to pay for) and waiting for my flight to leave tomorrow afternoon.  Yeah, that’s right….I will be getting home 24 hours after I was originally supposed to.  I hope my cats are okay.

Since I am still a little crabby about the whole airport fiasco and not in the mood to read, I thought I would post about my favorite parts of BEA.  I wish I had pics to share, but they will have to come later since my camera cord is at home.

Here are the best parts of BEA:

**Getting to see Abby!!  I haven’t seen her in months, so it was great to get to hang out with her again.  She was the perfect partner in crime to tackle the expo.

**The librarian’s dinner on Tuesday night was awesome!  We got like five books and dinner for free just for being librarians!!  All five authors spoke and they all did so well.  Jane Green was my fave because her accent was so cute, but I loved them all!

**The author’s breakfast with Jon Stewart, John Grisham, Condoleezza Rice, and Mary Roach.  Even though I didn’t get to actually meet any of these people (sigh) they did an amazing job of speaking.  Each one was really interesting to listen to, and of course, Jon Stewart was hilarious!  I think my favorite had to be Mary Roach, who talked about her new book Packing for Mars.  It’s about the more “human” aspects of astronaut life (like cleanliness, sex, and pooping in space).  I think it will be awesome!!

**Getting Jeff Kinney’s autograph!  I got the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie Diary signed and I am going to use it as a grand prize for the summer reading club (after I read it, of course).  I hope the kids will be as excited about it as I am.

**Getting Wendy Mass’ and Ingrid Law’s new books made the trip for me!!  These ladies are two of my favorites and I literally squealed when I picked up The Candymakers and Scumble.

**The Librarians’ Lounge and the shipping area were so convenient.  A free place to get food and a place to drop off all of my books in order to save my shoulder??  What more could I want??

**Getting free books!!!  Did I mention how amazing it is to get free books!  I did not get a count of how many I actually picked up, but I shipped two giant boxes back along with stowing some of them in my suitcase.  I picked up most of them for the library, but some of them were just for me 🙂

Here were some of the things I was not so fond of:

**The autographing area was not well organized at all.  Sometimes you had to push your way through four layers of people to get through to your line.  At least the lines were filled with polite people (mainly booksellers and librarians) who remained nice even when we all wanted to scream in frustration.

**I am not a fan of the city of New York.  I can’t imagine ever coming here as a tourist just to be a tourist.  Taking a cab ride anywhere is terrifying and walking is even scarier.  I don’t care what kind of wonderful things the city has to offer, I really don’t plan on coming back any time soon.

**There were a lot of rumblings among the seasoned BEA goers that there were not as many ARCs this year and that the publishers were not as willing to give things out.  I have nothing to compare it to, but I did notice that it did not seem to be as magical as everyone had described it (I was not literally swimming in books like I thought I would be).  But I did get a lot of great books and I have nothing to complain about.

**Getting stuck in New York is totally terrible.  Awful, awful awful.  I had an emotional breakdown at the airport in front of a lot of businessmen.  I probably should have been embarrassed, but I will never see these people again, so I did not care.  I am much more calm now, but I am still upset that I won’t be home for another 28 hours.

Overall, it was a great experience and I had a good time picking up books like a human tornado, but I don’t think I would spend the money to come again.

I will be sure to post pictures of all of my fun stuff as soon as my boxes get to the library.


One of the reasons I love my job.

Because I get to DANCE! with little kids! and giant dogs! Seriously, my fellow librarians knew how happy this would make me that they didn’t even ask–I just got an email one afternoon that said “Amber, we are going to film you dancing to Beyonce tomorrow. Dress appropriately.”

(filmed for the River Bandits’ Library Night which then got rained out booooo)


Why I Love My Job…

Even though it is totally nerdy to blog about this, I can’t help myself. I had a real “librarian moment” today at work that made my whole week. This morning my co-worker and I went to one of the elementary schools and booktalked about 20 books for a gifted reading class of 3rd-5th graders. They were such a great audience because these kids truly love to read, but that wasn’t even the best part.

One of the books that I talked about is the amazingly awesome “Skulduggery Pleasant” by the incomparable Derek Landy. I don’t even have to mention how great it is because the cover pretty much says it all. Well, this afternoon while I was sitting at the desk, a boy came up to the desk right at 2:30 (they get out of school early on Wednesdays here which is totally unfair) and asked for this book! He was real shy but his Mom said he had heard the book talks this morning and was really excited about this book!

I actually got through to a kid, and not just any kid, a boy!!! The fact that my two minute book talk was powerful enough to make him race to the library to get the book makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (I am going to assume it was all my amazing booktalking and had nothing to do with the kickass cover.)


Cool Things About Being a Librarian

Sorry for the lack of posts from me lately.  Believe or not, there really hasn’t been anything in my life exciting enough to blog about (with the exception of the Dolly Parton Tea Party, which was pretty awesome).

But I have been really enjoying my job lately.  I am in my first year of being a real-live-children’s librarian.  One of the really cool things about my job is that I have fans!!!  I recently went to a preschool to do a storytime and one of the little boys who comes in all the time was in the class and he yelled, “It’s Miss Jen!  It’s Miss Jen!  She’s my teacher!!!”  My little heart melts and my knees turn to jello everytime someone calls me Miss Jen.  And there is nothing better than reading a story to a group of three year olds and hearing them all laugh out loud at the silliness of Mrs. McNosh and her wash or George from “Bark, George.”

I also love the fact that I get to buy the DVDs!!!!!  Putting me in charge of purchasing the children’s DVDs is like letting a fox into a henhouse………..I have waaaaay too much fun doing it.  I had a little bit of extra money because the year is drawing to a close, so I have been buying like crazy.  I think it is really healthy for me to get to spend so much money on DVDs at work, because then I don’t feel the need to spend as much of my own money to buy DVDs for me.  One of my recent purchases that I am super excited about is the First Season of “The Gummi Bears” on DVD!!!!!  You may all be way too young to know what that was, but it was all about these bears that lived in a forest and made this wicked gummi-berry juice that allowed them to jump super high!!!!  Okay, now that description is not the best, but if you watch this video, you will get the idea.

Now there are lots of other cool things about being a librarian, but I am too tired and lazy to list them all now.

P.S.  I totally watched “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” on tv today, and I forgot how awesome that movie is!!!!!!!  So much better than the first one (because it made me cry when the ant died), so funny and cute.  Awww, it’s one of those movies that you never think about until it is on tv and then you have no choice but to watch it because it is so amazing!


Because we all know libraries make the hormones go wild….

I saw this post on (which if you can’t tell, I visit a lot) called “18 Sexy Trips to the Library.”

You should definitely check it out, but I am a little confused by what they mean by sexy (Ghostbusters, Goblet of Fire……really???).  But of course I do agree with Atonement, Beauty and the Beast, and Indiana Jones being included.

It got me thinking about what my favorite library scenes from movies and tv are………..

Since I had to compose this list on the fly, I am sure that I am missing lots and lots of library moments.

5.  Nova Lee meeting Forny in “Where the Heart Is.”  Because I wish there was a librarian like Forny working at my library with his curly hair and love of children (in the GOOD way, not the bad way).

4.  I am sure I should include a Buffy moment in here somewhere, since they spend half their time in the library.  Giles is a pretty sexy librarian if you ask me.

3.  Edward and Eleanor debating the position of the Nile in “Sense and Sensibility.”

2.  The scene in “Becoming Jane” where Tom shows Jane the ‘dirty’ book (that happens in a library doesn’t it?).

1.  Ephram’s dream sequence in “Everwood.”  In the very first episode of this phenomenal show, Ephram has a dream sequence where Amy is lookin’ all cute in a red dress and speaking French while roaming through the school library.  If only everyone could walk into a library and morph into a French-speaking Goddess.

Can you guys think of any more “Sexy” library scenes??


Sunny Days, Sweeping the Clouds Away….

I just smacked my laptop screen because it was taking too long to load something…….sigh………that is the kind of day I am having today, no wait, the kind of week I am having.

So when I need to cheer myself up, I crawl back into my childhood and remember the carefree, relaxing, nonstressful joys of being young. One of my favorite things as a girl was Sesame Street. I watched it religiously back then, and still think that “Follow That Bird” is one of the greatest movies ever.

So here is a tiny clip from Sesame Street done by one of my favorite children’s authors, Mr. Mo Willems. He does the Pigeon books and also the Elephant and Piggie books. He is pretty much fantastic in every way. We shall call him the “Meg Cabot” of the male persuasion.

And to continue with the Sesame Street theme, this is what I feel like on most days at the library (I am the librarian and not Cookie Monster).