Friday, April 18, 2014

my favorite babies

We had 3 babies born within the last 6 months in my inner circle of closest friends: my best friend Kim & Joe had my Goddaughter, Mika on my birthday (October); friends Kate & Chris had Ellie in November; brother A3 and sis-in-law, Dayna had my nephew Alex in February. My sweet Savannah Banana celebrated her 2nd birthday two weekends back, all of us gathering to celebrate her and all of our babies being together for the first time.

It was just too sweet. Lots of little smiles from the girls; lots of passing around Alex, our newest addition and his first time meeting the gang; new parents looking up any time a baby cried, to see who it was, since all of them spent the afternoon not holding their own.

Mom is coming down today for Easter weekend with me, though we're going to meet A3, Dayna, and these two for breakfast tomorrow. 

Life is good.

Protective big sister, Savannah with Alex

Savannah and Alex, sweet sibling love

Thursday, April 17, 2014

the dos and the don'ts

This past week our staff closed the library and attended one of the Ohio Library Council’s regional conferences; enjoyed catching up with colleagues and friends within the profession, grabbing freebies from vendor donors, and listening in on sessions given by peers within the profession.

It was good that I had received word about the OLC State Conference before attending this regional one because I feel as though I scrutinized the speakers more than I would have, I watched and took note of what I did and didn’t like about their presentations. 

Some things I want to keep in mind for my talk at the state conference:

  • DO NOT read your presentation off of your Powerpoint
  • Share examples of things that did/didn’t work for you/other libraries, but don’t focus on that solely
  • Speak clearly, stopping for questions throughout
  • Do not speed talk
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep eye contact
  • Keep the audience engaged by asking them questions, write your shared Q & A on a wipe-board if possible
  • Have a sense of humor, don’t get flustered by questions you don’t have answers to—it’s ok to say, “I don’t have a good answer for that, I’d be more than happy to get your email and send you an answer to that after I dig one up for you!”
  • Be modest about your successes, if you choose to speak of those—no one hates a smug know-it-all!
  • If you have handouts KEEP THEM BRIEF, and make sure your contact information is on them, at least your name and email address
  • Share links to your helpful sources/your websites, etc.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

deep breathing

I am a member of one of Ohio Library Council’s division committees, and at one of our last meetings we discussed how best to get our presence/name out into the world of public libraries in Ohio; we talked about what our presence should be at the Ohio Library Council’s state conference in October. I offered to do a Poster Session (information boards that are kept up at a table for passerbys, so that they may obtain information about your group), I also ballsily said that I would consider doing a Session with another librarian (sessions are hour long talks about a topic that is pertinent within the profession); we even came up with another librarian who would be willing to split the session with me.

So we did the proper paperwork and submitted it, and holy Jesus, we just found out last week that the council who decides ACCEPTED OUR PROPOSAL! I AM GOING TO BE SPEAKING IN FRONT OF TONS OF PEOPLE AT THE FREAKING STATE CONFERENCE. NOBODY PANIC!!

I literally already starting having nightmares about it this past weekend…though I sorta like the idea that came out of the nightmare: instead of presenting on our topic I convinced another local director to take the old Will Ferrel/Cher O’Terri cheerleader skits from SNL and convert them so they were about library stuff. It was actually funny, though I woke up sweating like a whore in church.

So, not only am I now preparing for a talk to be given to the parents at the local preschool concerning literacy, I’m now working on our poster session, and on my session talk. Deep breathing, doing yoga, praying for patience and inner peace, and trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to say.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Fools pranks

This is what my naughty staff did to me on April Fool's Day.

This was the funny bit...the sharp toothed, terrifying clown pictures that they taped EVERYWHERE in my office was mean. JUST MEAN.

Monday, April 14, 2014

we've got this!

Our Summer Reading is coming up again the last weekend in May. We’re again hosting a Touch-a-truck (with a local tractor, police car, ambulance, and fire truck), 4-H animals, face painting for the kiddos, as well as a HUGE yard book sale (fingers crossed for good weather).

Summer Reading 2014 themes:
Kids: Fizz, Book, Read
Teens: Spark a Reaction
Adults: Literary Elements

Our Summer Reading program, which is for all ages Birth-Adult, will again be 6 weeks long, and positively packed with over 60 activities for all ages. The things we’re most excited about for the kids are: Mr. Molecule, a performer who combines science/magic/comedy into a show that got very high reviews from EVERY ONE; a local “turtle lady;” a Lego Robotics class taught by a local institute that teaches the connections between Legos and science/math; and a Space Lab, which will be brought to us from the Toledo Imagination Station. 

The Teen/Adult programs that we’re excited about are: Bigfoot, Paranormal Investigations, UFOs, and the History of Local Cemeteries. While some libraries only do programs that fit with the themes, we choose to offer whatever we can, things which will get people in the doors and interested. Though our kids programs do fit the science theme, we’re jokingly calling the Teen/Adult speakers on Bigfoot, UFOs, and the Paranormal part of our “Science of Myths!”

Our Summer Reading Kick-Off planning is nearly complete; our letters for donations have gone out and donations have begun coming in; we have all events on the calendar for June and July and Prairie Dawn is coming up with the specific activities; my office is claustrophobically stuffed with nearly 1,500 books for the used book sale. 

Things are right on track.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pages vs. pages

Remember back in January when I hired a Page? It’s going pretty good, and she’ll have enough time and experience under her belt when we begin Summer Reading the first week in June. In the event that you’re also in a small library and you’ve never had/hired a Page and you’re going to, some tips I’d pass along as I learn through this, my first, Page hire:

  • Have a list of jobs that need to be done daily, i.e. shelf read the DVDs, shelf read the Board Books (the areas that see the most traffic/get things put back in the wrong order the most)
  • Have a list pertinent to their particular shift (opening, middle of the day, closing), activities, i.e. turn off computers, and check restrooms
  • Make sure when you hire them, their job descriptions includes things like, “small cleaning tasks as they arise,” or “will assist in preparation of Childrens/Teens/Adult programs.” Especially as we creep closer to Summer Reading our Page will be cutting out and preparing more items for our littlest patrons
  • Do regular check-ins or evaluations. I okayed with the Board 1, 3,6, and 9 month evaluations (everyone else just has a yearly evaluation) for our Page’s first year, so we keep checking in to make sure A. we’re on the same page (yes, pun intended) and B. make sure that Page feels supported in their position
  • It’s easy to go over changes in policy, etc. with your staff that works the most, so make sure you don’t forget to go over pertinent information with your Page too