Friday, August 26, 2011

What I've Been Doing in August

Photo by Aaron Harmon

For me, August is a catch-up month. It's time to wrap things up, tackle the mounting lists of tasks that we were too busy to do during summer, and plan for the fall. Um, it's gone by way too fast! I took a couple of short vacations and somehow August turned out to be busier than it had any right to be!

Our kids started school on the 15th. Of course, we'll miss seeing some of them until next summer, but having the kids in school and taking a break from programming gives us some much-needed quiet time at the library. And why do we need quiet time?

Here are some of the things we've been doing in my department this August:

- Writing reports about the Summer Reading Club and talking about what we want to do differently or keep the same next year. We do a presentation to the Board and I have to report to the Friends of the Library to tell them where their grant money went this summer. I also send out a letter to the principal of each school with a list of kids who completed the SRC. Some of the schools do something special for the kids who completed their reading.

- Outreach and professional development. I attended:

  • a meeting of a local homeschooler group
  • a Success by 6 meeting
  • an Afterschool Alliance meeting
  • a district children's roundtable
  • a meeting of local teachers
  • and the CYPD Conference is coming up next week (and I'm presenting at the conference, so I've been working on that presentation as well)

- Weeding! I finished weeding the children's videos and placing big DVD orders to replace as much of our beloved, well-circing movies as I could.

- Recataloging our Folk & Fairy Tale section. The call numbers we had previously made sense at the time, but they were too long and cumbersome to be user-friendly. So, we're in the process of recataloging that entire section.

- Working on the library's new strategic plan.

- Ordering books. I was able to place some orders over the summer, but now we're starting to get close to the end of our ordering time. Our fiscal year ends December 31 and in order to get all the POs closed before the end of the year, we generally start slowing down our ordering in October and stop ordering altogether around mid-November. I aim to have the bulk of my budget spent or planned out by mid-October, which means paying special attention to award potentials!

- Planning programs for the fall. I like to have my Mother Goose on the Loose sessions all planned out (and I'm hoping that attendance for this picks up in the fall, as it kinda slumped off during the summer). I've got teen programs to plan and we're thinking about preschool storytime, which will start in October.

- And in my spare time, I'm reading books for the Young Hoosier Book Award Committee. I have to have my books read by our September 10 meeting, so I'm frantically reading at home.

So, although it may seem to patrons that the library goes quiet in August, we librarians know that August is anything BUT a quiet time. Pretty soon, we'll be back in the swing of things with storytimes and outreach programs, so I'm savoring this last little bit of August while I can!