Friday, February 15, 2008

Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

Another day, another completely different set of tasks...

8:30am - Arrive at work. Get materials ready for outreach storytime (get the lightweight felt board, find stickers to give out, pack up books and materials).

8:45am - Leave library and travel to local preschool for storytime.

9:00am - Arrive at local preschool and begin programs. This particular preschool contacted us to schedule visits on two days (they have a LOT of classes). They wanted a program about black history and/or multicultural diversity. Yesterday two of our librarians went and did storytimes for infants, toddlers, and 2's. Today we presented for 3's, 4's, a class of 4-5's, and a class of toddlers. We used the following books (not all of them for every class):

It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr (funny! And I love Todd Parr!)
We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania by Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns
Kente Colors by Debbi Chocolate and John Ward (love this book and it worked with younger and older kids...)
My Nose, Your Nose by Melanie Walsh
Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin and John Archambault (we used a big book)
A Triangle for Adaora: An African Book of Shapes by Ifeoma Onyefulu (great book, but the text is too long for a readaloud, so I paraphrased it)

We also used a felt of the story Duckie's Rainbow and we sang the song "If You're Wearing Red Today", which don't really fit with multicultural diversity, but we worked the colors angle, tying them to Kente Colors.

We saw three classes of 3's (combined into one group), 2 classes of 4's (combined into one group), one class of 4-5's, and one class of toddlers for a total of 118 kids. Whew.

10:50am - We head back to the library.

11:00am - We arrive back at the library. I put away the storytime stuff (make sure the books are checked in, put away the felt board, stickers, and bags) and record the stats from our visit.

11:15am - I call another local preschool to attempt to reschedule last week's visit that was canceled due to snow storms of doom. The director isn't there, so I leave a message with some possible dates.

11:25am - I log the titles we used at our visit. We keep track of the stories we use for each in-house and outreach storytime so that we don't use the same ones all the time.

11:35am - I check my email and voicemail.

11:45am - I take down a preschool loan that needs to go out on the van on Monday. This teacher has requested a bag of books about presidents and about dental health. Sometimes a lot of the preschool teachers request the same topics at the same times (like right now dental health is very popular), so pickings can become slim... We do the best we can to please everybody!

12:00pm - Lunch time! I use the first half of my break to peruse the Friends of the Library book sale and come away with a stack of books for only $5.50. Score. Then I head to the staff room to eat my sandwich.

1:00pm - I'm on desk from 1-4. Since it's a no-school day, we were pretty busy, and in the down time I work on updating my booklists. Here's a sampling of the questions I was asked:

Where are the Barbie video games?
Can you help me find all the Clique books?
What are some good videos about shapes for preschool kids?
Do you have Hannah Montana DVDs in?
Where are the Calvin and Hobbes books?
How do I inter-library loan something?
These two computer mice are broken.

4:00pm - I'm back in the office. My boss stops by for a chat about the Summer Reading Club prizes. I'm not sure we really said anything helpful, but it was an interesting discussion anyway!

4:25pm - I fill out graphics requests for some programs I'm doing in April and talk with our graphic artist about them a bit. I'm requesting a poster for our Life-Sized Clue Game that we're hosting for teens and a sign for Mad Scientist Nitro Joe (both are programs I heard about at ILA).

4:50pm - I clean off my desk, put away my files, and...

5:00pm - I head home for the weekend! TGIF!

And there you have another day in the life of a children's librarian. Even though we sometimes get super busy, I love that we do our own outreach (as opposed to having an outreach department). It's so nice to get out of the library sometimes and visit local schools and preschools. There are some that we go to on a regular basis, but the one we visited today is one we haven't been to in a long time and I'm hoping they'll ask us back!