Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

**Confession!** It was super hard for me to remember to write everything down on a single day this summer, so this is actually an amalgamation of two days, a Tuesday morning and then the following Wednesday afternoon.

8:45am - Arrive at work, put stuff away, get out stuff for this morning’s baby storytime. I go over the felts and rhymes that I’m going to use and make sure I have all the stuff together.

9:15am - Run off copies of our fall calendar so that I can pass them out at our programs this morning.

9:25am - Work on some publicity for the fall storytimes. I edit and print out some signs for our fall programs and work on getting together the handouts for our homeschooler programs which are starting again in the fall.

9:50am - Try to help someone on the computers who is submitting a resume online. Sometimes the quick fix is to ask them to switch computers, which is what I did after trying to fix it every other way I knew how.

10:00am - Mother Goose on the Loose! It’s our last time for the summer so I’m a little sad, but then 25 babies show up (and with them 28 adults, which means 53 people in the room) and there’s no time or space for sadness! We sing, read, bounce, march, and more! I’m sad that I won’t see them until September, but I hope that they’ll come back in the fall.

10:45am-12:00pm - Once I finish with MGOL and get my stuff somewhat cleaned up, I take over on desk so Miss T can go do Toddler Time. I help lots of Summer Reading Club finishers and answer questions about Star Wars, Dora, headphones for the computers, and children’s programs...

12:00pm - Lunch time! I actually brought my lunch today since it’s supposed to be eleventy billion degrees out. I eat in the staff lounge while reading Dominique Moceanu’s memoir Off Balance.

1:00pm - Back in my office, work on some handouts for our fall homeschooling programs. We’re revamping our homeschooler program for the fall and I work on a mystery book list for our October meeting. (More info on the revamp in a future post!)

1:50pm - One of the daycares that has been visiting regularly over the summer arrives for their programs. The leader tells me that they were late leaving the last time and have to make sure that they get out on time today, so I alert my staff. One of my staff does booktalks for the older group while the younger group spends time in the department choosing books to check out. I get their previous book collections checked in and then float around the department asking kids if they need help finding anything.

2:25pm - The booktalks are done, so the younger group goes into the meeting room for stories while the older group comes out to choose their books. We’ve been tweaking this group visit all summer and I think we’ve FINALLY found the smoothest way to structure it (and, of course, this is their last visit).

3:00pm - The storytime is over, all the books are checked out, and we say goodbye to the daycamp kids! Now it’s time to put our department back together. We had another daycare in from 1:30 to about 2:30, so the department is trashed. We collect the books left out on tables, refill displays, and straighten things up.

3:20pm - Back in the office, I work on an agenda for our Friday department meeting. I’ve really been making an effort to have a monthly staff meeting with as many staff in attendance as possible. It’s part of my plan to be more organized and communicative this year.

3:45pm - Work on some plans for fall storytime. We’re having our meeting on Friday to decide on themes for the fall so that we can get our publicity out. Sometimes I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants at these planning meetings and I end up with a storytime theme I’m not that excited about. This time, I’m determined to do my research and be prepared, so I’m working on a jungle theme and a construction theme. I want to see what books and extension activities I can find so I know there will be plenty to choose from when it’s time to start planning in earnest.

We’re changing up how we do storytimes this fall and we’re going to offer two separate series of four weeks apiece instead of one series of six to eight weeks. We’ll see how it goes!

4:45pm - Send out some emails including booking a local balloon artist for a program we’re having in August and sending out Friday’s agenda to my staff.

5:00pm - Do a walkthrough of my department and make sure evening staff know about any programs or issues they might have to deal with. Straighten up shelves and fill displays.

5:15pm - Time to go home!