Obviously, I work the reference desk at least a few hours a day. We recently combined the children’s information desk and the circulation desk at the library I work at, so when I’m there, I end up doing mostly circulation. In a way, it’s a bummer, because it seems like I don’t get to answer as many reference questions. But I also feel like I’m interacting with more people sitting there and helping with circulation, so that part I like. Sometimes I work on the adult desk as well, but I’m not quite as comfortable there.
I’m involved in a lot of the library system’s social media. I’m the “leader/organizer” of our Facebook committee, I write for the teen blog, I’m involved in the Pinterest team, and a coworker and I also create a puppet picture book review show for our kids blog. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do, especially since we have really good chemistry together.
Other committees I’m on are the teen committee, the puppet committee, and the new Suburban Dare committee. The teen committee has one member from each branch that plans all the teen/tween programming for that branch. Our puppet committee honestly hasn’t met in a year and a half and don’t do much right now. Suburban Dare is our new experiment in summer reading this year, basically also tying in other city departments and community activities to summer reading, so we are working on planning all the details on that.
I also do a few storytimes a week and I’m involved in our current LEGO Robotics club that we started this spring, which is a lot of fun, but does take some training and extra Saturday work. I organize outreach with the schools in our area, working with the school librarians (who are open to it) to find times for us to go visit the students at school.
Aside from all that, I’m in charge of the two teen displays we have, one a giant display case and the other a giant bulletin board. And I do some weeding and process donations.
All in all, I can’t say I find myself bored at work very often. And despite having all these things to think about, I don’t usually feel like I’m drowning. I think what I’m the most stressed about right now is the actual teen/tween programming. For the summer, we’re really focusing on tweens, so I’m planning a Minecraft party as well as a veggie derby, where the kids will make cars out of raw vegetables. I’m just in my self-conscious brain afraid that I won’t be able to pull these programs together into something good, or that I’ll be overrun with tweens after only planning for so many. I’m hoping after my first few programs, I will worry less about how everything will turn out and trust myself to know what I’m doing. But right now, I don’t!
If there’s one thing I do at work that I do have confidence in, it’s storytime. I love storytime, and my Monday night family storytime is my favorite. Even though I’m definitely an introvert, I can somehow overcome that during this special half hour where all eyes are on me expecting entertainment. I can handle holding their attention, and even manage to make the parents laugh. I’m in my zone during storytime. So I’m going to share some of the themes we use for storytime, and my favorite books for them.
This week our theme was Spring. We always start with an envelope addressed to storytime with the letter of the day (“S”), and couple pictures of clues for them to figure out the clue. Then puppet and the 10 Little Fingers opening rhyme.
I started out with Muncha Muncha Muncha by Candace Fleming, a great story about some pretty persistent rabbits. This one is fun because the kids can “muncha muncha muncha” with you. I learned from two masters in my previous job that anything you can make interactive is good in family storytime, because you have so many different ages, it can be hard to keep all of them interested.
So then we read Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand. This one is fun because you can do some snoring. Normally, I’d have the kids snore with me in this one, but I have a few that got a little too carried away last time we had some snoring, so I didn’t encourage them. Still a cute story though.
Then we did The Five Fat Peas fingerplay, which is one of my favorites. It always goes over well.
The music we use is Hot Potato. The kids and parents love it and can’t get enough. We do it every week.
Then we read Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson. Her books generally always go over well for me. This one is pretty similar to Spring is Here, so I talked to them a little bit about how they were similar, and what made them different.
We use a Two Little Hands fingerplay for our closing rhyme, and then the kids can say goodbye to my host puppet, Charlotte! They normally feed her french fries or strawberries for some reason.
I do have one older 7-year-old boy that usually comes to my storytime. He’s not with anyone, I think his dad is using the computers and just tells him to go in there. He can be pretty tough to please, and he likes to spoil the story if he can figure out the ending ahead of time, so I’ve been trying to make some progress with him. This week I had to really make eye contact and tell him to listen. He’s also one of those that likes to hit the host puppet at the end, so I have to tell him to be careful and be gentle. It’s a little uncomfortable. But all in all, spring was a pretty fun storytime!