Tag Archives: parents

A Quiet Night at the Library

Right now, our library seems to be in the very middle of a multi-week lull in the action in the Children’s Room. The Make a Splash summer reading club ended nearly two weeks ago, but there is still a week left before procrastination-happy parents come in for last-minute summer reading books requested by the schools.

I normally work only 1pm-5pm on Fridays, but I volunteered for extra hours (and extra $), so I worked until 9pm.  From 5-9 I was on duty in the Young Adult/teen room.  It was the slowest day I’ve experienced, and the lack of teens was probably compounded by the fact that the weather outside was lovely.  During my four hours in the teen room, I probably helped only 5 teens and one elderly gentleman – much fewer than usual.

Luckily, I’d been given some projects to work on by my superiors and the other librarians.  Tonight was perfect for doing computer-heavy, involved tasks.  Here’s a sample of the few projects I’ve been doing:

1. Princess Book List.  In the Children’s Room, we’ll often get parents of preschool girls asking for princess books.  Inevitably, this happens while all of the librarians are busy with other patrons, so the princess patrons simply get referred to the Disney section.  Well, my superiors (and I) agree that it would be ideal to encourage non-Disney books, and make them easily available for the little girls that like everything to be a combination of pink, purple, and sparkly.  I finished the list today, and it should appear on the SHPL webpage next week.

2. Summer Book Weeding. This is my first assignment of this sort.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with library lingo, “weeding” is the process of assessing the frequency of use of materials in order to give/throw away anything that doesn’t earn its place on the shelf.   Today, I started the first round of weeding of the Summer Story books, just going through ones that have been on the front display shelf.  So far, it seems that less than 1/5 of the books are going into the tentative “weed” pile.

3. Journal Hunting. One of the full-time librarians got handed down an assignment from the boss, and she handed it down to me.  I started going through the School Library Journal, checking to make sure that our library has copies of all the most highly featured materials in the journal.  So far, I’ve found that we already have all but a few of the books that appear in the featured lists (this one happened to be about picture books that reinforce mathematical concepts).

Although these three projects are business-as-usual for seasoned librarians, they are all new tasks for me.  I’m excited to learn new procedures and develop familiarity with all aspects of the profession.  Additionally, I may also soon begin re-cataloging all of the audio CD collection in the Children’s Room.  We shall see….and don’t forget to enjoy the extra “quiet time” at the library in the August slow season.

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Who’s That Grown-Up Reading a Picture Book?

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Picture books, fantasy novels, and Dr. Seuss all day long.  After my first week on the job as a page in the Children’s department, I’ve noticed that my daily grind affords me the opportunity to handle hundreds of Children’s books every day and grab anything that interests me.  Now that I’m planning to become a librarian, it’s important for me to become more familiar with different books and information sources.  Since I’m considering entering into the world of Children’s librarianship, every kiddie book I read is a step closer to professional excellence….or at least a chance to relive happy literary memories of my childhood.

Yesterday, I noticed the intriguing title How Pizza Came To Queens by Dayal Kaur Khalsa.  After a five minute battle with the self-service checkout computer,  I took it home and read the picture book over lunch.  The story was adorable, and made me feel like a little kid again.  I was rapt anxiety, faced with a New York where pizza did not [yet] exist.  Thanks to the curiosity and assistance of four young girls and the wisdom and generosity of Mrs. Pellegrino, pizza is now a popular lunch standby in our great borough of Queens.

Today, I found The Red Thread by Grace Lin, a touching fairy tale that explains the bond of love between adopted children and their adoptive parents.   Ms. Lin dedicated the book “to all children adopted, the parents who loved them but could not keep them, and the parents who traveled far to find them.”  She writes, “There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together.”  Isn’t this true?  We’re all con This story can help to show children how important they are to their parents and how very much they are loved, no matter where they came from.

So, as I continue working in the Children’s department, I’ll be on the lookout for literature that either seems new and interesting, or that played a part in my own childhood.   Recommendations will be gladly accepted!  Next on the menu: The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling.

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