Tag Archives: South Huntington Public Library

Updates 2/20/13

It’s been too long since my last post.  Here’s a 10-second update:

I’m now proud to be employed in the Library department of Molloy College in Rockville Centre.  I’ve been there since August, I enjoy my time there, and I’ve learned a lot so far.  I’ve continued to work weekends at South Huntington Public Library in the Children’s department that I love.

In the last year or so, I’ve embarked on a great fascination with the Ender’s Game and Shadow series by Orson Scott Card, via their amazing audiobooks, with perfect timing for the 2013 film release.

Knuffle Bunny Free – My First Storytime

In honor of the recent publication of the third (and final) installment of the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems, I decided to do a Knuffle-centric storytime for my October program at the library.  The program was advertised for 4 to 7 year olds, but some toddler siblings tagged along with their moms.

Here’s a rundown of the activities:

  • Knuffle Bunny – A Cautionary Tale – DVD narrated by the author & his daughter
  • Teddy bear toss with music & dance (kids brought their teddies)
  • Knuffle Bunny Too – A Tale of Mistaken Identity – read aloud
  • A look at the map – where does Knuffle Bunny travel to?
  • Knuffle Bunny Free – An Unexpected Diversion – read aloud
  • Craft – Make a Mo Willems-style picture of your family

It was my first storytime at the library, and I was nervous.  The storytime was a bit hectic, as the toddlers-in-tow made a lot of noise, but the moms kept tabs on them, luckily.  The children enjoyed the stories, it seemed.  The craft took about 5 minutes longer than I expected, and the glue was much more messy than it was when I made a sample craft (my glue stick skills are more fine-tuned I guess).  Another children’s librarian stayed in the room to observe me, and she said that the program went well and that I did a good job, especially considering the whiny toddlers.

I had a good, but nervous time, and I hope the kids enjoyed themselves.  After all, it’s all about the kids’ enjoyment and developing love of reading.

My next program will be an “Honor Our Veterans” storytime, followed by children creating thank-you cards for local hospitalized veterans.  Wish me good luck!

Webkinz Fun – My First Program!

Sorry for the delay! My itsy-bitsy netbook is still under the knife in intensive care.  Right now, it sits, gutted, on my other desk.  Because I password-protected my files originally, I am unable to access them now from the severed hard drive.  Alas, it will be more time before my digital mobility is functional again.
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This Monday was my first real library Children’s program: “Webkinz Fun.”  My supervisor gave me the great idea, as she had success with the concept in the past.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Webkinz are the newest incarnation of the Beanie Babies phenomenon.  However, Webkinz have the distinction of having an online component in which children and their parents can participate in virtual communities based on the stuffed pets that they have paid for adopted.

The program went relatively smoothly, despite the one child in the room who was determined to test out just how long his lungs would allow him to wail.  Fortunately his mother and my supervisor were both in the room, so I wasn’t faulted for his tantrum.  It was a very laid-back activity and consisted of:

  • children introducing themselves and their pets to each other
  • a game of Webkinz bingo (this was a big hit)
  • a craft where children designed a plastic name tag for their pet
  • children showing off their name tags to each other (this wasn’t quite smooth since the children were getting antsy)

All-in-all, this program felt like a success, and got a “great” rating from my supervisor, which made me very happy.  My favorite pet names were Chihuahua for a Chihuahua, Ssssss for a snake, and Flower for a dog.  How cute!

For my October program, I’ll be hosting a Knuffle Bunny fest centered around the recently-premiered Knuffle Bunny Free that hit the shelves this week.  I’ll give more updates on the program as I plan the details.

My Very First Program @ the Library!

Tonight I had my first program at the library!  But really, this one was no big deal.  It was a monthly Wii Game Night for teens, and all I had to do was setup the snacks, put in the Monkey Ball disc, hang around to make sure the kids played nice, and clean up afterward.  The teens that played actually didn’t really care for this game, it turns out.  It seems the motions were too abstract and not straightforward enough to master in the short 1-hour time slot.

However, this program wasn’t really “mine;”  I was merely filling in for the Young Adult Librarian who was on vacation.  Had I been in charge, I’d have probably chosen my favorite Wii game, Rayman: Raving Rabbids.  But all-in-all, the kids had a nice time, I got to meet some new faces, and we all discovered what Wii Game to pass on next time.

I’ve heard some great success stories about Wii Game Nights at libraries.  Do you have one?

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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There’s No Such Thing as a Stupid Question – Or Is There? (via Swiss Army Librarian)

On today’s Swiss Army Librarian post, public library reference librarian Brian Herzog pokes fun at some nonsensical or unsympathetic questions posed by patrons.  Below are some of the responses he would have liked to have offered, but did not, because he is a professional.  This post is a gentle jab at those annoying queries at the library:

“I enjoy being a librarian, and working with the public. But it can be challenging, and sometimes you just need to vent.  No matter what people ask me, I make sure the words that come out of my mouth are helpful and positive – however, those aren’t always the first words that spring to mind…here are some answers I have not given to questions patrons have asked me. You’ve heard of FAQs – now here are some ALUs (”answers left unsaid”):
Patron: The book isn’t on the shelf, on a cart, or behind the desk – where else could it be?
Answer: In someone else’s home.

Patron: This computer is loading slowly – should I just sit here and wait?
Answer: You could stand.

Patron: All the bathrooms are in use, where else can I go?
Answer: There are bushes outside.

[five computers in a row rebooted while a particular patron was using them because she keeps pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL, after I showed her that CTRL-ALT-DEL reboots computers]
Patron: I’m sure it’s not something I’m doing.
Answer: Hmm, then maybe they just sense danger.

Patron: The computer said the book I want is “Checked out.” Does that mean it’s checked out?
Answer: No, that’s just our way of deterring patrons who aren’t pushy enough.

Patron: The museum pass I want is already reserved for the day I want to go – can you cancel that person and give it to me?
Answer: Actually, you don’t need the pass at all – just go to the museum and they’ll let you in free if you tell them the secret code; it’s “I need to plan ahead.”

[patron on the phone]
Patron: Can you speak up, why are you speaking so softly?
Answer: Because I’m in a library.

[patron brings in a broken playaway, and I offer to request one from another library or to show him where the book is on the shelf]
Patron: You think I want to *read* this book?
Answer: You’re right, that might be asking too much.

Sigh, I hate speaking ill of people who come into the library and ask for help, but I’m sure we’ve all been there. The good news is that questions like the above are few and far between (but they’ll never be few and far between enough).”

Here’s my “answer left unsaid”:

[Patrons are given 30 minute sessions at the computer terminals.  They get a 10 minute warning that pops up, telling them to ask the librarian to put more time on their session, provided no one else is waiting to use the terminal.  Recently, two patrons came up to me after their time expired]
Patron:
Can I have more time on my computer?
Answer: Sure, just go ahead and follow the warning – 10 minutes ago.

Does anybody else have a personal anecdote to share?  Please do…

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My First Day as a Librarian Trainee

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As I discussed with one of my coworkers (one of the summer pages) during my break today, a career in libraries must really be the right path for me: for the last few months, my professional growth has progressed more smoothly than I could have ever hoped. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve recently been very blessed with two successive library jobs, along with acceptance to an MLS program. Thanks for letting me revel in the moment!

So, today was my first day working as a Librarian Trainee (“trainee” because I’m still working on my MLS degree.) I was nervous about not having many reference skills, but my fears were put to rest by my supportive coworkers. These lovely librarians guided me gently through my first day sitting at “the big desk.”

Here’s a sampling of all the interesting interactions I had with patrons today:

-registering kids for programs (ie, “baby boogie time,” such cute titles)
-signing kids up for computer stations
-finding Captain Underpants, Cam Jansen, and army-themed books on the shelves with kids
-helping parents schedule time to borrow museum passes (we have a very lucky library!)

I enjoyed the ebb and [very busy!] flow of my short shift.  Even though some parts of the day were more busy than I could handle alone, I felt so satisfied helping so many people today – and I was lucky enough that most of the patrons were very friendly and patient with my emerging know-how.  I’m really looking forward to my next shift on Friday, and to the next few months of learning on-the-job.  Cheers to a great first day as a children’s Librarian Trainee!

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