I'm Liz, and I'm a librarian (duh)

Monday, December 31, 2007


So I've been thinking about the future of this blog, and whether it will have a future going into 2008. As long as I was doing my learning 2.0 exercises I had ready-made topics for rumination, but I've been sort of deliberating about which direction I should be steering this thing. Ideally I'd like to talk about books, because if I get going about the day-to-day library stuff I'll just start complaining, and while that's fun for me I realize that it's not much fun for anyone else. Then, I went onto my library's blog today and heard about someone who is doing a Book a Month Challenge--one you sign up, on the first of the month you'll get the month's genre "assignment," and then you can read whatever you want and relate it to that genre however you see fit. And children's/teen books are allowed! The blog is http://bamchallenge.wordpress.com/ and since today is the last day of the year, I expect that before the end of the week I'll have my first assignment. I know you are probably thinking that reading a book a month is not exactly a stretch for a librarian, but you'd be surprised how little reading gets done some weeks--if it wasn't for my commute I'd have no reading time at all. So I'm starting out with high hopes and good intentions...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh, there's no one in the library for the holidays...Everybody sing along!

Is there a quieter, lonelier place than the children's room of a library in the weeks leading up to Christmas? The shelves are full to bursting, the computers are abandoned, even the phone isn't ringing, except for the occasional toddler's mom, trying to sign up for next month's storytimes (wait till January!). Oh sure, every once in a while someone passes through to check on myspace, or to find a book about vampires, but overall we are not the place to be in December. On the face of things this is good, as it should mean I am weeding my collections and clearing off my desk, but one thing I have learned about myself is that I work better under pressure. I am a procrastinator in my bones, and if I don't have a deadline hanging over my head, I just won't finish my project. I'm not proud of this because I think it actually means I am lazy, but old dogs and all that.
In fact, I have been weeding, and I have been gazing adoringly over at the section I just did, that's how good it looks. All neat and spacious, I'm woozy just thinking about it. Too bad I still have about 75% of the collection left to go...
Tomorrow I have my last class visit of 2007, less than a week before xmas. Odds are these first graders will be a little wound up and not exactly library-minded, but there is a chance the teacher will threaten to withhold parties and treats, so I might make it through the program in one piece. Still, it might behoove me to plan for less talk, more action. We will sing and dance the hour away if need be!
Okay, late breaking news: our internet was down for about a half hour earlier this evening, and somehow the word got out to the public and we were actually busy! With people looking for books and information! In the last 35 minutes I have had kids looking for books about Native American drums, Ferdinand Magellan, maps of ancient Egypt, the Korean war, and rocketry and Sally Ride. Everyone wanted books! I even had one mother thank me over and over for finding so much in various reference books (this was the Native American drum person). Which was kind of nice. But alas, time has passed and the flurry of activity is over. Everyone in the room is hunched over a computer and if they're not playing a game they're im-ing. Order has been restored to the universe.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Doesn't he usually go down the chimney?

In the unlikely event that anyone reading this doesn't know where I am, they will now because I think my library is located in the only town around with this particular event. I speak, of course, of the traditional event where Santa rappells down the tallest building in town along with Rudolph and some other celebrity daredevils (I hear that last year, Rudolph's girlfriend was there). Why do a boring old tree lighting when you can watch Santa hang off a building? The thing that cracks me up is that everyone in town loves this--it starts in 20 minutes and people are all lined up to buy their commemorative $12 balloons and whatnot, despite the fact that it's freezing out, not to mention intermittently snowing and raining. Maybe it's the thrill of wondering whether he'll make it down in one piece that draws the crowd. Or, more likely, maybe it's special guest Jose Feliciano--all I have to do is read his name and I'm singing Feliz Navidad for hours. See, now I'm so distracted by humming the song that I lost my train of thought. Maybe NYC will catch on to our popularity and do a nightly rappelling event in Rockefeller Center instead of putting the tree up. It would be a greener thing to do (no cutting down ancient trees), and possibly more ecumenical, since they could rotate representatives of different faiths doing the dangling.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mental Note

This has basically nothing to do with learning 2.0 or libraries, but I wanted to officially have this somewhere, so next year when Christmas rolls around I remember the horror and don't make the same mistake twice. If anyone who knows me hears me say that I am going to have my daughter's picture taken at some mall studio for Christmas, for god's sake, stop me! Especially if I say it after Thanksgiving! I spent two hours in the studio yesterday for a 15-minute photo session and about 15 minutes of looking at the proofs and choosing poses. I thought as a children's librarian I had probably seen the gamut of children and parent behavior, but this was eye-opening even for me. All I can say is, whatever the photographers working there make, I hope they're getting big holiday bonuses.