Big goings-on around here, where to start? I guess maybe we'll start with the good news, little of it though there is. First and foremost, Ella has gained another pound, she's been eating like a teenage boy for the last two months. And William seems to have finally gotten his eat on, at his 18 month well visit he jumped from the 5th to the 10th percentile for his weight, so we're making some inroads there, too. God help me, I never in a million years thought I would be the kind of mother who obsessed over how much food goes in (and out) of the kids, but here I am. Even I am disturbed. In other news, last Wednesday our library was the co-host (along with 21st Century Fox and Barnes and Noble) of Jeff Kinney (author of the Wimpy Kid books) and the two child stars of the Wimpy Kid movie at their talk and signing at the 1600-seat theater in town. Tickets were given out free at Barnes and Noble and at our library and every seat was filled. I spoke for about 30 seconds before Jeff Kinney took the stage, just to welcome everyone, and I swear it was the closest I'll probably ever get to feeling like a rock star--these kids were whipped into an absolute frenzy. Some were actually asking us as librarians to sign their books--take that, naysayers. I don't see a day coming when people will ask authors/actors to sign their kindles!
Now that we're all feeling good, here's the substantial bad news. Our library was an oasis of heat, electricity and other luxuries during the aftermath of one of the worst storms to hit our area in 50 years. The Wimpy Kid event happened in the middle of an unscheduled week off from school for our town's kids, because most of the city had no power, and many of the roads were impassable because of trees (and live power lines) blocking the streets. The library was mobbed with people coming to charge their phones, laptops, etc.: every table was full, every chair had a body in it, and people were using every open electrical outlet, including the ones behind our desks. It was the busiest week I can remember that didn't happen during the summer, when we are regularly packed with patrons. One of the only people in the city who didn't darken our doorway was the mayor, who cut our budget for the next year by 1.3 million dollars, forcing us to face hour reductions, branch closings, and layoffs in the coming months. Adding insult to injury, most of the libraries in the surrounding towns are getting increases, to deal with the extra business that a weak economy usually brings to public libraries. Morale among the staff is dismal and people are having difficulty trying to plan for the summer and beyond, since we don't even know when we'll be open and who will be around to run any programs we manage to schedule. Dark days.