Friday, July 14, 2006

Summer Reading Programming #1

Monday, July 10, 2006

me and my monster pillow

We made monster pillows. I was a little nervous going in to the event. I had never run a YA program before. I had never run a craft before. Heck, I'd never made this craft before in my life (yes, I'm sure you're surprised to learn that I am not into crafts).

I bought material that I thought would be sufficient for 15 people. Why 15? That seemed like the most I would get at a craft event. I've been running Summer Reading by the seat of my pants for weeks now; just finishing stuff the moment it's needed, changing plans mid-stream, you know, all sorts of a mess. So, there was not a lot of time to advertise for this program, and I had a conflict and needed to move it to another room (we really only have one room for programming right now, anyway).

So, I scrambled around all day getting ready for the craft, not sure what I was going to do and how it would turn out. We used to have a middle school across the street from the library (they built a new high school and the middle schoolers moved into the old high school) so we had a lot of young YA people in the library every day. We don't now. The books circulate a lot, so I know that we have people coming in, but I don't sit near the YA section so I don't see who's coming in.

Seven o'clock arrived and I was sitting along with all my crafts. In some part of my mind I felt like no one was going to show up. I prepared for 15 at most, but realistically I felt like it would be zero.

Then about five minutes after seven, ten teenage girls walked in and we got started. I didn't introduce myself, I didn't ask for volunteers, I didn't mention that I want to start a Teen Advisory Group, nothing. I just started the craft and off we went.

The young ladies had a lot of fun. Several of them made two pillows. They asked about upcoming programming, and we even rescheduled an event due to the teens availability. (I figured it wouldn't hurt to cater to the people who were actually going to be showing up)

I had fun, too. I'm looking forward to our remaining crafts and non-craft programs. I don't expect to have a big turn-out (at least not until the pizza party at the end of the summer) but as long as anyone shows up, it'll be good.

I figured I needed to add some more to this blog to talk about what I've been doing. Lots of information on here about what I think about what others are saying, but I need more here about what I'm doing and what I think about that. I don't have a library background, so things that may seem obvious to some of you, are not clear to me.

And often I'll try something without the mindset of 'that'll never work here, we've tried it before' and it works. Or it doesn't. I don't mind. You learn from mistakes. And you can't (particularly when working with YA, since you always have new faces) just try something once, you need to try it again and again. Just because it didn't work with the current group of kids doesn't mean it won't work with next year's kids.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ranganathan in the Hiz-ouse

Like Jessamyn, I am a huge Ranganathan fan. I've bemoaned the fact again and again that his books are not in print. I read his Five Laws of Library Science for fun my last semester of my MLIS. I found it endlessly fascinating and educational. For a book that is nearly 70 years old, it still has a lot of information in it that is useful today.

So, it was with unprecedented excitement that I read that open source versions of his work are being created by The Digital Library of Information Science & Technology Classics Project. And here's chapter one! How cool!

And, as promised many months ago, here is a version of the list I made for myself for my library, using the Five Laws as its backbone.

To explain the document a little bit, it obviously shows some very simple things that I needed to do--such as getting business cards and getting a shelf for my desk--but also has many things that are more forward thinking--such as allowing patrons to tag the catalog and starting an anime club in the library and creating a library PayPal mobile account so patrons can pay fines with their phones. When I finish an item, I change the font to strikethrough so that I can see what I've accomplished (and revisit things if they aren't working out) but still know what I don't have to focus on.

I'd love comments on my crazy list if people have them.

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