Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is it just me?

Or has everyone else's library gone crazy in the past week and a half?

Did summer camp let out or something? (e.g., I need to finish this summer reading now!)


Monday, August 28, 2006

Reference Desk

So, what exactly are you supposed to do with the woman who wants you to put her floppy disk into your reference computer and make some changes on her resume for her?

I first explained that I could set her up on a computer and get her file open, but that I wouldn't have time to sit with her. That was ok, she didn't want me to sit with her.

She wanted me to do it for her.

There were at least four people behind her (this was after I went back and forth trying to find the mailing address for Lego [hint: limit search to CT] for about five minutes and let the line build up). She said that I could see if all they wanted was to work on a computer and then I could help her.

In some ways I feel bad because we don't have tech people, we don't have a tech room, we don't have a good way to help this lady out if I don't help her.

However, I am the only person on the desk, and I don't necessarily have the time and freedom to help someone like this. If the phone rings, if someone has a computer question, if someone else has a reference question, I need to help them. And in my mind, those needs take priority over someone who obviously doesn't want to learn to use the computer herself.

I did help her, because I think it's my duty, but also because it was easier than arguing with her over it.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Summer Reading

fear factor jello
(yes, you are seeing olives in Jell-o)

Summer Reading is over. We wrapped up with a pizza party last night. I had no guidance from previous teen summer reading organizers to have any idea of how many teens would show up. I got: "get the number of pizzas you need" to "lots of kids show up for free pizza."

The first comment is perplexing because it would be helpful to know that in the past they typically ordered four pizzas, or twenty, or six, or something.... I tried to be mathematical and use the number of kids who had signed up for Summer Reading (~80) versus the number of kids who actually in turned in hours and took part during the course of the summer (>45) and I ended up with the idea of 8 pizzas.

It was at least twice as much pizza as I needed. But, some of the girls were having a sleepover, so they took pizza with them, and another had a brother (who's a big reader and active in the program) who couldn't make it so she took a pizza, and another had some younger brothers who thought they were coming to pizza until I told them they had to be signed up for the Teen Program (this was my stipulation for the pizza party since June) so she took a pizza. And the rest went to the staff. And they didn't complain.

The photo above gives you a small insight into the madness and fun that was Fear Factor. Some weird things happened at the end of the night to almost sour the event for me, so I won't post about it at length. Needless to say, I'm keeping in mind that all the events worked better than I thought they would. You can see more photos here, alongwith other photos from library events and so on.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Yet Another Post on Summer Reading Programming

So today I had a conversation with a patron about a Summer Reading Program I have coming up. It's the event for next Monday, where an editor from Bantam Spectra is coming in to talk to the teens. She wanted to know if she could come to the event.

I told her no and that the event was only open to teens. When she asked why that decision was made, I told her it was my decision. That it was part of the Summer Reading program I developed for teens and that I didn't want to open to the rest of the library patrons.

She then asked to talk to a supervisor. While this request normally makes my skin crawl, today it was even worse since my supervisor is out through next week. I knew that she would not be happy to hear that. The next person in line is the director, who has more important issues to deal with than this. I told her I was not able to connect her directly to the director and that she would have to call back to get through to her. The woman was in a rush for time and said she couldn't wait for that.

I tried to get out of her the reason for wanting to talk to a supervisor. She first claimed that it was not my concern (not exactly true since I assume she wanted to complain about me, but perhaps there was some issue she wanted to discuss that I could help her with), but then she said that she wanted to suggest that we have a program for adults on this topic.

I've had a lot of interest from adults in my two publishing programs, and I suggested to adult programming person that we run an adult program on publishing. Right now we don't have the space or means for that, but once the library's construction is done, we will.

She seemed surprised that I would not let her into my teen program. First, I have no idea who this woman is and I need to protect my younger patrons. This concept may surprise her, but I have to be distrustful of adults who want to take part in teen programming. What is their purpose behind wanting to be around the teens? Is it truly interest in the program, or is it something else? Second, as soon as I let adults into the program--as one of my colleagues correctly pointed out--the teens would be overwhelmed by the adult presence and get nothing out of the program. The adults would have questions and concerns that would be different from those of the teens and the adults wouldn't be shy about asking questions.

I was almost going to suggest she come by on the day of the event and I could see how busy it was going to be, but then I decided not to. I planned the Summer Reading program events for my teens. The events are not geared towards adults and not intended for adults.

I do think we need to hold a program for adults about publishing, especially based on the interest people have shown.

I'm curious to see what happens on Monday and if this person shows up.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summer Reading Programming #3

Sorry to post these so fast on top of each other, but I'm a little behind in getting this stuff online. I had a career speaker in to talk to the teens about publishing. I was originally going to have two editors come in and talk together about publishing and have an author come in to do a reading another week. I started my Summer Reading planning so late that I was not able to get an author in (although I have many promises from people to help out at future dates...) so I asked the editors to come in on different days.

This is the first editor, Jim Minz from Del Rey, who came in to talk. Unfortunately for Juliet Ulman--the next speaker--Jim covered a wide variety of things publishing. But, Juliet is very resourceful and I'm sure she'll have something to talk about when she comes in.

Here are some photos of Jim talking:

career speaker jim minz

career speaker jim minz

career speaker jim minz

The numbers of teens showing up at my events is slowly dropping. I don't know if it's due to the fact that the teens have other committments or that my events are no fun. :)

I know that some of my teen patrons are doing different sports camps, or like this last week, several of them share a birthday and they opted to do something other than come into the library.

I don't have a post for Programming #4 as there were only three teens and I took no pictures. Next week is my second editor, and then I have Fear Factor in the Library and the wrap-up pizza party.


Summer Reading Programming #2

We made Gocks (Goth Sock Puppets) except for me. I made a Pock (Punk Sock Puppet) since there were no Goths when I went to High School, I had to go with what I knew.

Here's some photos:

pre craft

my gock

the back of my gock

me and my gock

gock craft

gock craft

It was pretty fun, but it was quick. I wish I had known that the craft was only going to take about 40 minutes; I would have planned something else. As it was, I just had the teens make more Gocks. They really liked the concept, so they had fun making them.

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