Archive for the ‘THE LIBRARIAN… she stalks at midnight’ Category


Friday, March 9th, 2007

Committees. A word that is ingrained in every librarian’s brain and will stay with them until the day they die.  A word that librarians can love or dread. A word slightly less scarier than “low circulation” or “low attendance”. Ohhh just the thought of it gives me goosebumps.

Every librarian soon learns after leaving the nest of library school and entering into the big bad world of the public library that they will be “asked” to join committees. Right now I’m on a couple committees for kids:

  1. scary books (list) committee
  2. technology program committee
  3. kids website committee
  4. Amerks program committee (now done)

I think that might be it. For some reason I thought I might be on one more, but I’m not sure. I also somehow was put on the teen webpage committee, which I think has one or two more people on it, but I’m not absolutely sure. I think it may be because I opened my big mouth and came up with an idea for the teen section of the website: have kids/teens draw caricatures of the librarians and then have people vote on the best which will then be put on the main page of the teen site with a link to each library. Some of the librarians were slightly disturbed about having a caricature done of them… it just occurred to me, maybe we could have teens come up with a library mascot or character that represents the library as they see it, instead of the caricature of the librarian… that might make them slightly happier.

Well anyway, as you can see I have quite a bit on my plate, which is probably why when at one of the meetings my boss went to they were talking about creating an emerging technology committee, she thought of adding me to the committee… but then thought better of it. Come on now! That actually seems like a committee I could commit to 🙂 LOL Yea. I know stupid, but its almost one in the am. You cannot blame me for stupidity this early in the morning.

So anyway, now my interest is piqued. I want to know who else will be in this group and what the group will be focusing on. COME ON! I need answers! I was afraid to sound too interested to Sally, because… well now I don’t really know why. I think that this would be something that I could sink my teeth into. I am all about libraries taking another step forward into the 21st century. We need to keep up with the Jones’ if we want to stay alive. Public libraries need to be more competitive if they want to get some of the funding that everyone else is fighting for, and I think that by taking advantage of technology and marketing ourselves to those who don’t know that we exist we will be taking a step in the right direction. At the moment we’re merely a place that “dirty men look at pictures of naked people” and a place to pick up tax forms. I, personally don’t want that to be our image. Sorry folks. I think its time for change. Unfortunately, I think that someone is going to need to rile up the chicken coop to get it going. Luckily, I think that there are enough librarians that are receptive to what needs to happen that it shouldn’t be too awful. Maybe they’ll just need a middle-sized fox to get into the coop, not an ex-large one. 🙂

Don’t really know where I’m going with this anymore. Time for bed. G’night.

Some new excitement

Monday, February 12th, 2007

I applied for a scholarship to go to the New York Library Association Youth Services Section (or NYLA YSS for short) Spring Conference, which I figured I would never get… and I did! I was one of two people to get a scholarship to go to the conference! It is supposed to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait. I’m trying to convince my sister that she wants to go (and I KNOW she wants to meet Libba Bray something fierce) but she needs to convince her job that she can go. I think it would be a lot of fun to go with her, plus I think it would be a nice experience for her.

Also I’m going to be in a panel of librarians (and others) to discuss teen services with the city librarians. I think it should be very interesting for me personally, because I’ll be up there with two Cleavland Ohio librarians, a Buffalo librarian, someone from the police department and someone from child services. Then me from Parma… hmm. Should be interesting.

A reporter from The City Newspaper asked me a bunch of questions about the teen programs in my library. She was very impressed that we have more teen programs than children’s programs in the library, and I wasn’t sure if she was writing an article or what. Of course, I realize that probably no one anywhere near Hilton reads The City Newspaper or even knows that it exists.

Oh and I finally made a flier for my storytimes… I’m feeling very apprehensive this time round, but I’m going to do it. I’m planning a birth – 18 months (unstructured play/reading time) 2 – 3 years story time and 4 – 5 year storytime. I did buy ribbons, noisy instruments (like bells) some balls, and some scarves that the little little ones can play with. I have AB-SO-LUTE-LY no idea what I’m doing. Should be a lovely train wreck.

Jenny started today

Monday, January 15th, 2007

My sister started working for me today. It was a lot of fun working with her. She gave me quite a few ideas for the summer reading program. Plus she showed me a tool on our library catalog that I didn’t know about. How cool is that?

I’ve decided that I’m really going to need to work her hard. I have so much to do. It’s sometimes hard to keep it all straight. I think it’ll be nice to have ideas and projects to bounce off Jenny. Sally said that I can have one of the clerks as my own. I may have to take her up on it. I could really use someone that I can have do all the actual orders once I fill out the cards, have them make all the posters (even though I really like making them) as well as any other small things. Its hard though, I like doing a lot of these things myself. Unfortunately I know that I don’t have the time. I look at calendars like Webster’s and I grow faint. Granted, I know that they have more staff, but I wish I could offer more. I wish I knew what the heck I was doing!…

I think that I might need to try and visit a couple of Webster’s story times, because as much as I try, I don’t think I’m doing a very good job. In fact, I think I’m terrible. Sure, I’m not as bad as the hockey player that came to my library, but he didn’t plan on making story telling part of his career. Oh dear.
On another note, I’ve tried adding a wiki to my blog, but I don’t like this one too much. Fheh. I guess I’ll have to look a little harder.

Interesting discussion about comic books

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Free Republic discussion

I’m doing a presentation in two weeks about comic books for kids, and in researching, I found this interesting discussion about a public library carrying Gunsmith Cats in the children’s collection of their public library. This comic is published by Dark Horse Comics, which usually publishes adult comics. I highlight this because they are usually VERY adult. I may have one series from Dark Horse in my teen section, but I have stickers on them that say they are for OLDER TEENS.

I was really horrified by the way the people discussing viewed librarians and libraries…

“And I know a certain liberal (perverted) librarian (Hi Vicki you miserable wretch. Grow a spine witch) who despises children basically anti-family who moved to the Florida panhandle who would defend this type of kiddie porn comic book. She’s probably ordering stacks to fill her library cuz GOSH, it’s all about free speech.”
A couple of people said that the girl should steal the book and burn it. Terrifying.

Luckily, Conan the Librarian was there to share a librarian’s point of view.

Then I read an article about this poor guy who worked at a comic books store in Texas, and was arrested because he sold an adult comic book to an adult. For shame.

Decision making time

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Yesterday I received a call from one of the local library board members. One of my coworkers answered the phone and didn’t get anything but the guys name. I immediately thought that he was trying to sell something so I was going to have her tell him that I was in a “meeting”. And don’t tell me you don’t do it, because I know you do. Anyway, she asked him what he was with, and he said that he was from the library. I had no idea why he would be calling me, and then I remembered that they wanted me to create a website for them. Ack. As I was trying to think of good ways to let him down, he started buttering me up about something, letting me know how some of the staff really like me, and that they’ve heard lots of good things about me. That’s when I started getting scared.

That’s when he dropped the bomb.

So what would you think about applying for the director’s position?


He lets me know that there are quite a few board members who are interested in change. One of the board members is connected to the government. They understand that the location of the library has special difficulties, the main one being working with three different municipalities. He said that many of the people working at the library have been there for years and years, and they know what they’re doing.

I told him I would have to think about it. And boy have I been. It seems like it would be a really interesting opportunity. I am a little concerned though…

  • Since people have been there years and years, they might not be as receptive to change.
  • I’d also have to do budgeting, and I’d have to push for more money… I may need to take a workshop on budgeting. I may need to do that anyway.
  • I’d be in charge, so when the “special” patrons come in, I’d be the one that people would call for.
  • I’d have to do yearly reviews.
  • I’d be the boss of people twice my age.
  • I may have to lay people off (how often does that even happen?)
  • I wouldn’t be able to chase kids with puppets (as often) or do programming with the teens, which means no more playing DDR or watching anime.

Even so, I think it would be neat to have the oppurtunity to create good changes, to have an open ear and open mind for the staff that may not get heard too often. I really like people of all ages, which is why I became a librarian. Honestly, the books were really secondary. Sure, I like getting people excited about reading, but what I really like is when people come in and they are happy to see me, when I can make a difference in their day, when someone comes in a little grumpy and I can make them smile. That is why I became a librarian. I like interacting with people.

Sally said that there probably won’t be as much of that if I’m director. I won’t have as much time to interact with the public. I won’t be able to attack the kids with puppets, talk to the teens about manga, or chat up some of the older people. I did talk to Patty from Ogden, and she told me to go for it. She said as director, since I’m in charge, I can do what I want. I can hold an occasional story time or attack the kids. She told me that people like it when the director gets directly involved with the public.

My sister was a little on the fence about the whole thing. She claims that I don’t like making decisions (I have no idea where she got that idea!) and she let me know that I really want to work with teens… all of which is true.

It would also be nice to make more money. Right now I’m on the very low end of 30, and the library director’s position would bring me up to 45. On the other hand, I think I had about 5 or 6 weeks of vacation (because you can carry over 2 weeks) plus I get 12 sick days. This new position would only give me three weeks and 10 sick days. Plus I have absolutely no idea what the health insurance is like. All of these are quite possibly even more important than salary when you have a little guy at home.

Plus, my sister was supposed to do a directed study at my library… 120 hours of free labor.

I don’t know I don’t know.

Ten things you may not know about me

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I posted this on Momchops a while back, but I thought that for the benefit of those that don’t read momchops, I would let you know some not so well known facts about ME! Hmm… do I want you to know these things?

Here is how momchops found out about it…

“Adrienne tagged me for this variation on the “five things” meme. Although I don’t keep many secrets, there are a few things about the younger me that people in my life now have no idea. Some I’ll share, others…uh-huh. Sorry.”

BTW, I changed it to ten things and these are only Nazareth high school things about me.

1. I tried out for the volleyball team three years in a row before I finally gave up.

2. I was in track and field and almost hit the coach in the head with a discus.

3. I made out with the lighting guy (a 23 year old) in the back of the stage while working on the school musical.

4. I was on the bowling team.

5. I carried a bear named Oatmeal with me everywhere my sophmore year.

6. I was in the Forensics club.

7. I was told that I couldn’t be in Honors English (mostly because I hated Great Expectations) and the next year I went into “regular” English, but found it so boring that I begged them to let me be in the Honors English class. Then I got a 4 out of 5 on my AP exam.

8. I used to skip taking the bus and with friends would walk to Aquinas so we could smoke (since we rode the bus with Aquinas students). I do not smoke anymore because when I was dating my husband he told me that I had to stop smoking or he would break up with me. Isn’t he cute! 🙂

9. I rolled film for the Photography dept. as part of my required volunteer time (at least I think it was required).

10. A friend and I painted a giant sun on one of the walls in the art room, also as part of required volunteer time.

I did it. Again.

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

I asked for $400 to present to the school district, after asking the most knowledgeable of ladies, Patty U. She knows everything! That’s why she’s such a great librarian. So anyway, this morning I check my email… and they agree! Now I have to give a really great presentation. I’m going to do power point and everything.

Now comes typical Cathy shining through. The presentation isn’t until January. Until then we have Christmas and Disney World (yippee!). So what do I do? I buy a flea ukulele. In uke berry, of course. I’m going to ask for this ukulele video for Christmas (or just buy it myself). It features a dog named Ginger, who plays the ukulele! Plus its meant for 5 – 10 year olds, so hopefully it’ll be easy enough for even me.

Here is someone on you tube playing the flea. And in this video the ukulele lovers just want people to take the ukulele a little more seriously.

Watch out kids, here comes the ukulele playing librarian!

Update: The store called. They don’t have the uke berry in stock right now, but they do have poi- ple! Even better!

Hiya everybody!

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Wow. You turn around and half a month goes by! I can’t believe I haven’t posted since the middle of October!

Since then I have…

  • Found out that my sister WILL be doing a special school project at my library for 120 hours! Which I am very excited about, because I already have tons of stuff I want her to help me do. The three most important things I want her to help with are:
    1. Summer Reading (for teens) – she wants to be a teen librarian, so I figured that I wouldn’t even bother having her try to help plan summer reading for the kids
    2. Help write a grant with me. Yep. I’m going to try it again. I want to talk to Ogden, Brockport and Hamlin and work with the teen librarians at each library and create a homeschooling grant similar to the one that I’m doing with Webster, Chili and Greece. We’d make educational kits, have programs, and create displays. I’ll have to ask the other librarians if they actually want to do it before I start thinking about it too much.
    3. Marketing – Find ways to market to the teens and their parents. Sally and I have had LOTS of talks about how librarians are TERRIBLE about promoting themselves. We aren’t letting people know how important libraries are and how many services we provide. I’m hoping that my sister and I can come up with interesting and creative ways to promote our services.
  • I went to NYLA and went to quite a few programs. There didn’t seem to be too many librarians from Monroe County, but I did meet a lot of other very nice librarians. One of the librarians even asked me if I would be willing to relocate to Albany to be their teen librarian. But I knew that my mother wouldn’t let me do that, because she thought my commute would be too long. Of course I wouldn’t be able to MOVE to Albany because then she wouldn’t be able to see Jack anymore. I’ll talk about NYLA more in a separate post because there’s quite a bit to talk about.
  • I was asked to speak about comic books by the Wayne School district. They want me to speak for an hour on elementary graphic novels- (roughly K-5). They want me to bring examples to share, lists for people to take with them and sharing of basic information about graphic novels (how to read them, what makes a graphic novel a graphic novel, what to look out for, artwork etc.). The audience would primarily be school library media specialists from the region with some administrators mixed in. She also asked me if I charged any fees. I think that it would be pretty cool to get paid for speaking, especially since its an hour away and I would be speaking for an hour. However I have absolutely NO idea how much I would ask them for. I’m pretty sure that I could find a way to talk for a whole hour about comic books.
  • Tonight I had my weekly Yugioh group, which usually goes fine. The teens are usually so good that I haven’t always even been in the room. Tonight they were quite animated. Two of the teens were chasing each other around and hitting each other in the way teens beat each other up when they “like” each other. Then the youngest one in the group, a ten year-old boy, started getting involved and hitting the teen guy. I thought things had calmed down so that I felt the room for a couple of minutes. I heard things get loud again, and in the couple minutes I was gone, the kid hit/kicked the teens in the testicles and the teen lifted him up and pushed him aside. The kid fell on the floor and started crying. I got back in there, he was crying and then before I could talk to him, he ran out of the room and out of the library. I’m a little afraid that when I get to work tomorrow, I have an angry note on my desk from the kid’s mom and she wants me fired. I guess it would be nice to be a stay at home mom. I’d just have to get rid of my car and I wouldn’t be able to buy more bags or shoes.
  • Oh and Halloween. I got Jack orange pants and a black shirt with skeletons on it. We handed out candy to the three kids and fifteen teenagers that came to the door. We had about 8 guys that dressed up as ladies. Very interesting. Jack had fun answering the door and eating candy.

Story time sagas

Friday, October 13th, 2006

I haven’t been getting many to come to my story times. Part of my problem may be that I don’t really have a good strong core story time collection yet. A lot of the books are from the previous librarian’s collection, most of which I know I won’t use.

Upon looking at the books that I REALLY like using:

  1. Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus
  2. Catalina Magdelina Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan is her name (BTW I didn’t even look that up I know the book so well)
  3. Winchell cuts the cheese
  4. Big Green Monster

Well, I guess for the moment those are my core collection… I’m very sure that there are a couple others, but I can’t think of any.

Anyway, after looking at my tiny core collection, I realized a couple of things (another list…):

  1. I really like really silly books
  2. I like books with repetition, that allow the kids to get involved
  3. I like books that are pretty short
  4. I like books with bright colors

I realize that this is my mission now, if I want to save story time. I need to find more books like these. Last week, I read a couple books and I was afraid that the kids were going to die. I read them to myself beforehand, but it wasn’t until I started reading them that I realized they were WAY too long. They were books about food. I think one was about a giant carrot, one was about food having a food fight, and the other one was so forgettable that I’ve forgotten.

Tonight I had ZERO kids at my story time. I was sad. (

However my evening was brightened up when the Knit Wits (a group of knitting ladies that are my mom’s age and up) asked me to read them some picture books for them. And they loved it!

That got me thinking… why not do story time for senior citizens? Does that sound crazy? I mean I wouldn’t hand out coloring sheets or do rhymes, but why not tell stories to senior citizens? Afterwards I could leave out tea and cookies and let them mingle.

Of course I was thinking about this at about midnight, so I don’t know if it holds up in the morning light. Still.


Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

I am ashamed of myself. I complained about reading the articles for the Technology Institute, and then felt awful when Patty read it (especially since she’s on the committee) ) . I love technology, in fact I saturate myself in it. I just feel that library 2.0 could be summed up in a couple of sentences:

  1. Go where your patrons are (the internet)
  2. find ways to make it more useful for them
  3. find ways to make it more interactive
  4. find ways to make it more efficient

This all sounds very nice, however by making our patrons self-sufficient, we are putting ourselves out of jobs

  1. using podcasting to do story times on the internet
  2. making search engines more intuitive and more accessible
  3. digitizing lots of our books
  4. becoming like netflix and sending books to the patrons

By removing ourselves further and further from our patrons, we are giving them the impression that we aren’t necessary anymore. Sure we may still be doing lots of behind the scenes things, but who’ll know that besides us? Also what happens to all those without computers; senior citizens, lower income people…

Do we tell them to use our computers to find the information that they are looking for, rather than letting them know that we are here for them and that we are listening to their concerns. I graduated from library school in 2002. During the time I was there they changed the school to the school of “Informatics”. Most of the classes had to do with technology or the Internet. Not that I disagree with this, however very few classes seemed to deal with the people side of our jobs. We do serve people, you know. Not computers. I got into this field, not only because I love books, but mostly because I love people. I love working with people and finding ways to help them to the best of my ability.

Anywho. I apologize to Patty for complaining. It was very bad of me. Shame shame shame.