I almost cried :( An unappreciated librarian story

August 7th, 2005 by cathy

So, if you don’t already know, I do children’s and young adult services for my library. That means that I have to do all the ordering, all the programming, all the reference, and anything else that comes up and is related to children or young adults. Needless to say summer is WAY busy for me. I do one children’s program, one young adult program, one movie day and the summer reading bits every week during the summer. Plus I do random story times or whatever as neccesary. I do this because I love it. I love working with kids and teens because they are fun, laid back and you don’t need to put on an act for them. Not to toot my own horn, but I think that the kids like me. Some of the teenagers got Jack a baby gift and one of the moms told me that sometimes when her son says his nightly prayers, he prays for me. This is not why I wanted to cry at work. This story need a little more background before I tell you why I almost cried.
The previous librarian was a lot different from me. She was the only librarian (as well as the director) and she did all the programming for the kids, she didn’t have any programming for teens and she was known to be mean to the kids/teens and sometimes even make them cry. Her idea of arts and crafts was using toilet paper rolls to create something that the parents would throw away as soon as it got home. During the summer she paid a performer either once a week or once every other week and she had a summer reading club for kids in 3 – 6 grade, which was a scaled down summer reading program, except she never used any of the NYS summer reading manual… you know now that I think of it, the club wasn’t much of anything except making “crafts” each Wednesday that the pages were forced to come up with. There may have been one story time thrown in there too, but I can’t remember. The rest of the year she did story time and some programs (mostly paid performers) during breaks.
I have story times, and some groups that usually meet all year round: 3 – 6 grade book club, anime group and teen book club. During the summer, I usually do a mixture of paid performers and programs that I have come up with. This summer I had a 80s costume competition (which was cancelled since no one showed up) a DDR competition, a music appreciation program and a bunch of craft programs. Needless to say, I keep myself busy! We’re getting closer to the crying bit now.
The craft kits come from Oriental Trading. They are each individually wrapped and I have a limited amount of space, since I only buy one or two sets. I make one as a sample and then the kids sign up. I have been having trouble with kids signing up, but not showing up, so I called everyone up a few days before hand. Then at 1:15 pm, when only three people showed up (and one was from the waiting list and the other just showed up and started doing it before I could tell him that you needed to sign up) I had the page re-call the kids. I had forgotten about H. Her step-brother had come in a week ago and told me that H was going to be at Soccer Camp and had already signed up, could he take the craft home to her. I told him “No, I had only made the exception LAST TIME because she said she was sick.” He said, okay and left. I HAD FORGOTTEN TO TAKE HER NAME OFF THE LIST. You can guess what happens next. The page calls H, her mother answers and the page says that she’ll try and set one aside for her. Other kids show up (some showing up ONE HOUR LATE!) and I do the craft with all of them. I even (STUPID ME) gave the craft to one of the kids who wanted to give it to some German kids who were living next door to them. I even gave the craft to them. But then a kid asked if we had extra craft kits from a program I had done with the teens two weeks ago. I did, but I told her that I couldn’t give that out. I got a little upset that I had put the time, energy and money into these craft kits and people just wanted to take them home. I told all the clerks that I wasn’t going to be handing out any more craft kits.
Friday, H’s mother shows up for her craft kit. I told her that we didn’t have anymore and that the page had made a mistake. She got furious and asked me why the girl on the phone would say that we would set one aside if we weren’t going to give one to her. She got all self-righteous and angry and stormed off to the children’s area. She then came back, told us that she was never coming back, and that the new librarians were not nearly as nice as the previous librarian. She was friendlier and …. you get the picture.
So then I got upset, tight and unhappy. I try my damndest to make everyone happy with the library and me and I take it way too personally when people tell me I’m not as nice as the librarian who threatened to throw the shoes of one of the Story time kids into the middle of the street and made another kid cry during ST show and tell because she didn’t want to see the Pokemon doll because she hated Pokemon.
To top it all off, one of the clerks went on break at the same time as one of the pages and the clerk kept telling the page that I should have just given her one.
Luckily, Sally, the director, told me that the craft programs are meant to entice people to come into the library and are to be done here. Since they really have nothing to do with summer, the library or reading, that I didn’t have to do them any more. I like Sally.

Luckily, my husband gave me a link to this website. It cheered me up immensely, and now I know that I was meant to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Mmmm…. Spaghetti.

3 Responses to “I almost cried :( An unappreciated librarian story”

  1. Catherine Says:

    WOW… I didn’t realize that it went on that long. I guess I’m still a little upset. 🙁

    Oh, BTW: I’m watching the Great Muppet Caper. I LOVE BEEKER!

  2. erin Says:

    Screw that mother. Seriously. If she’s going to boycott the library based on not getting a craft kit? More room for families who enjoy going to the library for reasons other than collecting free stuff and cramming yet another activity into their overstuffed schedules.

  3. Adrienne Says:

    Well, that just sucks. We get a fair amount of positive feedback working with kids and teens, but it’s hard to remember that when someone’s throwing all that negativity at you — and, really, she probably had some other rotten thing happen or hadn’t gotten enough sleep or something to make her so cranky. Sigh. Days like that *are* hard, particularly when you’ve been working your butt off all summer.

    Hope this week is better….

Leave a Reply