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Showing posts from 2009

The Library Routes Project

How did I become a librarian? Well, it's not a terribly surprising story. I grew up the "reader" in my family. It seemed like I always had a book in my hand. My parents would get mad when I'd forget to do my chores because my book got really good and I just couldn't put it down. My aunt happened to be a librarian and I always looked forward to her birthday presents, which were always books I ended up devouring.

So far it sounds like I might have always wanted to be a librarian. Not really. Before I knew how to read I wanted to be an artist because I loved drawing pictures with my crayons. Unfortunately my artistic talents never developed much past the stick people stage. Then I wanted to be a nurse just like my mom. Then my 2nd grade teacher nurtured my love of words and started my desire to become a writer, which lasted through most of my childhood. Somewhere along the line, though, I realized that I liked writing for myself a lot more than I liked writing for o…

2nd Annual Library Day in the Life

Last week was one doozy of a week, so it was perfect timing that it happened to also be time for the second annual day in the life of a librarian. I worked on this last week, but forgot to post it, so before it's completely irrelevant ...


started off the week by opening our technology center by myselfpart of that job is reconciling the register from the previous night - for the first time ever (I don't do this terribly often) the register did not balance & without someone else to watch the desk, I had to hang tight until someone could come help me outwhile working in the technology center by myself I had the inevitable rush of people who needed library cards/forgot their pin #/had never been on the internet before all at the same time
after taking my break, I was shocked to discover that I was scheduled at our circulation desk on the opposite side of the mall that's currently housing our long-term temporary quarters, so I had to hustle over there
as usual on a su…

My First ALA Conference

Star Wars at ALA
Originally uploaded by dumbsarah At the last minute I decided to visit this year's American Library Association conference. It just so happens that my college roommate lives less than 10 blocks from McCormick Place, where the conference was held. Add in the fact that it was my first full weekend off since sometime in May, so of course I wanted to spend my time off with other librarians.

Since I was only in town for the day on Saturday, I just stuck to the exhibits, but that was enough for me. Luckily, I've been to similar types of conferences before so it wasn't too surprising, but it was still a little surreal to see so many librarians in one place at the same time.

The part that was overwhelming to me is that I've now been a librarian long enough that I actually found most of the exhibitors relevant to my work life, but I haven't been a librarian long enough to know how to make the most of that relevance.

There were giveaways and prize drawings to …

One Year Later

Thursday was the one year anniversary of starting my first professional librarian job. I'd worked plenty of library jobs before, but this was my first full-time gig with real professional responsibilities. I was looking forward to finally having collection development responsibilities and maybe doing some programming. After working in various libraries all through college and grad school and being a book lover since birth, I was ecstatic. My dream was finally coming true.

In reality, dreams are never perfect, and while I still think I am incredibly lucky to have found a career that I can see myself being happy in for a long, long time, things have definitely not been perfect.

Exactly four weeks after beginning what I hoped would be my dream job (or at least the beginning of a dream career), I, along with the rest of my co-workers was forced to leave the library building at 5PM due to the city's mandatory evacuation of downtown in anticipation of the rapidly rising flood wate…

Making Exceptions

I know it's been awhile, but this afternoon I had phone interactions with two regulars who wanted me to make exceptions to the rules for them, and I couldn't have felt more different about the the situations.

The first was with a guy who's a little strange, and has questionable hygiene habits, but he's almost always very positive in his interactions with the staff (and sometimes maybe a little overeager to interact with staff). He called frantic that he wasn't going to be able to return his items on time because he'd had an altercation with mall security earlier in the day and they had essentially barred him from coming to the mall (which our Bridge facility is located inside) for two weeks. He asked if I could print off a list of items he had out and send it to him in the mail. Once he calmed down a little I was able to explain to him that we also have drop boxes at the grocery stores in town, so he could return his items there until he was able to come back…

The Key to Succesful Library Parties ...

... is to do something for the kids.

Today CRPL is having the grand opening celebration for our Bridge Facility (it's bridging the time between the devastating June 2008 flood and the day when we're able to move back downtown, whether that's in our old building or a new one), and we are being overrun (in a very good way) with little children. We're hosting 4 programs with Clifford and Iowa Public Television's Dan Wardell (our children's librarians describe him as a preschooler's rock star). I was walking around after the first program got out and I can't believe they fit all those kids & parents into the programming space.

Following the first Clifford & Dan Wardell show there was a big ribbon cutting ceremony and announcement of a generous gift from Archer Daniels Midland (their headquarters are in town). Of course there were refreshements. Then there will be more Clifford & Dan Wardell all afternoon.

So far, the Grand Opening has been a sm…

Day 0.5 in the Life of a Librarian

This summer I tried to resurrect this blog with a fun little game that was going around library blogs at the time. For one week librarians would detail what they did every day at work. Ever since the flooding that displaced us last June, anyone at my library doing that project would have been interesting reading. Unfortunately, things were so crazy and busy that I couldn't finish the first week I started.

I have a feeling that this week will pose similar challenges, but it's an exciting week, definitely one worth recording. After spending the last six months crammed into a handful of small mall storefronts, we're moving into a significantly larger space in the mall, what used to be an Osco drug store.

Finally, we will have room to take more of the donations our patrons have been dying to give us. Finally, the youth and adult collections will be in the same room. Finally, we'll get a real break room where more than one person can take a break at a time. Finally, no …

Reading Resolutions for 2009

I know this is a little late, but I already posted my New Year's resolution on my personal blog, completely neglecting to make any mention of reading goals for the year.  Why wouldn't someone in a profession like mine, where, among other things, you help patrons find books to read,  make some sort of reading goals the next year. 
The Seattle Public Library has a few suggestions for those of you looking to make reading resolutions for 2009.
Personally, I'm going to try to finish a few of the numerous series I've started in previous years, only to get distracted before finding out how they end.  Now I can finally find out what happens to that golden compass and whether or not Harry Dresden is allowed to continue keeping the forces of magic in check, among others.

I'm Back ... and Hopefully For Good

Sorry it's been so long. Part of the reason I've been updating so infrequently here, is because I have another blog (mainly for book reviews) where I occasionally post things that would probably work better here. So for now, I'm going to keep book reviews over there, and try to put everything else library-related here.

New site for the day is Reading Trails. I love grouping books together, so I'm really having to restrain myself to keep from staying up all night posting as many trails as possible. If you decide to join, feel free to friend me.