Side Work Work Work Work Work

I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the fact that within the last couple of months, I’ve had a full length feature article published in Public Libraries Magazine and also moderated a panel of five Young Adult authors for School Library Journal.

You can check out the article here – it’s called the Imitation Game: Applying For-Profit Strategies in the Nonprofit World, and it’s a collaboration by myself and my friend/librarian soul mate, Chelsea Dodd Coleman.

The Thrills and Chills: Suspense and Horror panel has been archived and can be viewed for free by registering for the SLJ Teen Live 2016 conference, which you can do here.

I’ve been so lucky to be given these opportunities, and I’m already looking ahead to next year – as of right now, it’s my goal to put together a full presentation for RILA on social media platforms librarians can/should be using, beyond Facebook. We’ll see if I lose my nerve or not.

Advertisements

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

Hashtag whoops! Hashtag I haven’t posted anything in months!

My excuse is that I’ve been busy actually doing things and not sitting around nearly as much as I used to when I was chained to my computer 8 hours a day, waiting on a reference question to pop up and praying a horde of bored teenagers in their study hall wouldn’t all discover AskRI’s chat service simultaneously and bombard us with jokes about genitalia and farts. Not that I minded being online all the time (House of Cards wasn’t going to binge-watch itself, after all), and not that I don’t love a good fart joke as much as the next guy (every now and then anyway), mind you. I just definitely had way more time to hone my online presence and ramble on about my life.

Now I’m right in the thick of things as the new Children’s Librarian at Mount Pleasant Library (one of the regional branches of Providence Community Library), and even though there is still an abundance of fart jokes ever floating around the kids’ computer lab, it’s actually way better for me. I’m constantly active, starting something new, presenting something recently created, or laying the groundwork for the next little/big thing, and I feel pretty accomplished and the good kind of tired at the end of the day. On a really good day, I feel like I’ve actually helped someone in a tangible way, and I live for those moments.

Rather than drone on and on about my thoughts and feelings about the job, thought, maybe for now I’ll just type up a few things that I’ve done in the past month since I’ve started, and the things I am working on/planning for the near future. Yeah – yeah, that’s just what I’ll do!

In the past month…

  • Shifted the entire Juvenile Fiction collection down so I could move the Juvenile Graphic Novels and Short Stories collections over to the end of our Transitional shelving area since grouping it that way makes more sense to me, and also makes both collections more visible and accessible to the kids. Also, I created new signage for all three collections.
  • Weeded the YA Fiction section and created an Endangered Book List display cart for the items pulled; this allows them one last chance to go back into circulation and be saved from shelf extinction. Since most of them will end up being taken out of our system, it also created lots of room to add new titles and (I’m really excited about this part) clear up three shelves with which I made a themed display area. Currently, we have up a “Teen Books from Page to Screen” theme going on, and I’m brainstorming something new for next week!
  • Filled cart after cart for new Juvenile and YA fiction, graphic novels, non-fiction, DVD’s, and children’s picture books. It doesn’t sound like that big a deal until you’re dealing with a fast-approaching deadline to spend all your grant money by, or else risk being “that person” who lowered the financial bar so your library never gets enough money and your patrons never get enough materials or services ever again.
  • Created two ribbon memo boards for the Kids and Teens area to highlight weekly crafts and upcoming events, as well as materials that the kids themselves might want to market.
  • Helping with the planning (albeit marginally, having missed all the training sessions since they happened before I was hired) and implementation of the pilot “Ready for K” program being put together by PCL and Ready to Learn Providence
  • I’m incredibly fortunate to have an outstanding team to work with, with this program and with everything else; I’m beyond grateful for Garrett and Mirna.

In the Works…

  • Sprucing up the children’s and teens’ area to create a more designated space for each group, separate from the Adult half of the library and from one another. This will be done through wall decals and multi-sensory activity panels in the kids area, and hopefully some new cafe style seating and wall decor for the teens.
  • Creating visually dynamic signage for Young Adult Graphic Novels and Juvenile DVDs.
  • Replenishing and improving upon the games, puzzles, and toys available for the kids – most are outdated, broken, faded, or missing key pieces. Also finding, printing, and laminating instructions for existing games in English and in Spanish.
  • Planning activities and programs for our Summer Reading program. Zoinks. I’m probably over-thinking it, but this is the most daunting item on my to-do list currently.
  • Implementing regular (and preferably bi-lingual) Homework Help sessions and a Reading Buddy program, hopefully by partnering with local college professors and their Education students.

Unrelated to the MTP Kids…

  • I keep saying I’m not going to volunteer for anything new, but somehow in addition to steering the RILA’s PR Committee, I’m also its newest Secretary!
  • I also designed the flyer for the 2nd annual post-conference Happy Hour, and I’ll be MC-ing the event at the Fifth Element
  • in Newport as well. Huzzah, huzzah!
  • Human Library Rhode Island 2014 was a resounding success; 262 conversations in 4 hours, and the circulation process designed by Jeremy and me was super, simple, and streamlined!Money Smart Week Rhode Island 2014 went well, I feel. Truth be told, I was pretty overwhelmed with having the husby back for the weekend* and trying to play catch up with the new position’s learning curve to participate in any of the events (which is regrettable), but the rest of the MSW committee was large and in charge, and we had an amazing group of libraries and non-profits on board so how can you go wrong.
  • Attended the Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis with my library love Chelsea, and we had a blast with the Mango Languages dudes. My official write-up of the conference will be in the next RILA Bulletin, but in a nutshell, I’m really grateful to have been given the opportunity to go, and I was really inspired and encouraged to do great things in the years ahead of me.
  • Things are going well at North Scituate Public Library as well; mostly I’ve just been trying to keep up with our Adult display area and scanning/indexing the local paper, but also I became a part of the Scituate Farmers Market planning committee, and that’s been an amazing project to help put together. Many returning vendors, and a few new ones as well, and it’s all coming up fast! Our opening weekend is May 10th, and I already have a Mother’s Day bookmark craft drafted for it!
  • Finally got my sleeve of wild flowers done by Rob at Marco’s Tattoo! The line work is complete and the color is about halfway done, and I can’t even tell you how much I love it.
  • Getting back into running and exercising in general – I have way too many photo shoots, reunions, and beach weddings to attend this year, and there’s no way I’m going to be out of shape for them.

* Oh right, FYI: Joseph’s spending six months down in Virginia for job training. Womp womp. But I will take that over a year in Afghanistan any day of the week. Plus, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Also, absence makes his paychecks bigger and better because all this training is for a new important job because he’s a big important dude with lots of big important knowledge. 🙂

Aaand. That’s it, basically. In my off time, I’ve been working my way through all of Friends, and next I think I’ll work on Game of Thrones, and then maybe Seinfeld. #priorities

You stay classy, Planet Earth.