This Was My Week

Cheers and Jeers

I am on vacation! Actually I don’t know how good that is. I accidentally left my computer at work and I miss the routine of going to work.

What Happened This Week?

Monday:

  • Book Commercials – This was amazing, but I can’t really share much from it so no blog post on it.

Wednesday:

  • Vacation

Thursday:

  • Vacation

Saturday:

  • Vacation

What did patrons want?

I don’t know because I was on vacation. I wish I got to do more reader’s advisory but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Outside of work I forced my mom to read Wonder.

 

Book Thoughts – The Ninjabread Man by C.J. Leigh

The Ninjabread Man by C.J. Leigh is a nominee for the Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Award in the K-2 category.


I actually finished this book a while ago and misplaced it. I had wanted to do in depth reviews for all the buckeye nominees but honestly this is a rehash of The Gingerbread Man. I didn’t like the art or the text and there just isn’t much to say about this. Maybe I would recommend it if you are doing a unit on fairytales and have kids who love ninja warriors.

This Was My Week

Cheers and Jeers

Well I’m hoping this is a good thing, but I got an email saying we would be having a meeting about STEAM in the library at the end of the month. We are supposed to bring all of  our ideas so now I am scrambling to get everything from my head to paper. I recognize the director and maybe 2 other names in the group of 8 people so I am hoping we will be able to be very focused, but I don’t know what to expect at this point.

What Happened This Week?

Monday:

  • Family Movie Night
  • Put all summer events and reminders into my calendar
  • More weeding J books not in the catalog
  • Prepping music for Disney Trivia Night

Wednesday:

  • 3 people off today
  • More new books arrived, I think they all look good so I hope they circ.
  • Worked on decorations for summer reading Build a Better World theme. Gear flowers should be cool right?

Thursday:

  • Steam focus group email sent me scrambling to get all of my STEAM stuff together
  • More weeding

Friday:

  • Printers down for a few hours
  • Short one person and another left early so pretty busy
  • STEAM reading
  • Unconference directly after work

What did patrons want?
I actually don’t remember anything very interesting that was requested this week. I got a kid to take home a book I recommended.

 

STEAM Materials Requested

Here is the list of the items I requested for the STEAM program. Amazon is the easiest website for me to use so that is why everything listed can be found on amazon. Prices do fluctuate but I have listed what it was at the time I first requested the item.

Dominoes $9.90
Snap Circuits Jr $20.99
Makey Makey Kit $49.95
Tangrams $7.28
Spirograph $11.24
LEGO Space Needle $54.79
K’nex Bridges Kit $29.98
Amazin Marbles $28.06
Code & Go Mouse $40.68
Modeling Clay $2.81 & Tools $4.99
Geoboards $12.68
Geoworld Preserved Bugs $28.67
Gears! $18.52
Doodle Robot $10.40
Magnetic MightyMind $23.40
Magnet Science $13.48
Magic Penny $20.01

I tried to pick the highest reviewed, cheapest, and most practical to request for the STEAM program. I did not consider 3D printers or other large machines with what I imagine is a large learning curve.

I submitted my original material request to my boss via email and after a verbal okay I have now printed and filled out the paperwork for each individual item.

Book Thoughts: Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Book Thoughts are something new. As I flip through quite a few books weekly I don’t really have the time or desire to write up long book reviews for everything, but sometimes I also want to talk about a book just a little bit. Think of Book Thoughts like mini reviews that might contain spoilers, ranting or some really out there comparisons.

real friends hale cover

Real Friends by Shannon Hale has been making the book blog rounds with rave reviews. My boss and I both read it and ended up in tears, though I think she had a harder time with it as she dealt with more bullying in school than me. I was a bit nervous to read this because she had such a strong reaction and I was imagining really awful bullying and a really depressing book so I was pleasantly surprised.

Real Friends is like the baby sister of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel meets Anne of Green Gables. Shannon has the red hair, strong emotions, and fanciful imagination of Anne. Instead of exploring the woods for dryads and fairies she talks her friends into spy games and Charlie’s angels. The OCD and anxiety problems and family issues are similar to those explored in Fun Home.

I will admit the spy stuff is lost on me but I would say to pick up Real Friends if for no other reason than for the art and the exploration of the relationship with Shannon and her sister.

 

 

 

This Was My Week

Cheers and Jeers
I got a really nice compliment from the boss on Monday. I am apparently really good at what I do and am the best programmer in the library- better than the real librarians.

What Happened This Week?

Monday:

Wednesday:

  • Wrote out requests for STEAMSPACE materials. It is the most convoluted process possible.
  • Helped coworker set up their (work issued) fitbit
  • The chapter books I wanted to be changed to easy readers came back with a note saying we were supposed to be doing that. No one seems to have been aware of this, but until the librarian position is filled I will be inspecting books as they come in.
  • Put up a staff picks display to go with the book commercials program that is coming up soon.
  • Worked on the booklet and badges for STEAMSPACE
  • Coworker makes the sign say “READ A BOOK” which I think looks bad.

Thursday:

  • Boss had a school visit and accidentally double-booked herself. Someone made a comment about her being pregnant when she is very much not pregnant. My face is super dry and scaly and makeup won’t hide it all. Not a great start to the morning
  • Coworker complains a lot about re-cataloging the chapter books as easy readers. I should have pulled all of the books when I saw them a year ago, but I wasn’t confident enough in my judgement.
  • Ran a report to identify picture books that have not gone out in several years.

Saturday:

  • Saturday 3/3 – Getting closer to vacation!
  • I grabbed a few shelves of picture books to weed “my way”. I think I did 4 shelves and found 6-7 books that were not in the catalog.
  • Some of the books I petitioned for are starting to arrive. Tornadoes, volcanoes, weather, and science books all came through and looked pretty good.
  • Our copy of Shannon Hale’s Real Friends came in and the boss and I were both weepy after reading it.

What did patrons want?
Diagrams of the fuel injector in a car from ALLDATA, which I have never used. I saw a kid checking out books about flying horses and sent him home with a copy of  The Secret Horses of Briar Hill.

 

Mommy & Me Tea Party

I honestly thought the mommy and me tea party would fill up quickly but it actually took a long time reach 45 attendees which ended up being 46 because the registration system does weird things. It feels like enthusiasm for all programs is a bit down lately which is a bit weird to me but we are very near the end of the school year and maybe this is just a thing to expect.

I thought the tea program was fine. I didn’t love it or hate it. I made little peanut butter sandwiches cut into squares which almost no one took so that was a bit of a waste of time. Next time I will know to look at cookies or veggies or something along those lines.

I started by having everyone color a butterfly template I cobbled together to make some cute decorations that went in the teacups. The coloring and cutting took a bit longer than I thought.

Then I did a little toast with pink lemonade in the teacups and  I think it was just a few rhyming lines as I am not huge on most priory and I didn’t want to do a big speech.  After the toast I let everyone come and get their sandwiches and cupcakes.

While everyone was eating I set out some questionnaires for the kids to fill out with stuff like my favorite memory is ________. My mom likes to __________. I also set out some cute paper flowers with topics like favorite book, best ice cream flavor, dreams, etc. to encourage all the participants to actually just sit and talk.

When it looked like most people were done we started working on some waterfall cards. The pages flip when you pull on the tab and I thought they came out pretty cute.
I did learn that apparently all of the blue sticks are dry and I need to order more.

Registered: 46
Attendance: 34
Activity: butterfly cup decorations
Activity: toast and tea
Activity: questionnaire
Activity: conversation flowers
Activity: waterfall card

This Was My Week

Cheers and Jeers
What a weird week. Emergency PTO for me and funky weather meant when it was slow it was s-l-o-w. But when we were busy we were pretty busy.

Outside of work I was social and met people for dinner and had 2 hours of lovely conversation and good food.

What Happened This Week?

Monday:

  • Emergency PTO and I missed a few hours of work in the morning.
  • We had dinosaur mini golf which went well.
  • I made a sign for the book commercial program coming up.
  • A patron requested non-fantasy YA romance books and I had to struggle to think of something we had on the shelf. We might have to get some more YA romance if we get more room.

Wednesday:

  • Prepped stuff for Mother’s Day tea party.
  • There is a new librarian position open but I don’t qualify as I don’t have the degree so my hours will change but no chance of me moving up to a higher position.
  • Spent way too long trying to pin down when the solar eclipse will be visible to us and converting UT to local time. I didn’t think about the date but it will happen during our remodel so probably no eclipse party for us.

Thursday:

  • Weeded J novels
  • Hunt for mis-catalogued easy readers and found 3 boxes worth.

Saturday:

  • Subbing for a coworker in vacation so 2 of 3 Saturdays in a row
  • Discarding the J novels approved by the boss.
  • Dogs from the kennel club came. Probably 10 or so. One was so excited to be pet he pooped on the carpet.
  • A kid claimed someone threatened them with a BB gun but not actually at the library.

What did patrons want?

Anything Jack the Ripper
Coyotes for an animal project
5 Caldecott winners for a school assignment.

Are We There Yet? By Dan Santat

Are We There Yet? By Dan Santat is a nominee for the Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Award in the K-2 category.

are we there yet cover

From the Cover

Welcome to the road trip of a lifetime.
We get it. Car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. So much so that it might start going backward — into the time of pirates! Of princesses! of dinosaurs!

You were just trying to go to your grandmother’s birthday party. But when time flies, who knows where–or when you’ll end up.

After reading this wildly inventive book– that even turns upside down! you’ll never look at being bored the same way again.

Synopsis
When a little boy is stuck on a road trip to grandma’s birthday time seems to crawl…and then go backwards. The text twists, you start reading backwards, and suddenly the family car is surrounded by men on horseback racing a locomotive, ship full of pirates, a jousting knight, Egyptians building a pyramid under the watchful gaze of the sphinx. And you might need a pit stop to play fetch with a t-Rex. Time and text twist again and we are lurched into the future with neon billboards and robots. But after a quick nap we arrive at grandma’s and wake in the present just in time for the party.

are we there yet dinosaurs

The Good
Dinosaur fetch is the highlight of this book, though there is other beautiful artwork throughout. I am usually not a fan of weird page layouts that force you to twist or read backwards but I think it worked rather well for this book.

The Bad

There are not a lot of women in this book. I suppose mom is ever-present in the car and makes funny faces but the cover shows (presumably) Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhart, and Cleopatra they don’t actually interact with the boy at all.

The Ugly
I feel the bit about going to future doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the book. I wish it would have had some more interaction with periods we see in the past instead.

In Conclusion
I personally like this book the best of the K-2 entries. I like the sparse text and the illustrations. I totally sympathize with lines like “my butt hurts” but I just have a hard time connecting with the bored in the car idea as I can always just read a book. Heck I would prefer to be driven so I could have some dedicated reading time!

Dinosaur Mini Golf 2017

Last summer we ran a dinosaur-themed mini golf program during summer reading. I think dinosaurs are such a great theme (and the display books always go out!) that I wanted to run it again, but trying it indoors.

Once again I borrowed the putters, obstacles, and holes. This time I requested to only be sent the putters and such instead of the whole library mini golf kit. I think that reduced the number of boxes delivered to me from 4 to one so it was much more manageable.


I started taping the dinosaurs to bookends about an hour before the program while I set out the putters, balls, papers, and golf pencils on a table. I also hung up a cool dinosaur photo backdrop I found on amazon. I had help to assemble the flags numbered 1-9 and one of the shelvers rolled up some craft paper to use as barriers at the end of the stacks because we didn’t have any pool noodles in the craft room and I hadn’t bothered to stop at the dollar store for any. Patrons started showing up about 10 minutes before the program and another coworker popped in to help tape a dinosaur’s broken tail and help set out the dinos.


When the patrons arrived I had them choose a putter and ball and told them to start at any number they wanted to and work their way around and to take a picture with the dinosaur when they were done. Some kids were done really quickly. I think one girl was done after 15 minutes, but then she wanted to play again. But I think most participants clocked in around 25-30 minutes. I saw one sheet from an older participant that looked like it took 10-12  putts on most of the holes.


Due to some PTO time I took I did not call to remind people about the event, so I think the turnout was pretty good. A lot of families stayed and hung out in the children’s area afterwards.

I cannot decide if I preferred the indoor or outdoor setup.  I think outdoor setup took a bit longer, but we had more space. The indoor setup was chaotic but also seemed to get people talking and really brought the library to life for an hour.

Registrations: 36
Attendance: ~30
Activity: Mini Golf
Activity: Dinosaur Photo-op