Friday, November 14, 2008

The Work of a Children's Librarian...

This has been a busy, busy month. You may wonder what the heck a Senior Children's Librarian does if she doesn't work with the public. No reference desk, no regular storytimes, no visits to schools, no class visits to the library, no daily hand-selling of books to eager or reluctant readers...
Don't worry, I'm NOT bored! Here are some of the projects and tasks keeping my desk and brain in a constant state of happy chaos:
Training! We have 10 brand-new Children's Librarians since September, and these are the training workshops they have received or will soon receive from my colleague and me - Introduction to Children's Librarianship; Programming; Service to Schools; Collection Development/Selection; Collection Development/Display and Weeding; Orientation to Grandparents and Books. These new librarians are so enthusiastic and inspiring that the workshops serve as rejuvenation for jaded old me.
Collection Development! My office is responsible for putting together the monthly order sheets from which our Central and branch Children's Librarians make selections. Our deadline for finalizing the December order is Monday - and what with all the Best of 2008 lists that have come out, there have been lots of last minute additions.
Outreach! Our latest project has been coordinating presentations in 8 branch libraries to 400 Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school library aides - telling them all the services we can provide to them, to the teachers, and to the students and their families.
Grants! There are always various grant projects in various phases. Currently, my fellow Senior Children's Librarian and I are administering Year 2 of a California State Library grant called Early Learning with Families - once it's up and rolling, 10 of our 71 branches will offer enhanced service to families and caregivers with very young children in the form of baby/toddler storytimes, parent workshops, renovated children's rooms, and community partnerships. LOTS of work - meetings, orientations, board reports, record-keeping. LOTS of fun!
New Libraries! Well, just one - our 72nd branch is due to open up next year and I'm behind in reviewing and revising the Opening Day Collection selections made by the vendor. Way behind. And their website was closed down all day today.
Fundraisers! Our big year-end fundraiser to raise money to send our wonderful Children's Librarians to workshops, conferences, and other events is scheduled for early December, and our office is filling up with homemade pillows, gift baskets, and other great stuff.
Audits! Our city is auditing all the city departments to make sure we're fulfilling our goals efficiently and effectively. The Library Department isn't worried - we rock, quite frankly - but it's a lot of work pulling all the required documents together.
Kids Path! Our children's website - - is always in need of tweaking and improving (just like any library collection) and it usually falls to the bottom of my list of priorities. But it's on the top of my list today - right after this break is over.
Reading! As much and as often as possible. See photos above for just a few of the dozens of books on my list. I have just as many checked out at home, and literally hundreds more in my to-read notebook. Always way behind. Never worried about it - because at least I'll never run out of books!
And now - back to work.

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