Thursday, August 7, 2008

still floating on a cloud....

Okay, I've decided I won't be happy until you all read the editorial that was published about our library's community read. It may also peak your interest in this good book by a Missouri author. So here it is:

From the August 5 Jefferson City News Tribune written by Editor, Richard McGonegal

Capital Read offers novel approach to literary enjoyment The News Tribune We typically avoid using this forum for blatant product promotion. But because the community already has selected “An Absolute Gentleman” by R.M. Kinder as its Capital Read novel, we don’t mind adding our endorsement. The book is really good. The Capital Read concept is a marvelous idea. Capital Read was instigated in 1998 when members of the Washington Center for the Book and the Seattle Public Library posed the question: What if we all read the same book? The idea — sort of an extended book club — caught on. Today, communities, schools, churches and other organizations have embraced Capital Read. This marks the third year the Missouri River Regional Library has organized Capital Read in Central Missouri. Three books were nominated and community members selected Kinder’s novel, her first. After people have an opportunity to read the book, a visit from the author, group discussions and other events are being planned during October. Additional information is available by contacting Claudia Schoonover at 634-6064, ext. 245, or by e-mail at The novel provides ample fodder for group discussion. For example: • The book is largely set in Missouri, including Jefferson City. The setting allows Missouri readers to evaluate and discuss how the author’s fictional representation compares and contrasts with their views of the Show-Me State. • The characters, including the first-person narrator, are complex. Readers are likely to enjoy examining and debating the motivations, foibles and psyches of the characters. • The compelling story is based on the author’s real-life encounter with a convicted killer. Readers will have an opportunity to explore how the author’s art imitates her life. Capital Read takes the reader beyond the solitary activity of enjoying a book. The group events will allow readers to hear the author discuss the work, to exchange ideas and — in this case — to absorb the process and message of a fiction based on a horrifying reality.

Now that I have that out of my system I can proceed with the rest of my day.

I arrive around 9. My work schedule is generally 9-5:30 because it suits my family's schedule. Like I said before, my library is incredibly flexible. Thank you Bill!

I spent the first 45 minutes of my day working with the Human Resource Director on the job description and hours needed for a Teen Clerk. I just hope we can find someone before September 1. This may be too much to hope for...

I also spent a considerable amount of time formulating questions for a patron survery our library is undertaking. I don't have to worry about how to phrase the question. Ideas are the name of the game. I sent the Reference staff some of my ideas and they gave me some great feedback. Here are a list of some of the things we want to know from our patrons:

1. Dthe library's adult collection meet your educational and recreational needs? Does the library's children's collection meet your child's educational and recreational needs. Please explain how it does or does not.
2. What part of the collection do you checkout the most?
3. What kind of books do you think the library needs more of?
4. Did you know the library has e-books? Have you ever used them?
5. Did you know the library has downloadable audio? Have you ever used them?
6. Do you like the fiction collection split into genres like Christian Fiction, Romance, Westerns, Sci Fi, Mysteries or would you prefer that all books be interfiled together?
7. If you like books shelved by genre, would you like to see additional genres?
8. If applicable, does the children's nonfiction collection meet you child's curriculum needs? If it does not, what subject areas need more attention? ( kind of like the first question)
9. The library has cds, dvds, vhs, e-books, various kits, and downloadable audio. Are there other materials formats you would like to see the library carry?
10. Are you interested in genealogy materials for family research?
11. Do you know about our databases? Have you ever used them?
12 Do you know we have a Spanish collection?
13. Do you know our magazines check-out?
14. Do you know you can get materials outside the library through interlibray loan or our MOBIUS consortium?

From 11-1p.m. I work on the circulation desk for someone who is on vacation. I love working the all the public service desks. It's probably my favorite thing to do. I am on a first name basis with many of our patrons and it is a nice switch from what I have been working on in my office. I can be found on the reference desk between 8-10 hours a week. I also really like to help out on the children's desk when needed.

2-5 p.m. I work on answering e-mails, making more phone calls for Capital READ, signing more invoices, ordering a few books, and I dedicated a whole hour to evaluating a huge list of materials a family wants to buy and give to the library. They are a bit slanted, but we have plenty of materials that show a different or more neutral perspective. It's all about balance! I decide to add all but one item on this family's list. The patron was fine with this and I was relieved. It really is a thoughtful gesture and I appreciate their generosity.

The damaged books and patron requests are still piling up, and I desperately need a brillant speaker to talk about the criminal mind. Well, the week's not over yet! Hopefully, I'll have good news tomorrow. I am an optimist (most of the time)!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Too many irons in the fire....

You're all familiar with this phrase, right? It means to be involved in, or doing, several etc things at the same time. Well, that's how I would best describe most days at the public library where I have worked for the past 12.5 years. I am the Collection Development and Reference Manager and I have recently become the Supervisor of our Teen Zone staff and new Collection Dev/Teen Services professional. I am currently working hard on our community reading program known as Capital READ. Our community chose R.M. Kinder's book An Absolute Gentleman, and I am trying to set up discussions and other programs that thematically relate to this novel.

This is what my day looked like today, August 6, 2008:

9:30 Wednesdays are Management Team days. They begin at 8:30, but due to a child drop-off situation I could not be there today. These meeting generally last an hour and half and cover a wide range of library issues. I called my Supervisor, the Director, and he was completely fine with that. I am fortunate to have a very understanding boss who is really nice about things that suddenly come up----especially family stuff. The library has been a great place for me to be a working mom. It's been beyond flexible! I am so grateful.

As soon as I get to work I am looking for the local paper from the night before. The Editor read "An Absolute Gentleman" and loved it. He wrote a fabulous article promoting to our community. I feel incredibly blessed. I am walking on air! I am so happy it's probably annoying. I am so ecstatic I force all my co-workers who cross my path to read it. I love my co-workers. They are a HUGE reason why working at my library is so great. Anyway, I couldn't believe my good fortune. Last year, we were fortunate to have Jeannette Walls come to talk about The Glass Castle. People had heard of it. That book had been on the NY bestseller list for 90 weeks at the time she came to our town. Kinder's books is relatively unknown, but it is a great story and extremely well written. I am thrilled with this editorial and the Director is pretty happy to.....the day is getting off to a good start.

The rest of the morning is spent returning phone calls, e-mail, and signing invoices for the business office. I also spent a considerable amount of time working with the library Administrative Assistant booking rooms for all the Capital READ programs I'm putting together. Oh, I almost forgot a Selector stops by to ask me if Picture Books with more mature themes should be sorted out and placed in a different location. This selector feels the longer, more mature stories might be used by teachers to read aloud in the classrooms. It's an interesting thought, but I think leaving them alone is probably okay too. I make a note to myself to get more input from the children's staff.

12:30 I take lunch even though I came in late because I will make it up from home later this week. I often order books from the comfort of my own home using Baker and Taylor's TitleSource 3 when I need to make up some time. It's handy and I get a lot done between 10 and 11 p.m---no one stopping by the office to ask me anything. We are allowed to count 8hrs of work from home a week. That works perfectly for me.

1:30-2:30 I talk to our Digital Services Librarian about our NetLibray contract. We have had downloadable audio the past year and the two of us spent some time talking about increasing awareness and some training possibilities for the Reference staff. I'm sure we talked about more than this, but I can't remember anything else right now.

The rest of the afternoon was spent making phone calls to arrange book discussions, lectures, and other cool programs for Capital READ. Since the book is about a serial killer who is also a creative writing and poetry professor I have arranged to host an evening of poetry (where people can read their work or that of a favorite poet) , a creative writing workshop, and a showing of a Peeping Tom a 1960 British film. I've got some other things in the works, but I need to save something to tell you about tomorrow. I have made many phone calls to find someone to speak on the criminal mind and so far this is proving to be harder than I thought. Maybe tomorrow my luck will change.

5:15 My day is done because I also have kid pick-up duty today too. I need to order more new books and go through all the damaged ones collecting on my floor, but I'll worry about that tommorrow.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I have arrived!

Well, I think this is where I am suppose to be for MRRL's library 2.0! Setting up my g-mail account and blog has not been overly taxing for me---the hardest part was coming up with a catchy name for my blog. I want it to say something about who I am. I'm not sure I achieved this, but I like it. Let me know what you think!