Aug 16, 2014

Behind The Scenes - August

The Summer Reading Program has ended. Our lunch program has concluded. The event calendar is bare for the next couple of weeks. 
So, just what exactly do we do at the library in August?

Professional Development

We strive to offer the best customer service we possibly can. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful community, and our patrons make our jobs and lives a lot easier. Regardless of how awesome and easy-going our patrons may be, it is important to maintain our professional skills. Therefore, we use our down time to take web-based classes, complete training seminars and sharpen our reference skills. We (try to) catch up on reading the fantastic journals that come with our profession as well. Monthly journals such as American Libraries and School Library Journal are wonderful resources for book reviews and cutting library edge programming. As information fanatics, wanting to continue learning comes naturally to most librarians. 

We also have one day every August where the library closes and all staff members assemble (a lot like super heroes) for an entire day of training and engaging activities to help us continue to grow as a team. Below you can see my pile of journals to read, invoices and orders to submit, books to grade, and donated items to sift through. I'd like to say it only looks like this for dramatic photo staging, but that would be a lie.

My messy desk.

We strive to provide meaningful and interesting programs throughout the year. Our library program calendar is released quarterly, which means we have to complete planning at least four months in advance. Our next calendar will share information about September through December, but in order to meet the calendar deadline, we had to have all of these programs planned in May and June! The next deadline, for January through April, is quickly approaching. We are busy planning the fun activities and services we will offer in 2015, which is hard to believe! Planning also means contracting and scheduling with any outside performers or educators.

Cabinet full of planning materials.

Since we have so many wonderful things planned for the fall, we are busy turning our plans into a reality! We usually host about 5 or 6 storytimes a week, in addition to our other special programs. January through July of this year, the children's department has already hosted 176 programs! We love integrating Every Child Ready to Read early learning skills into our programs: reading, singing, playing, talking, and writing. We gather books and music, assemble craft materials, and create lesson plans to guide our classes. We also have to create flyers for all of our programs, upload them to the blog, edit the library website and visit school events to promote all of the cool programs!

Miss Nicole's awesome felt board in progress.
Gettin' It Done

We usually apply for at least one grant to help supplement library funding and hopefully make our dream projects come true. We have been very fortunate to receive funding from The Stocker Foundation for several years in a row. This year we have two very important projects we are working on completing:

1. Grow, Make, Play, and Learn! (GMPL!) is our way of offering hands-on programming at the library that encourages kids to engage in learning, while promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning objectives. We have 8 more GMPL! programs planned over the next few months.

2. Our second project focuses on working with incarcerated fathers at the Grafton Correctional Institution and the Grafton Reintegration Center. We are providing learning materials and books for reading rooms so visiting children have access to quality educational activities. We are also working on providing Every Child Ready to Read training to inmates and volunteer readers to share the importance of early literacy. This training will help to prepare them for sharing literacy and reading skills with their children once they are released. To encourage a stronger parental bond, we will be recording the fathers reading a story and sending a copy of the recording, along with a print copy of the book, to their children. Even though they are apart, these children can still enjoy hearing a bedtime story from Dad. The bulk of this project is being conducted this month.

  Bits & Bobs

 Summer Reading was such a successful time for the library. We broke our record for participation, as well as circulation. We are so pumped about this! Due to the popularity of our program and the amount of traffic our books have seen, we have decided to take some time to reorganize our shelves, clean them off, and make sure they are in order. We are working hard this month to provide a clean and welcoming place to be all year long.

We are also doing some re-organization of our staff here at the library since one our children's librarians, Miss Nicole, will be leaving us to take on a new position in the library. She will be the new Emerging Technologies Supervisor! Rest assured, she plans on coordinating with Miss Katie and the rest of the youth services team for fun, tech-oriented programming for our young patrons in the future! You haven't seen the last of her yet!

Cleaning and shelving in progress.