A few quick things about the library and then some things that are kind of related!
On Tuesday we had our big All-Staff meeting, as we do quarterly. It’s a great way to get all (roughly) 200 of us in one place and update everyone on goings-on at the library and in the community, and it’s where we honor people for their years of service. At this meeting, we talked about the upcoming Friends of the Library celebration (which I’m on the committee for, more on that later), our United Way fundraising drive, and the nominees (and winner) were announced for the Carole Hole Award, which is an award for outstanding customer service and outreach at the library. All the nominees were really inspiring, and then suddenly, my name was called! Someone had nominated me for the award?! I can tell you, it was COMPLETELY unexpected. I don’t even know what they said about me (besides that I’m always cheerful and happy to help) because I was too busy being dumbfounded and turning red. I was not the winner (the winner is a man who started a conversational English program for foreign speakers at his branch, much cooler than anything I do) but it was still an exceptional honor to be nominated. And the weird thing is this: NO ONE WILL TELL ME WHO NOMINATED ME. It’s driving me crazy!
Meanwhile, this week is Banned Book Week! We have several really cool displays in the Children’s Department, Teen Space, and Adult Services areas of the library. A couple of them feature challenged or banned books in a big cage, and another incorporates a Halloween theme; “Don’t Be Afraid of Banned Books!” This is a really important issue for me, especially, as a librarian-to-be and someone who loves the spreading of information and fights against censorship. I think it’s so crucial that information is kept flowing and free, and that’s one of the MANY reasons I want to become a librarian. (That and I really love the smell of books.)
Coming up later this month is National Friends of the Libraries Week. It’s October 21-27 and our library has decided to throw a big party to thank our Friends for their support and donations over the years. Since we became our own tax district, they’ve provided over $3.5 MILLION in various capacities to our library; including land purchases, a bookmobile refurbishment, scholarships for staff pursuing library degrees, and a myriad of other big and little things. As I mentioned, I’m on the committee, and I was put in charge of designing the big display sign! We had a meeting this morning and it feels really good to have my ideas listened to and implemented, especially since I’m both the newest and youngest employee on the committee. It’s incredibly gratifying to know that the poster that will soon be hanging in pretty much every branch started out as my idea that was scribbled on a legal pad. Part of our centerpieces for the party itself started out as my idea too. I love collaborating! And the best part is that the end of National Friends of the Libraries Week is the kick-off for our Friends of the Library’s semi-annual Book Sale! It’s a five-day sale that is the biggest of its kind in the southeast US. People line up early on Saturday morning to get in, and they bring bags, boxes, and carts to haul their items away. There’s a really awesome Collector’s Corner that has rare and first editions, Tuesday is Half Price Day, and Wednesday, the last day of the sale, is Ten Cent Day. EVERYTHING is ten cents! I’ve definitely gone in on Wednesdays past with a couple bucks and come home with a bag or two of books and records (yes, records! They also have CDs, DVDs, and more. Not just books!) The sale happens twice a year (fall and spring) and, as I recently learned while designing my poster, each sale brings in $140-160,000. Amazing! We’re so lucky to have such a wonderful Friends association! The sale starts October 27th and runs through October 31st!
Now, it should come as no surprise that October is my favorite month. (Besides the Friends of the Library book sale.) It’s a great time of change, with weather and seasons and colors in nature shifting, and it ends with Halloween! (This year I’m dressing up as Velma from Scooby-Doo, and yes, I will go to work that way!) But there are a couple of other month-long celebrations that I’ve recently discovered that I’d like to share with you. The first is All Hallow’s Read, a celebration started by famous author Neil Gaiman which involves the giving of spooky books on Halloween, and has kind of evolved into a month-long book-giving extravaganza. You can either leave them in public places to be found by the next person, or present them as a gift. You can find out more here. The other thing I’ve discovered is the concept of Bold Moves October. The idea originated from a blog called “Date By Numbers” and it started out as a way to do something daring and gaining confidence in dating, but has become sort of a way to do ANYTHING bold this month, like dyeing your hair pink or going skydiving or applying to graduate school. I need a lot of practice at this, because even though I am a pirate I am apparently not a very good one because I’m not often spontaneous and daring. You can find out more about Bold Moves October here. (You can also see all the #boldmoves on tumblr here!) And not that it’s any of your business but I have made at least one bold move by asking a young man to go to the planetarium with me. He said he couldn’t go but maybe next time. SO BOLD! Another bold thing I’ll be doing (as soon as the grad application is back up on the website) is finally applying to graduate school for Library Science! I keep putting it off but there’s no reason to other than the fact that I’m kind of scared, and that’s the opposite of what Bold Moves October should be, so here I go!
Now boldly get out there and get bookaneering!