The Bookaneer would like to wish you all a happy holiday season, and is making a promise she hopes she can keep! See you in 2013!
The Bookaneer would like to wish you all a happy holiday season, and is making a promise she hopes she can keep! See you in 2013!
There’s been a bit of upheaval in my life recently, with the promotion and everything, so I’m going to put together a kind of disjointed post here. I still haven’t learned how to segue.
The first thing I want to talk about is the new job! My supervisor and I have been talking about what direction I want to go in here at the library, and I mentioned that I really like the cross-departmental aspects, such as working with eBranch on ereader stuff, attending presentations for new ebook platforms with Tech Services, or helping Circulation on the weekends (incidentally, I recently had my last official weekend in Circulation, barring any last minute emergencies, so that part of my library career is officially over. Mixed feelings about it!) She’s been really responsive and has invited me to a couple of database and collections meetings, and I’ve recently been assigned a massive project involving our print and digital magazines. We’re going to try to find out which of our print magazines actually get read (we have about 240 subscriptions) and if there are any that we should get digital copies of, as well (we’ve only got about 90 Zinio titles). The Zinio catalog hasn’t officially launched yet, though you can find it if you know where to look on our website (Hint: it involves /zinio). So what I’ve done this week is started an Excel database of all the print and digital titles, labeled them with general categories like Fashion or Racing or Dogs, as well as how often each title is published. The Zinio catalog is complete, and since there is a lot of overlap a good chunk of the print titles are done too. The second phase of this database is to work with the Circulation pages, asking them to monitor what they pick up and put away weekly, and then forward the numbers to me to work through. In March, we make a lot of our magazine renewals, so by then I should have some good data to help make decisions. It’s not a perfect system, since patrons may actually put the magazine back when they’re done with them, but it should help in the long run.
Another aspect of the new position is displays. Since my first name is also first alphabetically in the department (B is for Bookaneer) I was picked to go first for our new display shelves next to the new quiet reading room. The only criteria was they have to be non-fiction books, so I decided to make a display of cross-stitching and embroidery books, something that is a hobby of mine. The display turned out great, and I think people have really been interacting with it since I’ve had to fill in a couple holes already!
I also helped with our large main display which changes monthly. October’s was a combination of Banned Books Week and Halloween: “Don’t be afraid of banned books!” This month’s original plan was to have an old-timey circus strongman holding a huge barbell with the symbols of the Republican and Democratic parties on either side. It was going to read “Exercise Your Right to Vote” (Get it?) but the person who made the lettering locked them in her desk, then went away for several days, and wasn’t going to be back until the day of the election. So we had to think fast and change it! We ended up deciding on just using the word VOTE in big letters, which would be easier to do. I was given the task of making the letters, and decided to set them against contrasting colors. It really gave the display an overall circus look, which we joked was social commentary on the election process as a whole. It turned out pretty good:
Then, after the election, I made an “I” and a “D” at my coworker’s suggestion, and turned it into “I VOTED”:
So we’re already planning for December, which will be fantasy-related, to coincide with the release of The Hobbit next month. It’s going to be awesome!
One of my favorite things about my new position is getting to answer people’s questions. One great story I have from this past week is about an older gentlemen who came up to the reference desk asking about a mystery writer named McDonald, he said the author wrote about a detective who lived on a houseboat. With a little search engine magic, I found the author he was looking for, and told him that we had several different titles by him at our branch. I showed him where they were, and he looked at me like I was some kind of miracle worker and thanked me profusely. It was so gratifying and perfectly summed up the reason I do what I do.
I’m sure most of you know about NaNoWriMo: National Novel-Writing Month. If you’re unaware, the month of November has become a time to challenge one’s writing skills, and write a whole novel of 50,000 words in just one month. I’m not participating this year (since I never remember about it until the 5th or 6th) but the library is hosting a write-in every Tuesday night for people to come and work on and talk about their novels. I’m always impressed by those who do it, and I hope to be able to read some sweet finished products!
Tomorrow is a big day for the Bookaneer, because I am running in my very first 5K with some great friends, including my pal the Brash Librarian! We’re participating in the Run For Your Lives. I’m kinda nervous, but I think I’m mostly ready. If you had asked me this summer if I would be running a 5K this fall, I would have laughed in your face. But I’m doing it tomorrow, and it’s gonna be great!
I also want to mention that The Bookaneer is on Facebook, as well as Tumblr! I’ll be posting and sharing some shorter bits and anecdotes over there, so make sure you follow me! We’ll have a great time!
So it’s time for me to get to bed, big day tomorrow. Keep bookaneering, crew!
It’s Halloween! Not only is this my favorite holiday (after Talk Like A Pirate Day, of course), but it’s made even better with the addition of All Hallow’s Read! I did end up making some video readings, and I hope to do a couple more on Thursday (All Hallow’s Day :D). Here is a link to the introduction post, which has links to the actual readings in the description:
Let me know what you think! I had a lot of fun with these, and I’d like to do more soon. Do you have any ideas for future readings?
Keep bookaneering, mateys! I know I will!
I have finally decided, as my last act of Bold Moves October, to actually start the vlogging I keep talking about. So here it is: my first video!
I hope you enjoy it! Can you guess which part makes me laugh every time?
Lots of big news happening in and around the library the last couple weeks!
First of all, the biggest news: I was chosen for the promotion to Library Specialist in our Adult Services department! I started last week with training, and am now a member of the library’s reference staff. This is my second promotion since I started working for the library district last December, and I’m very excited about it. It’s a new department with new responsibilities, and I’ve already been selected to attend some product presentations on behalf of my supervisor to decide if we want to purchase new software for the library (one of those was last week, on my third day!). I’m really looking forward to learning new things and helping other people learn things too. In this department I get to put on programs of my own choosing every six weeks or so, and my first one will be on Valentine’s Day! I’m planning on having a cool retro Sock Hop, and I really hope it’s successful! Do you all have any ideas about programs you’d like to see at the library? I would love some suggestions!
Speaking of successful, our party to kick of National Friends of the Libraries Week went swimmingly! After a month of meetings and planning and creating posters and setting up displays, the big day finally arrived on Sunday, and everyone loved it. We committee members came in at noon to set up and place the decorations, and festivities started at three. The program was very cool and featured a great slideshow presentation, the food was delicious, the music was perfect (I was placed in charge of music because I had an old CD made by a friend when we graduated from high school, full of songs about friendship) and all of our guests seemed to have a really wonderful time. My friend the Brash Librarian was there, too, as well as members of the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, some of our local political representatives, and many of our Friends. The best part was when one of the Board of Trustees mentioned my centerpiece tags in her speech! It was so flattering, and I was a little embarrassed. My fellow committee member GM and I had designed the centerpieces around all the things our Friends have done for us, so each table was unique. They featured pictures of our bookmobile, author galas, book donation bundles, music CDs, children’s books, and more. On each centerpiece we hung a tag that gave a little more information about what each centerpiece represented. We worked really hard on them and all the guests seemed to have fun going to each table and learning about how much the Friends do for us! Some of our Friends were surprised to learn about all the different ways they’ve helped us over the years!
Another sad change is the closing of one of my favorite places in town, the Laboratory. I’ve been going to the Lab since they opened three years ago, and it’s been incredible to watch how they’ve changed and grown over that time. I even had my graduation lunch with all my family members there, and Larry (the owner) opened the place early just for us. Unfortunately, the building is under new ownership, and Larry is unable to afford the much higher rent the new landlord plans to charge, so they will be closing at the end of this month. Last Thursday marked the very last Nerd Nite to occur at the Lab. One of the guys who runs our local Nerd Nite, CD, asked me and my wench troupe (one of whom is my friend Toni) to perform there after seeing us at an open mic night. We were happy to oblige, and managed to gather a bedful (our term for a quorum/majority) of our gang to sing some naughty songs and have some fun. We all had a good time, and I think the crowd did too! Afterward were some very cool presentations, and we even made ice cream with liquid nitrogen! On Saturday, the Lab held its pre-Halloween party (since they’ll be closed by actual Halloween) and I dressed in my Velma costume (which I will be wearing on Halloween at the library!) and went to hang out and bid farewell to such a great venue. Larry gave a very touching speech, and I cried a lot, but in the end it was a beautiful evening and a nice way to put the old girl to bed, so to speak. 😦
Bold Moves October has been going well, I think; I’ve been making positive changes that I would have been otherwise too scared to do. I’ve been thinking about making video book reviews, but I’ve been too nervous to start them. I think with this last week of Bold Moves October I will finally get on the ball and start vlogging! I might do a reading for All Hallow’s Read, too, but I have to pick a story first! What do you think? Should the Bookaneer become a Vlogganeer?
And now, your Moment of Cute: A man with three small boys was checking out across the lobby, and his kids were getting a little antsy and running around. He warned them to stop running, and pointed at me, saying that I am mean and will tell them they can’t come back if they don’t behave. I interjected, protesting his throwing me under the bus but did tell the kids to please stop running. He and the boys came over after they were done checking out, and he said that they were going to apologize for running and they wouldn’t do it again. The oldest one, about 5, said, “But dad, I wasn’t running; I was speed-walking!” His dad says that he’s a future lawyer! 😀
We’ve had a busy week at the library! Wednesday we had a retirement breakfast for the lovely and talented Meredith Pierce, who is leaving the library after 25 years to spend more time writing. She is an accomplished YA fantasy novelist, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Thursday was our “reopening” party because of all the renovations on the third floor; we’ve swapped the collections, opened a new quiet reading room, painted, re-carpeted and generally changed the layout of the whole adult services areas. It looks great, and all the bigwigs came to celebrate. On Saturday we had our annual Family Literacy Festival, which was a big hit! A lot of kids came to be recognized as part of the Million Minutes of Reading, there was a play, some dance performances, and booths set up by local businesses giving out cool swag. I wandered around on my lunch break (as everyone was breaking down) and ended up with a Publix bag, a Florida football poster, and I got to make a button!
It was a lot of fun and the kids all seemed to love it. The Literacy Festival is a great way for parents to get their kids interested in reading and TH and her staff of amazing volunteers did an incredible job!
The other day I was at work and patron came up to the desk and asked if I was a performer at the medieval faire. I told her that I was (I sing with a group of women in a wench troupe, we sing naughty songs and tell jokes) and she said that she recognized me! She told me that she thought I looked familiar but then she saw my necklace (a Celtic knot I always wear) and she knew it was me. She mentioned that she loved our act and she can’t wait to see us next year! It was really flattering (and a little embarrassing!) and kind of surreal. Does this mean I’m famous? I’m pretty sure this means I’m famous.
I needed to rent a car this week while mine was in the shop, and the Enterprise representative who picked me up made conversation by asking where I work. Great question! I managed to not talk his ear all the way off about the library and how great it is that we offer so many services. He was really impressed by the idea of downloading audiobooks to his phone to listen to while he was at the gym, since he said he’d been listening to the same music for a while now and was getting tired of it. I told him to stop by any of our branches with a photo ID and proof of address and we’d be happy to get him started! I really hope he does, new patrons are my favorite! (Except for my old patrons that I already know and love!) Besides, as I’ve mentioned, September is National Library Card Registration Month!
And now, the meat of today’s post: A young man called the library in a state, and said that he had returned some DVDs over the Labor Day weekend, but one of them apparently hadn’t been checked in! He had received a bill notice in the mail and was panicking, not sure what he could do. He said he was nearly positive that he’d returned it, and he would be willing to pay for it if it came to that, but he’d rather not. I told him not to worry, and that I would take care of everything for him. I said I’d take a look around for it at the library, since it hadn’t been checked out again, but that I couldn’t put it on the “Claimed Returned” list since it had been billed to him. I advised him to look for it at his home just in case, too. I promised to email him within the next day or so with the result. He thanked me profusely and I told him I would fix it. We happened to have a lull that evening and I let my coworker know I was going to go do a quick shelf-search. The DVD was discovered exactly where it was supposed to be, on its shelf; it had apparently just accidentally been skipped on check-in in the mad influx we’d had over the holiday. I checked it in for him to clear his account, and emailed him to let him know the good news. The next day I received an email back saying how grateful he was to me, proclaiming me and the library to be “so awesome”. It was a really nice gesture, and made me feel appreciated, which is not always a feeling you get as a public servant (fortunately my patrons are usually pretty good about that). Never fear, The Bookaneer is here to save the day!
Weird, but Funny:
A lady came in holding an infant, and said “Yes, I’d like to get her a library card.” “Her, who?” I asked, bewildered. “Her,” she replied, gesturing to the baby in her arms, who must have been a few months old, at best. “Oh,” I replied, “you have to be four years old to get a library card here. Sorry!” Why does your baby need a library card? She can’t even recognize faces, much less read or watch anything. RW told me that we used to issue library cards to “unhatched” babies, even, though we changed it when we switched to Polaris in June.
Weird, but Cute:
I was balancing DVDs on my head across the lobby, as usual, and a little girl turned to her mother and said “Mommy, look!” “That’s cool!” said the mother to the daughter, “she could be an African!” What? I am clearly a PRINCESS. Maybe an African Princess?
Moment of Cute:
A kid of about 11 wearing a red fez came into the library with his mom to return some books. I said, “Hey, a fez! Fezzes are cool,” which is a reference to the popular British television show Doctor Who. He broke into a wide grin and said “Yes! You get it! Awesome!” and gave me a high five. His mother smiled and rolled her eyes, saying, “he loves that show, I don’t get it.” I winked at him and said “We Whovians always recognize our own,” which made him grin again before they wandered upstairs. I love tiny nerds-in-training!
So, I’m still recovering from the chart-breaking levels of incredibly cool that was Talk Like A Pirate Day! It really was an awesome experience, and everyone had so much fun with it. My costume was a huge hit! All of Youth Services was dressed in pirate garb, and I was shang-hai’d as soon as I got in to get my “pirate booty” from their treasure chest. I scored a skull-and-crossbones bandanna and a Jolly Roger temporary tattoo.
Later, I picked up a couple of pirate rubber duckies, after I saw another kid with one and told KD in Youth Services that I would pay good money for them. She just let me have them! They are especially great because my bathroom at home is decorated with rubber duckies. One came home with me, and the other sits on my desk here at the library.
Moments of Cute and Weird, But Funny:
I had a bunch of kids say “ARR, MATEY” to me, bedecked with eyepatches and bandannas, and they were all thrilled when I said “AVAST” back. One kid asked me why I had feathers on my hat, and I told him it was because I was the Captain of my pirate ship! He was very impressed. One adult patron asked me the name of my ship, and I replied with “The Magpie”. He then asked what year my ship sailed? I gave him a straight-faced answer of “1607.” He seemed to find that acceptable and moved on. Several people asked “why are you dressed like that?” Sometimes I answered truthfully. Sometimes I answered, “Dressed like what?” I also got to spend the day threatening patrons with walking the plank and being keelhauled unless they brought their books back on time, which is something I wish I could do all the time!
One of my coworkers told me that she heard an ad on the radio for free donuts for pirates from Krispy Kreme, so I stopped by on my lunch break. I walked in and the gentleman behind the counter just handed me a dozen donuts without uttering a word! I told him thanks and happy sailing, and brought back my prize to share with me librarrrry crew.
Of course, not everyone could enjoy the levity of Talk Like A Pirate Day. I had a couple patrons ask me why were celebrating criminals. I had another say that Krispy Kreme should be giving those donuts to homeless people instead of people dressed in costumes. To them I just shook my head, because they obviously don’t know how to have fun. On the other hand, one young man said I shivered his timbers! I told him to come see me at the medieval faire, where I am a performer in a singing group, and I would be able to respond to him then, since it wouldn’t be appropriate at the library. 😉
That evening, I went to my other singing group rehearsal, and as soon as I arrived, the others decided they should dress as pirates too! We had a pirate-y practice, then I took one of my mateys and we went to get MORE donuts. I took these to my favorite venue, which was having a fundraiser, and the donuts and I were welcomed with open arms. Nothing like attending a dance party dressed as a pirate!
Anyway, this year’s Talk Like A Pirate Day was beyond compare, and I’m so glad I got to share it with everyone at my favorite place.
Keep bookaneering, mateys!