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GARZ4LIB

Second Generation Librarian.

I’m belatedly celebrating one whole year as a professional librarian – whoo! <does a jig> My biblio-birthday was officially January 2… So I’m going to take a little time to think about what exactly this last year in accidental (completely on purpose) children’s librarianship has yielded in personal and professional development.

Programming: I’m still trying to find best practices for programming, but it’s helped a lot that MPL has started conducting programming planning by committee. Also MPL is restructuring the programming itself (more on that later) and ideally this will standardize the programming delivered across the system. I have finally found some one-off programs that have worked, though! Over March Break I ran Very Merry Un-Birthday Party and Pizza Extravaganza and they were a huge success! Well – at least the kids had fun, and I felt distinctly less chaotic and stressed than I did for the Anne of Green Gables program last June. So progress, no?

Collections: I still have a LOT to learn about collection development, but to be honest it’s not as interesting as I thought it would be. I love to read, of course, and you definitely don’t have to twist my arm to read anything in the Juvenile department, but the actual mechanics of knowing what’s what, ordering, reading, weeding, and suggesting… OHhhhhhhh the suggesting, feels like a chore, no doubt. Reader’s advisory still sends me into little tiny butterflies of panic and I tend to suggest books that I’ve read as a child and enjoyed. This might be due to the fact that I abhor the pop-lit that a goodly portion of kids read (Hannah Montana and Pokemon, for example) but more likely it’s because I haven’t yet done the legwork to really learn about reading levels, my collections, popular titles and authors, etc. So – I find I remain fairly ignorant. To remedy – I’ve started on a mission to read more books in my collection. It started off with Neil Gaiman as a compromise of my sensibilites – Coraline and The Graveyard Book (both FANTABULOUS reads – I’m so, so happy he won the Pulitzer Prize for The Graveyard Book!!!). Now I’ve moved on to others, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things and Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything (both by Lenore Look) were great as well. ALSO Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee – the not quite a sequel to Millicent Min, Girl Genius (which won the Sid Fleischman humor award) – was phenomenal. Most recently, but not least – I’ve started reading the Joey Pigza books by Jack Gantos (starting with Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key), having been turned on to him by his novel for adults The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs. Whew… so I’m hoping this will help with my collections knowledge and hopefully I’ll sit down and write proper reviews some day soon…

Management (Time and otherwise): Hahaha… with my wedding (last November) out of the way I’ve gotten marginally better at not being completely rushing around like the proverbial decapitated chicken, but I still have a ways to go. This isn’t really helped by the fact that all job descriptions are currently under review in terms of responsibilities and committee work, etc. BUT it should all be worked out soon and then I’ll have a better idea of how much I need to freak out about various deadlines on a daily basis, haha. People management – still not very good. Because I can’t stand doing it! Especially since the people I’m … well not “managing” per se – but delegating, suggesting, requesting, etc. are mostly a few decades my senior. I just don’t feel comfortable telling people what to do. I even feel like I should be paying the teen volunteers! Argh. Well that’s just my temperament – I’ll work on being bossy this year. Probably…

Story Time: Story times, I think, are my biggest accomplishment of the year. I think I’ve grown a lot as a story teller and a performer, and I think it shows. (The ABC Canada rep said I was one of the best readers of Robert Munsch he had seen this year!!!) I’m definitely not as nervous as I was December 10, 2007 when I gave my very first story time, haha. I was… petrified. I’m an out-in-the-open champ, more or less… and I’ve also just about conquered the Baby Goose Beast, too!  So I guess it’s safe to say it’s taken about a year (a little less) to hit my stride in story time. But there’s always more to learn!!!

So that’s it – my year in review. A little bit of good and a little bit of “needs improvement” – but when are we ever done? We’re 3 months into the next set of adventures in librarianship and we’ll see how it goes! 🙂

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