Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today At The Desk....

Yay, it's Thursday, and I get to work the service desk in the children's department.  I do like my outreach job, of course, but after doing the same theme for 30+ groups over the last two weeks, I was eager to do something different.  After spending the morning working on collection development and planning storytimes, I headed down to the children's department where I was able to meet the person they finally hired to fill my old page position I vacated 6 weeks ago. 

They initially had a hard time getting enough qualified applicants for the page position and ended up having to re-post it (I guess I'm just irreplaceable :), but now it's finally filled.  That makes her the "third generation" of children's pages that are in the building, including myself, and the woman who had the job before me and now works in technical services.  So I guess that says a lot for the department and the branch if people stick around for a while and get promoted.  I know I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked there, and am glad I have not completely left.  I also got to meet the new manager of youth services who also just started, after the previous one retired.

As usual for the 1 to 5 shift, it started out slow and gradually ended very busy.  Since the new page had worked that morning, there wasn't nearly as much cleaning up to do, just a couple of puzzles and books.  I filled a few empty face-outs and a display, and straightened up the DVD's.  Then I withdrew a cartful of juvenile fiction the children's librarian had weeded and changed the status of a stack of books from new to normal (hereafter known as "un-new'd").  Then I took advantage of the slow spell to work on a couple of felt board activities for storytime and look for some books for storytime.  And of course, during all this I helped patrons with routine matters such as checking out, account questions, locating materials, validating parking, etc., and walked the floor.   Multi-tasking is important in any job, but especially while working at the desk.  I try to always have a couple of projects with me to work on during slow times at the desk, as I like to stay busy and pride myself on being efficient and making good use of down-time.

One patron sticks in my mind, a young woman who was checking out DVD's, and I mean a LOT of DVD's!  Fifty, to be precise; 35 on her card and 15 on her 2-year old daughter's card!  While it's good for circulation stats and freed up 50 much-needed security cases, it still makes me a little sad to see patrons max out their cards on movies and never check out books, not even for their kids.  She mentioned how hard it was to keep her daughter occupied and how much her daughter liked watching certain movies over and over.  I wanted to suggest that she try checking out some books for her, and explain that kids really benefit from looking at books and being read to, and also like hearing the same books over and over, but I was afraid that it would come across as being judgemental  and perhaps wasn't my place.   I'm going to ask the children's librarians what, if anything, they feel would be appropriate to say in a situation like that.  Any thoughts, dear readers?

After that, I took advantage of all the cases she had freed up to case and then sort the cartful of DVD's waiting for cases so they could be shelved, and did the send list.  While pulling all the books to be transferred for requests, I discovered three books by one author that were missing.  One of them had NEVER even circulated, and had just been added to the collection a year ago, right after the last time the other two circulated.  So I'm guessing someone came in right after that and stole them all.  I will never understand why people steal from a library when they can check things out for free.  I. Just. Don't. Get. It.  I sure hope they at least read them and either gave or sold them to someone else so they get used somehow.  By the time I got all the requests pulled, checked in and sorted, it was time to hand-off to the next person.  I am always amazed how fast the shift goes by, especially when it's busy!

Then I was off to gather up all my stuff for the next Storytime Bus theme and load it into my van to take to the bus on Monday!

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