Thursday, January 21, 2016

Today At The Desk....The Day Before Snowpocalypse 2016

So if you're on or near the east coast, you've probably been checking forecasts all day to see how much snow you're going to get and when it's going to start, and making one last run to the grocery store.  In my area, the predictions have been all over the place all week, but most seem to have settled in the 10"-14" range, starting early tomorrow morning and lasting into the following day.  We already had about 1-1/2" yesterday; not much, but enough to close the public schools for 2 days.
In light of this, I expected my shift at the desk this afternoon to be very busy with people trying to get out of the house for a bit in between storms, and stocking up on books and movies.  I fully expected our DVD section to be decimated by the time I took the desk at 1:00pm.  But, to my surprise, though there had reportedly been a steady stream of families in all morning, there were still quite a few DVD's left.  Dare I hope people stocked up on books instead?? 
I continued to have a steady stream of people throughout the afternoon, but people were mostly checking out books, along with 1 or 2 DVD's.  Nobody came in maxing out their cards checking out 35 DVD's like I expected.  I did have one patron who was looking for several books on advanced algebra and calculus; unfortunately she had written down the ISBN numbers, rather than the shelf location and call numbers.  So I looked them up for her and put in requests for the two that we didn't have and found the one that I had in the children's section.  The rest were adult books, one in the new book section on the first floor and the rest upstairs in adult non-fiction.  So I wrote down the call numbers for her, directed her to the appropriate floors, and called ahead to let them know she was on her way and what she was looking for.  A little while later she came back down with an armful of math books, so I guess I know what her teenage daughter is going to be doing while snowed in this weekend!  They did get a couple of fun books and movies, too, so it won't be all work :)
I also got to issue library cards to a couple of little girls, who were very excited to get them.  I always feel like it's a privilege to issue a child their first card.  It's not quite the same milestone as it used to be since there is no minimum age anymore, but it's still special.  Then they each got to pick out two books and bring them to me to check out, and they were so proud.  Later I had another child who had gotten his first card today as well, though not from me.  But, I still got to help him check out his first books with it, which is the best part.
Later we got word that not only had the decision been made not to open tomorrow (which is very unusual; they usually wait until the morning to make a decision), but we were even closing early tonight at 6:00pm instead of the usual 9:00pm at the mayor's request, to get everyone off the roads sooner so crews could start pre-treating.  So we let patrons know so they could get their final selections made and make transportation arrangements if necessary, and then it was time for me to go home and let the evening crew finish the last hour.
And what will I be doing while snowed in this weekend?  Well, I have plenty of work to keep me busy:  a book review to write, two more books to read and review, and ......drum roll, please......a library school admissions essay to write!  Yes, after two years of feeling like I had missed my calling and wishing I had been a children's librarian, but feeling like it was too late, I have decided to start working on an MLIS! 
I have wanted to for a while, but the tuition for the local program was just too high, that I just didn't feel it was worth it considering how many working years I have left and how saturated the job market is, especially here.  I also didn't care for their curriculum; it had little room for flexibility or specialization with so many required courses and few electives.  But then I came across a program that was almost half the cost, had fewer required courses and more electives, and just seemed much more practical than the one on here (and yes, it is ALA accredited).  So, I'm making the leap, and while I know there's a good chance I will never have an official "librarian" position, I hope it will at least help me get some kind of full-time position before my husband retires and I lose his health insurance.  Wish me luck!

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