Monday, September 29, 2008

Elaine at the Library

That's me on the right. Libby on the left is a frequent patron and mother of HUH members.

You will not see me in most of the pictures on this blog because I am the one behind the camera.

OK, I handed my camera to someone else at Homecoming at Bethesda yesterday 09/28/08 and here I am with Doris Peele a member of the Sunday School class that I teach.

Here is Nancy, she is the Children's Assistant. She recently celebrated her Anniversary.

The picture above is from an anniversary several years ago.

In the picture below you will see Nancy, she is the pretty one

on the left beside an unidentified person on the right.

In this blog I will mention Nancy from time to time so I wanted you to know what she looks like.This blog is what I do at the Library so I will not tell about all the things that Nancy does. She does some of the same things that I do and she does some things that I do not do. Nancy is a real treasure and I appreciate her talents very much. Thank you Nancy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reporting what I do in the Children's Department

I use this Desk calendar at the Children's Desk to record the number of Directory Questions in person, Directory Questions over the telephone, Reference Questions asked in person, Reference Questions asked over the telephone and number of times the Children's Game computers are used. Also to the right of the calendar on the Saturday date squares I record the theme of the Reference Questions. This data about Reference Questions helps me to know what subjects are in demand and that I might need to order more books for the shelves on those subjects.
My Schedule is on the calendar so that I know what I have going on each day. I also record attendance for programs on this calendar. When I schedule a guest speaker to come to the Library I put their name and phone number in the date square along with the time they be appear for a program.

The phone is beside the calendar so it is easy to record numbers and types of phone calls.

In my office desk drawer there are folders which hold past reports which I have turned into Margaret. I keep a folder for desk stats, Programs and attendance reports, Time sheets and Travel logs. I try to turn in my reports to Margaret as close to the first of the month as I possibly can.

There are only three children's computers in the Children's Department. There is no Internet and no printers but the children love the games. The computer on the right is one of two new computers that was added earlier in 2008. Children who are 7 or under and want to use these computers need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

There is never enough time in the day for all that needs to be done in the Children's Department.

The Nerve Center of the Children's Department

The Children's Desk is where I spend a good amount of my time. I have an office but it is mostly used for storage. My computer is at this desk. I work with Nancy at this desk. This is a busy place. Lots of planning takes place here and lots of doing as well. It is fun to work here.

Below is my computer where I do research, order books, check out books for my programs and for my pleasure reading. I look up titles of books for patrons and reserve books for them. This is where I click to print our reserve list, but the printer is in the Circulation office. I repair a lot of books here and place all book orders here. I have numerous notes hanging from the edge of the counter to remind me of all sorts of important things. The old computer on the right is very important is contains hundred of files of book lists that I print out to give to children or parents or caregivers or students when they need books on a particular theme. These files are labeled FRB or Frequently Requested Books. I am in the process of moving these lists from the old computer to the new and all new lists are typed on the new computer. This is the only printer in the Children's Department and there is no Internet connection on the old computer.
Yes this is a typewriter and there are times when I need to type labels for the spines of books or fill out an important form or type up the cover sheet for a fax (the fax machine is in the circulation office). A few books are waiting on the left side to have new labels typed.
Thank goodness there is an answering feature on this phone because sometimes I can not make it to the phone from the far end of the children's department before it stops ringing.
My Rolodex is full of contact info that I have accumulated over the years. It sure comes in handy when I am planning a Summer Reading program or a HUH program. This phone stays pretty busy during the day.
Nancy and I share the phone and try to guess if an incoming call is for her or for me.
This wonderful Ellison Machine is a creative tool which has made a lovely impact on the Children's Department. Nancy and I keep the Ellison Machine and the paper cutter busy. The Friends of the Library bought this machine and the dies for us and are really good about getting what we need each year before Summer Reading. The complete letter set is great for making words and titles for bulletin boards, posters, signs and flannel board too. I used this machine a lot during Summer Reading and this Fall have used it to cut apples
for my Johnny Appleseed program.

I do an awful lot of work at home as well so my home is the Remote Nerve Center. I work on Flannel board stories, cut out bookmarks, fill out certificates for groups during Summer Reading, fill out order forms for books, read chapter books so that I can tell children what the books are about. All of my blogs are typed from home on my computer.

Homeschoolers Unfolding History Groups

I am the adviser of Homeschoolers Unfolding History Groups. The original group was begun on September 9, 1999 at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield and named Homeschoolers Unfolding History. The group meets year round, usually twice each month. Members range in grade from 4th -12th grades with younger brothers and sisters being Associate members and past members being Honorary members. This group is a member of the statewide group called Tar Heel Junior Historians which is sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

This year, 2008 the group changed and is now three distinctive clubs. Members do projects which they enter into the competition at the State Level at the April THJH convention each year. Project categories include essays, art, media, literary and photography.

The youngest age group which was charted on August 8, 2008 is called HUSH or Homeschoolers Unfolding State History. This club is made up of members in 4-5 grade with younger brothers and sister joining as Associate members.

Middle School age students are members of HUNCH, Homeschoolers Unfolding North Carolina History. This club is for 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
The oldest grade group of HUH Groups is called Homeschoolers Unfolding History.
John Lawrence from the Joyner Library of East Carolina University was a recent speaker at HUH Groups. He is pictured here with senior Alex Vedder.
These are some of the wonderful Moms/Teachers of HUH Groups. It is so great to be a part of a group which has 100 % parent participation. These are the true history teachers for the group. I am only the adviser. They are my heroes.
Homeschoolers Unfolding History groups has many great guest speakers at club meetings. I call and invite the guest speakers and plan programs, type agendas, plan field trips, fill out certificates of appreciation for speakers and do anything else that I can think of to make this group a success. The children are very talented and have a love of history and learning. They are extremely creative and win very many awards at the State Convention. In Spring of 2008 I had the pleasure of being selected as the Tar Heel Junior Historians Adviser of the Year for the third time. I serve on the THJH advisory board and it is a joy to be a part of such an excellent program for children. I am thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for homeschool families. I maintain an e-mail and membership list for each group, HUSH, HUNCH and HUH. We do many community service projects including decorating a tree for Festival of Trees, singing at the Smithfield Christmas Tree Lighting, Caroling in Downtown Smithfield, walking in Veterans and Christmas parades and many other fun and educational projects.

Ordering Books the Process

For ordering books I read a lot of professional magazines, Ingram Advance magazines and Publisher Catalogues. I use order forms that I custom designed. I fill out one order form for every book that I order, which is not ordered from a book salesman,
so that would include most of the books that I order. If I read a review on Publishers Weekly or Booklist I make a note of that on the order form. I have a field on the form to hold the AR level of the book which I will later write on the pocket of the book.

I will often look up the price of books on I need those ISBN numbers to order.
Renaissance Learning is where I find the AR level for books. This site is especially useful for finding lists of books by the same author. Searches can be made by title, author or series. I rely on this site a lot.
This is the custom form that I designed and use all the time. This is what I use to add the book order to my Selection List on the computer. As you can see it takes a lot of writing and typing just to order one book.
When my Selection list is complete I label the list "complete" and turn in a stack of order forms to Joy in Processing and she takes it from there. If I need a book by a certain date I check the "Pass through" line and put the date when I need it on the "need by" line. Most books can now be ordered with the 13 digit number but some still require the 10 digit number.

Easy books are a lot of Work

Beginner Readers are so useful for children in Kindergarten, First and Second Grades. They are labeled on the spine and computer. If they are Accelerated Readers then the reading level is written on the pocket of the book.
I like to cater to our youngest patrons by ordering many new Board Books every year. I encourage Nancy to order Board Books as well since two of her programs are geared to the ages who will really enjoy them.

Children's picture books are by far the most popular kinds of books that we have in the children's department. These books are arranged in ABC order by the authors last name. Special books that are labeled include ABC reading books, 123 number books, Reading Rainbow books, Caldecott Award Books, Jewish Holidays, African American books and Accelerated Reader Books. I am still trying to label all of the Accelerated Reader books to make easier for parents to find books that are on their child's reading level.
In the Children's Department we have a large Holiday Book Collection which is arranged in Calendar order beginning with Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Within a Holiday the books are arranged by Easy, Board Books, Fiction and Non-Fiction. These books are available for check out for 7 days or if it is not the Holiday season for a Holiday then books can be checked out for 3 weeks.
The Children's Department Spanish books for children has really grown a lot over the years and we now have a collection that I am really proud of and add to each year.
New children's picture books are fun to read and I use a lot of them for programs. I have to label them on the computer, the spine and on the pocket and change all those things again when they are no longer new. I encourage Nancy to fill out order forms for any books that she needs for programs and those books often spend time on this New Shelf.


Juvenile Books....what I order

New Fiction (chapter books) have to be checked to make sure that the book is labeled new on the computer, on the spine with a label and on the pocket with the same date that is on the spine label which I add. Then when these books are no longer New, I change the record on the computer, erase the pocket notation and remove the "New" spine label. Having a computer location of "New" makes these books easier to find when they appear on a reserve list. When the courier is anxious to leave for the Independent Town Libraries it helps to be able to put my hands on a reserve request book rapidly.

Reference books help to answer many homework questions but they can not be checked out so sometimes I have to make copies of pages for children or parents.
There are a few special categories for Juvenile books. Series such as American Girl, Hannah Montana, Two of a Kind, Magic Attic and Treasured Horses are shelved and labeled on computer and the book to make it easier to locate because these books do not have the same author and would appear at different locations in the Juvenile fiction books. The Juvenile Short Story collection is shelved in this same area.
Newbery Award books are located together on the wall with Series books. The Newbery Award is presented yearly for Excellence in writing of children's literature.
Wishbone books have different authors so I made those Series books as well. Also Choose Your Own Adventure books are labeled as Series. The New Non-Fiction books have found a new home near the Series books. When these books are no longer new they will be changed on the book and computer and added to their normal place in the Dewey Decimal system. Thanks to some really good deals on New Non-Fiction, I am glad to say that we have a large collection of
books in this area.

Planning all those many programs that I present.

I read a lot of children's books. I like to say I read a lot of books but most of them only have about 32 pages and lots of pictures. I read a lot of professional magazines to select books. Also I enjoy pouring over the publisher's catalogues which arrive by the dozens every month. When I am planning programs I come up with a list of themes that I want to use for the school year September -May or for the summer June-August for Summer Reading. When I have my list of themes then I decide when I'll use each theme. Some themes I will include every year like trains, firefighters, circus, bears, cows, cats, dogs, community helpers, holidays (Christmas, Valentine's and Easter), Zoo and friends. Frequently I'll order books that are new on the market to use for programs to enhance the program. When I select books for a Story Hour program I look for books that have nice big pictures and I love books that are conducive to the use of character voices.

The next thing I will usually do is check my Flannelboard files to see if I have a Flannelboard story, game or ABC folder for the themes I've selected. Since I have been making Flannelboard stories for 16 years now, there is a pretty good collection and I can use what I already have on hand. But sometimes a new program idea will beg for a new Flannelboard game or ABC folder.
I've taught a Flannelboard class at Johnston Community College since before 1997.
Every week for every theme I like to make a teacher/parent packet as well as activity/coloring sheets for children and students. I've acquired an excellent collection of clip art and teacher resource books to use for programming ideas and activity sheet ideas.
The copier is my friend. I think I could make copies with enlargements with my eyes closed. Our current copier is a dream come true. It has lots of useful bells and whistles which make my job a lot easier.
I have a bookcase just for the books that are for programs that I will be presenting. Programs must be planned well in advance so that the books will be available for themes that I have selected. Just so that the book will be available when I need it I will either order a second copy or check out books three months in advance. There is nothing worse than needing a book that I consider my anchor book for a theme and it is checked out and not due back until after my program is finished. Most of the time I have 100-200 books checked out for programs. When I present programs for H.E.L.P. (Homeschool Enrichment Library Programs) I order plenty of books and check out lots of books on the subject of the program and have them available for checkout by the children attending these programs. Books that I use for Story Stars are often used for the Presbyterian Preschool and WEE programs too, but I will often have a couple of books that I can switch out if I find that a book doesn't work as well as I had hoped at a program. Flexible is my middle name when it comes to programs. My Friday program seldom looks exactly like my Tuesday program even using the same theme and books.
Planning ahead is an important part of Programming. I will often find books that I want to use for programs when I am shelving books or straightening shelves.

Audio Works

Kits are still popular with families. I do not order cassette tapes any longer because most people have switched to CD players. I'll keep these around as long as people are still checking them out. I made a limit of three Kit checkouts per person/card. I often spend time replacing bags and checking to make sure that the correct cassette and book are grouped together. Also on this rack are the popular Bob books which are grouped in hang bags with three or four of the tiny paperbacks per bag. Bob books are really good for beginner readers. There are very few pages and a limited vocabulary.
These are Juvenile Fiction and Non-fiction on CD and Cassette. The Friends of the Library have a standing order for Recorded Books. I order books which are not on Recorded Books.
At the very beginning of the Easy picture books section are these Easy books on CD. These are great for people traveling on vacation to entertain children on a long road trip. Most of these are 30 minutes in length or less.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Programs at the Library

Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Story Stars meet in the Story Time Clubhouse. Preschool children and parents, grandparents or caregivers come for Books, flannelboard stories and games, songs, fingerplays and learning concepts such as shapes, sizes and colors.
On Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Presbyterian Preschool comes into the Clubhouse for a standing Story Hour. The little door is fun to enter.

WEE from First Baptist church comes for a Story Hour on Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday afternoons at 1:30 H.E.L.P meets for K-4th grade homeschoolers. H.E.L.P means Homeschool Enrichment Library Program. A different theme is studied each week.

Homeschoolers Unfolding History Groups meet every other Thursday.

After School Kids meet once a month on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Other special programs are presented by contacting the children's department to schedule.

Many special programs take place in the Summer. School groups come for programs during the school year.

Once each month I do the Spot4Tots program on one Friday at 9:30 a.m.

What I do at the Library

I love working at the Library. I love children (I have 5)
and I love books and it is fun to get the two together.

The Children's Department where I work is a very cheerful and pleasant place to work.

Time goes by past quickly when you are having fun. I was hired as Children's Librarian Specialist in 1992. My job has changed and grown over the years. I do a lot more programming now than I did in the early days. I've added lots of programs to my schedule. My focus is on children from birth to 6th grade. But I do programming for Homeschooler from pre-K to 12th grade. I help a lot of teachers and college students who come to the children's department as well.
Look for this sign to find me at the Library.

Or you might find me in the Story Time Club House which was added to the Library in 2003.