Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25, 2007: Animals Around the World

I'm getting to know Jason Openo (via phone and email). He's past president of PNLA and current manger Whitemud branch . Yesterday I spoke with him about PD day and made arrangements to talk today. This morning we talked on the phone to bounce ideas off each other about his presentation. He had some great ideas once he understood what we were hoping to achieve with PD day. He also had some interesting book recommendations. I like his attitude: upfront, clear, excited.

I booked our room for our next SRC meeting in November and spent a fair amount of time categorizing the Animals Around the World websites with descriptions for WRC since that was recommended at the meeting. Once I had the categories I discovered I needed more sites to fill the categories.

Worked on getting the new batch of Family Language Kits into bins for an hour and a half. That part of the process always goes slower than I expect.

And then it was almost lunch time. And then came a mini melt-down in your office over something so silly as a misunderstood email. I recovered. Hope you did too. I'm alright. Sometimes there's just waves that crash in for a few minutes.

Doctor's appointment went fine although there was a wait and more examining than I would have liked.

Back at work, I attempted Director's Station to no avail because the password Tiina gave me didn't work. I hope it works tomorrow during the session.

Finished WRC websites for Vicky and SRC crew. Started composing letter to SRC contacts re: brainstorming ideas before the sharing session.

And that's the day. I do this so I can look back over time and be able to remember what I worked on when. It should also help me next year when I'm chair of SRC or still on the PD day team.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday, Oct 23 2007

-PD Day logistics and emails
-1/2 hour desk
-Email Ilona about ordering signing DVD and CDs for storytime collection
-Rita: signing materials & websites, some explaining and description of program
-Call those caregivers on waiting list for Halloween party for Ones and Twos since adding 2nd slot.
Lunch -buy cookies for Halloween Party & update this report (and eat! and enjoy the sun!)
-Print out copies of Animals around the World websites for WRC
-1:30-5 SRC meeting: meet with Karna after for catch-up

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday, Oct 23rd 2007

Yesterday was my first day back to work and it felt good, really good. In the morning I caught up on email and looked for Animals Around the World website games and information for the WRC site.

In the afternoon I met with 2 incoming practicum students with Kathleen to find out what they are interested in learning at the children's division. After the meeting, I spent the rest of the day sorting through the four boxes of new books for the Family Language Kits then updating the two spreadsheet orders to send off to those interested in the progress.

This morning I reviewed the Make Way For Ducklings Report and then attended a two hour meeting for the 4.1 action plan. Lots of cross-talk. Lots of passion. Lots of idea. A great meeting. This afternoon I will continue finding sites for WRC site, desk for one hour, and then work on the Family Language Kits for two hours downstairs in the workroom. I hope by the end of the week I have a substantial written report about the progress of the Family Language Kits as well as get my ESL storytime plans posted on the staff web.

I'm hoping by the end of

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturdays are alright.

I don't mind working Saturdays. No, I even enjoy working some Saturdays. Why? More service desk time, more RA time, more time with caregivers and kids, more time to fiddle with displays, working with our weekend Library Assistant, and then there's Romp and Read in the mornings which makes the children's division seem extra festive and colourful. The day goes by fast. Very fast. The only part I realize I don't like about working Saturdays, is not having two days off in a row which this week is irrelevant since I was off sick for two days. I used to think I really, really, wanted every weekend off -or almost every weekend off- so my husband and I could have the weekends together. Not so important to me anymore. Not because I love my husband less. It's simply that we don't go away as much as we did when we lived in B.C. Really, Sunday is our main day together now especially since the weather is already turning too chilly to go for overnight hikes or even car camping. Working Saturdays feel like a day just for the kids and caregivers. There's not enough off desk time to really get much work done on other projects so I can just enjoy myself on desk.

So. I am healthy. I liked working Saturday. And then there's this coming week: launch of Kids Read, a couple courses, start of signing storytime program (really need more practice - I keep forgetting signs for flower, tree, scarf, ice cream ..they might be left out on day one of the program and stick with the ones I know well: animals, food, some easy signing songs, 'please', 'thank you', 'more', etc. the basics--not that ice cream is not a basic in life. ), meeting about Winter Reading Club webpage.... all good stuff. I just need to keep the vitamins in me. And stop waking up so early in the morning.

Side note: I haven't posted much about the seedy underbelly world of a Youth Librarian because I'm still looking for it. I suspect it's in a public bathroom stall. Doesn't everything seedy happen in a public bathroom stall? Or a street corner?

I won't be posting much about co-workers unless I have their permission so I'm afraid you'll have to wait, show some patience, as I uncover this very secret-apparently- other side of the world of a Youth might not involve a public bathroom stall, or a street corner at all. It might include, let's say, duck taped cuffs of a blazer suit. It might. I didn't say that ever happened. And I didn't say it was me. I already admitted to wearing the crazy tights with shoes. That's as far I'll go this week.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I've been off work due to a standard flu for the past two days. I'm happy to report that I ate a quesadilla and a cupful of applesauce today. I am, truly, on the mend.

I thought by this afternoon I would feel so so so much better I'd work from home, catch up on work I'd missed. Instead, I napped for two hours. Tomorrow -a day off because I work Saturday- I will aim for completing a few tid-bits, as well as checking in again on work email.

Does everyone have the same guilt -slash- poser feeling I have when sick? I always have this feeling that I could, really could go into work, even if puking or barely wanting to move from bed to couch... I suppose that's normal. I'm not martyryish at all about being sick. In fact, I just let it come. And then I get so incredibly bored the minute I feel somewhat vertical.

My mom is a retired nurse, so I blame all this on her (she'll take it). She's very big on staying home and drinking fluids when sick, resting. Yet, she's also the one that would almost never drive me to school because the walk was less than 30 minutes. She wasn't big on driving me anywhere. "A walk will do you good". Side note: she put the fear of motorcycles in me. I tried to date someon in my twenties -twice- who had a motorcycle, both relationships failed miserably because of motorcycle. I just couldn't 'let loose' and go on an eight hour ride up the coast and find it enjoyable.

So I'm on the mend. I'd take flu over sinus infection any day. At least a flu lets you sleep, and has an ending once you have antibiotices see: www.

I do have some concern: I've had a food poisoning, 2 day bout of of almost sinus infection, four day full-on bout of sinus fection, and now 2 days of standard flu. Will I be classifed as sickly? Or, worse, wimpy?

Work notes:
Enjoyed YRCA day on Tuesday. Think the very creative Christine -the Youth Librarian in charge of YRCA- is just a fantastic mediator, truly in a position that suits her, and did give me some newly sparked interest for books I haven't read everything on YRCA. Today, I've been reading Shakespeare's Secret. I like it. I started it awhile ago, but am now glad to be seeing what happen. I don't know if it's that I read too many adult books, but I find so many J books- even really good ones, like Shakespeare's Secret- so predicatable. I kinda don't mind, especially in the flu-ish state. I wonder: do kids mind?

I miss work. I feel like something has happened with Kids Read that I didn't get to put any input it.But, yeah, I've been napping, popping asprin for aches, or wondering if the applesauce will or not make an appearance in the toilet pond for the past two days.

This evening, after a belly full of cheese and applesauce, and a 3 hour nap, I feel much better. I could go to bed right now, to tell you the truth. I 'm just so damn tired from 2pm - 9pm the past few days. I have an hour or two of crap-time in the morning and then get this second energy that dies by noon after I try food.

What do mothers do when they have a 2-3 day flu?

Was this a work post, or simply a sicko-me post? I have been reading YRCA books in between napping and drinking a lot of juice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

YRCA 2008

Today is an all day YRCA extravaganza. This means everyone who participates in YRCA school visits gathers together for the day to booktalk, learn about books on the list they haven't read, and receive tips about how to promote YRCA in the library and in the schools. Or so I gather. I've never been to a YRCA day before. I've read about a third of the books on the list. My favourite: Uglies. My least favourite: The Day Joanie Frankenhauser Became a Boy.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Make Way for Ducklings

I joined the Make Way for Ducklings team today. It's a section of the business plan to examine partnerships with other youth organizations working with inner-city kids. Also, we finally recruited the final member for the SRC 2008 team. Worked on the media launch, YRCA, was on desk 3 hours, wrote the Kids Read guidelines and checklist for all YRCA members, and even had lunch with a librarian at Kids in the Hall.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Day in the Life of TYL

8:15am Arrive early. Why? Well, if I make a list in the morning of everything that I want to get done at work that day, and I have committed to a pony-tail then I arrive early . Especially if a bus comes right away. Morning is my best time to work so if the pony-tail commitment has been made or -more often- I've simply woken up insanely early I head out to the bus stop. Yes, I know could walk, and sometimes I do. I do too. But not today.

8:15 -9a.m Purchase cup of coffee from EPL's lovely and convient next door neighbor, The Second Cup, and proceed to sip coffee while making another list at work then moving onto email. Eventually I emailed to my boss three 100 word descriptions of great books for kids article upcoming The Edmonton Journal. Books: Kira, Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, Rules by Cynthia Lord, and The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul by Marty Chan.

9-11:00am Desk. Updated the Quick Picks display, put up baby signing time posters in program room, answered a few readers advisory questions, made an appointment to teach a new immigrant how to use our catalogue to place holds tomorrow, replied to request to work a Saturday this month after some confusion with scheduling. Had a couple daycares come in; make way for ducklings on leashes, almost always tangled. Got a phone call about SRC 2008-2009. More customer service requests. Answered several phone calls asking to register for the already booked baby signing time I'm doing Sept. 18th. Started to feel pressure to practice more. A lot more. Especially since several of the registrants are friends and favorite patrons.

11:00 -1:00pm Adjusted signing program to include more movement rhymes. Attempted to practice signs but was interrupted by some emails about the Kids Read webpage which then somehow led to working on writing the text for the media launch I'll be MC-ing. After my mediocore TV appearance yesterday, I want to be sure I am well prepared and don't forget important details and especially the proper order of introductions of attending dignitaries

1-2pm Lunch with Professional Development Day team at a great, albeit slow restaurant near by. It's Morrocan or Turkish. Not sure. But it's good food, and always good fun to have lunch with other librarians around my age. Or not my age.
2pm Respond to memo to call Edmonton Journal to schedule photo shoot of me (Youth Librarian) with books in the children's division this Friday. Rush upstairs for Professional Development Day meeting.

2-4pm Meeting. Our speakers are confirmed now we just have to adjust the time, flow, breaks, food, etc. It's a day for librarians, managers, assistant managers, and more on Dec 15th (?). We wanted to include humour in the workplace, the many hats a librarian wears, team work, communication and different personality types, and 'virtual moments' peppered thoughout the day with our IT staff to introduce all the web 2.0 capabilities. By 4pm all of us were pretty tired and assigned who to contact whom over the next week to ask for bios, equipment needs, session title, etc.

4pm Husband calls. Wants to go on about his day, hard to listen, so we plan a free-for-all dinner to catch-up. I return to writing media launch then our stellar woman designing the Kids Read Website popped in so we could go over some simple adjustments that just couldn't be communicated via email.

5pm Starting to think I should write the 100 word description for the book Uglies by Scott Westerfield for the Edmonton Journal before I leave for the day. Then think I should better look at signing program again to take home final version. Co-worker on break so we end up chatting a bit. I answer an email about family language kits brochures being translated and which languages still need to be translated....Wait. It's after 5:30pm. I need to go home.

5:40pm Walk across the street to City Centre Mall and buy: one brown zip-up sweater, two pairs of cute brown work shoes: one flat, one heeled.

That's a fairly typical day, although I'd say it was on the mellow side since I didn't have a program, a tour, or too many pressing emails.

Don't worry. The seedy underbelly of being a Youth Librarian will come. The panic of children wanting to pull every flannel board piece off the board, the shame of a program gone wrong, the frustrated caregivers, the joy of the keener reader, the scramble to make-up a last minute tour, the communication -sometimes challenging- with staff, the glory of seeing a project through, the quirky things you find yourself saying regularly, and the realization that 'oh my, everyone really does treat me like a youth librarian.' That's right. I am one.

I hope it's not due to a certain, ya know, youth librarian look. Attire, attidude, you know what I'm saying....Don't ever let me wear wacky socks with crocks or birkenstocks. Answer me this: why does everyone love (or wear) crocks? Are they really that comfortable? They look like great big plastic doll shoes. With holes. Am I wrong?

Day ending ritual: a bath. A lavendar bath.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I appeared.

I appeared. Yes, I did. I appeared shiny faced. I appeared older than I think of myself. I stuttered twice. I giggled -closed mouthed- a few times. I nodded. I fluttered my eyelids downward as I tried to remember the word 'interactive'. I said everything I could about Kids Read Edmonton except the most important point: giving away free books to every elementary school.

However, it was still fun. I want a retake. Next time I will know to powder-powder-powder. And I will wear a blazer. And I will tattoo the most important detail to my hand, later cover up the tattoo with a Dora the Explorer tattoo. That's what band-aids are for, right? To cover up our mistakes.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Global TV Appearance

I will be appearing on the Global TV morning show tomorrow for approximately 3 minutes to promote Kids Read Edmonton. I'd like to think that I'll spend those 3 minutes making talk show hosts -such as those amiable Kansas city talk show hosts you view to your right- laugh at my witty remarks, nod at my sincerity, and say good-bye by remarking about what an abolute fabulous guest I was to have on the show. Big applause, of course, and invitations to come back any time.

The reality: 3 minutes. And I imagine I'll be standing, unsure of where to put my hands. There's a high chance that I'll stutter. In those three minutes I need to promote the highlights of Kids Read Edmonton, portray enthusiasm, talk about the book and various programs, hype the website, and sound intelligent. Looking professional wouldn't hurt either. This is where the real challenge comes in. I don't want to look too dowdy Librarian-ish, but I don't want to look like I just rolled out of bed and into my wrinkled khaki graduate school garb either. This might require another trip to the -eek- West Edmonton Mall today to search for the proper blazer. All my blazers are black or brown. I want colour for my 3 minutes. Colour, colour, colour.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Kids Read! Edmonton

The Edmonton Public Library is holding its first ever city-wide kids' book club this fall. It's a new program put on by the library in partnership with Child Friendly Edmonton with sponsors such as the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the CBC. Every kid in grade 4-6 is encouraged to read the selected book and join in on the fun.

Joining is simple! All you have to do is read the book and you'll be part of the club. The book will be easy to find because every public elementary school and every Catholic elementary school in Edmonton will be receiving up to 10 free copies of the book. As well, big box and independent bookstores in edmonton are going to be well-stocked and, of course, the library has ordered many copies anticipating the popularity of this program.

They Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul by local author Marty Chan was chosen for several reason. We knew we wanted a local author and immediately thought of Marty since not only are his books award winning, they are also popular with kids. They ring true with kids and are a pretty easy fast and funny read. It's a book that will appeal to boys and girls, and because some of themes are bullying and identity it is a book that easily promotes discussion.

We have tons of fun events and activities planned for this book club. We have special Mystery programs scheduled at every library in Edmonton on Sept. 22nd. There's going to be a Halloween party with Marty at Whitemud crossing, pre-addressed postcards to the author are available at all libraries and bookstores so kids can send a note to Marty. We have a fantastic interactive website that allows kids to post their own reviews, their own stories, take quizes, chat with the author, and much more. We're also holding two contests: kids can enter to win a Funky Pickle pizza party with Marty for their entire grade! Educators can enter their class to win a two hour writing workshop with Marty. There will also be author readings and appearances throughout the duration of the program.

The great part is that anyone can participate. You don't even have to have a library card. You just read the book, join in on the fun, and visit the website to enter contests.

So what's the book about? The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul is about a grade 4 boy living in a fictional town in Alberta. Marty is the only Chinese Canadian boy in town so he and his French-Canadian friend are often bullied for being different. Marty and his friend discover that someone has spray painted graffiti on the school shed and after Marty's friend is wrongly accused they are bound and determined to find out who do it despite scary encounters with teenagers, falling into empty graveyards, enduring even more bullying, and having to think quick on their feet. It's funny, realistic, and mysterious; a great book for anyone who has ever had to survive elementary school.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Six Month Mark

In honour of reaching my six month mark at EPL, I've decided to create this blog that will only include work related information: projects, programs, teams, readers advisory, etc. By keeping track of all that I'm doing at work, it will help me create montly reports and my annual report. That sounds all very well and good, but don't worry: I'll still throw in news flashes, and notes from the underbelly world of the life of a Youth Librarian. Afterall, it's what the public wants.