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Librarian Skill Acquired: Savin’ Babies

November 20, 2010

Yesterday, I shadowed the children’s librarian at another branch in the system where I got the job.  WHAT FUN.  For real–this isn’t my usual caps-as-sarcasm thing at all.  She was doing two toddler programs, and I was going to stay for both, except that I thought maybe I should head over to my branch earlier and then have lunch before my allergy shot.  This did not go as planned.  But I get ahead of myself.

I got off to a slow start after some bad dreams set me into Nostalgia Land, so I ended up not getting my allergy shot first, and instead went straight to the Other Branch, with about ten minutes to spare before the program started.  As it’s the holidays, I’m told, attendance dropped, and there were only three toddlers and two adults (caregivers are required for the program).  The kids were super cute–all girls, and the two who were there together came out of their shells in the smaller group.  The third girl was a newcomer, and shy to start out with, then was doing fine by the end.  One girl got super energetic at the end and lost her focus for what was going on, and her mom was embarrassed.  It’s interesting being on the other side of parenting after it was you for so long.  For one thing, there were little things I forgot–like “lellow” for “yellow”–and another is how easy it is to get frustrated and worried about how others see you when you’re the parent.  For example, I didn’t care at all that the one parent’s little girl got off-task.  She’s TWO.  She was more interested in the tactile sensation of swishing the crayons around in the fishbowl.  And that’s really cool!  That’s part of her development.  And, after focusing on the librarian for a while, she wanted to run around, which she did AFTER the program ended.  Her mother had no reason to be embarrassed.  But it’s hard to see that from the inside.

One thing I did, though, was rescue one of the girls from getting hurt, so that was good.  She was sitting on all the chairs one by one and there was a line of three chairs which were off to the side for cleaning.  She declared it a train and boarded the caboose.  Unfortunately, the caboose derailed–backward–and I didn’t get there to right it in time but I did get there before her head hit the ground, and her landing to the floor was a gentle one.  She didn’t even think about crying.

I ended up with a skinned knee and later noticed that the sole of my shoe had come apart, but I don’t know if that’s exactly when that happened.  Still, it’s a lesson in wearing durable clothes for this new job of mine.

I really did mean to go over to the other place sooner, but I met some of the other librarians at Other Branch and we had a good time talking about YA books.  They suggested a trilogy that my husband picked up for me at the local library when he took my daughter over earlier today.  I’m very excited to read it, although I keep making a mental to-read list of trashy books before the month is over, to generate more book club discussion.  So I’ll probably try to wrap up what I’m reading now and blow through the other two tomorrow, and then hit the trilogy next week.  Not saying what it is because of my weekly reviews.  You can wait. 😀

But when I got there, I talked to the branch manager and she showed me cabinets and cabinets of crafts and games and ideas.  Oh my gosh.  When the apocalypse comes, it DOES pay to hit the library first.  Your kids would never be bored again.  (Sorry, apocalypse on my mind because of the trilogy.)  Seriously, I don’t even see why I’d have to use my budget ever, with all that stuff.

THEN, on top of that treasure trove, my boss showed me that the previous children’s librarian had LEFT DETAILED PRINT-OUTS OF ALL OF HER PROGRAMS GOING BACK TO 2008.  God, that’s amazingly organized, and I’m going to love keeping that tradition up.  Now I know what songs the kids were used to doing, and I can implement them and some of mine too.

Other things: Did you know that programs and librarians have “followings”?  I feel like I have to work to get super-popular.  Also, at the Other Branch, I kept being referred to as “The New (Name of the Woman I Replaced).”  Love it.  I said I should get a T-shirt that said that.

I’ll be going by “Miss Allie” at the new library because I’d never ask a group of two-year-olds to make sure they’re saying my name correctly.

Soon I won’t be a “Future Librarian” anymore!  I’m so excited.

I have a DESK!

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