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rosieIt’s been over a month since my last blog post. Tsk tsk… I’ve been a very busy bee. It’s been a summer with Ibuprofen and IcyHot.

Summer Reading Program wrapped up at the end of July and I must say that it was a HUGE success. My craft choices for the stories turned out wonderfully and we didn’t have any major bumps in the road. Pinterest really helped with the brainstorming process. I am pleased to say that I’m excited for next year and I’ve already started brainstorming ideas and looking at grants to help offset the cost.

(Update: when my library life returns to normal, I’ll write a post about the crafts we did for SRP.)

While the summer reading program was going on, I worked my way through the collection weeding items in preparation for our annual book sale and the carpeting project — why box up and move items which are damaged and in poor condition or not circulating? The weeding project also went extremely well and we were able to sell many of the items in our book sale. Items in which I did not think would sell well (based on previous sales), some science fiction/fantasy and specific classes of non-fiction works, were boxed up and sent off to Better World Books — we’ll get a proceed of the revenue generated from any sales.

I was very disappointed and shocked to see that the majority of the Penworthy books had near ZERO circulation. While their overall quality is high and they’re nearly indestructible thanks to the library binding and hard covers, they are — unfortunately — not visually appealing for the younger audiences. Kids are pretty judgy about the way a book looks. With plain white spines and black lettering, they don’t jump out at you while combing the shelves for an interesting book to check out. At a cost nearly 3x the price of other publishers, it was a bitter, jagged pill to swallow as I weeded many of them from the library’s collection. They might be a good fit in other library’s collections, they are not at Deckerville; therefore, I won’t be adding any more Penworthy books to the collection at this time.

The library’s annual book sale rocked! While weeding, I was cognizant of organizing books and kept them grouped together. I bought some small dowels from Walmart and crafted cute signs little for the different material types which I taped on the boxes. I believe for the first time, the book sale had a collection geared specifically for the home school population. It went over quite well! As a result, I think I’ll continue adding juvenile non-fiction into the home school collection.

As I write this blog post, the library is getting new carpeting. We closed last Saturday afternoon and we’ll remain closed until Tuesday, August 26. The installation should wrap-up sometime this afternoon and the library will be hosting yet another work “party” — the first two focused on boxing and moving the library’s collection and tonight’s gathering will focus on washing down the walls and book cases before they get set-up again. Tomorrow and throughout the weekend, I’ll work with volunteers to begin restoring the library to working order again.

Getting new carpeting in the library has been quite the undertaking. Method: each shelving unit was numbered, a map of the library’s arrangement was drawn, and each box/tote was labeled with the shelf number and a notation about what’s in the box. My biggest worry: the condition of the sub-floor. It’s an old building and the floors creak quite loudly in different areas. The cost of the project would dramatically go up if replacing any of the sub-floor was required. I was relieved to learn that the sub-floor was in great shape and nothing had to be replaced.

I’ve been blessed with an absolutely AWESOME group of volunteers. Last weekend, we even had to turn a few people away because the people was so full of people helping out. This outpouring of support has been the highlight of the project for me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working alongside of them and sharing their enthusiasm/love for the library.

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A few of Saturday’s Boxing Party attendees

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For the most part, the majority of the project has went smoothly without any major hiccups or surprises — an ignoramus who ripped open the screwed shut drop box despite the sign, and several patrons who refused to follow directions and handed their materials to the contractors (yes, the contractors!) despite being told that all items would be automatically renewed, fines waived, the drop box would be unavailable and to PLEASE hold onto ALL library items until Tuesday, August 26…and there was a cute/informational sign on the library’s door.

The latter really irked me the most because the patrons walked into a library which was obviously CLOSED and nearly shelf-less! (As if the sign on the front door wasn’t enough indication.) The entire collection was in boxes and the carpeting ripped out thus exposing the sub-floor complete with plaster patch drying. The patrons spoke to contractors, not library staff, who were obviously busy working on a project — yet they insisted on interrupting their work, handing over library materials, and that the contractors play “librarian” for them. Even more: the contractors told them about the sign on the door and that they should hold onto their books for safe keeping. Unbelievable.

All in all, those are VERY minor issues for a project of this magnitude.

I have a slew of projects that I can only begin after the new carpeting project — among them:

  • weed the paperback collection
    • re-classify and shelf with the main collection
  • create a non-fiction display area
  • investigate LEGO clubs
  • collaborate with a graphic designer to develop a logo
    • order new library cards — we’re almost out
  • begin planning a fall/winter story hour program
  • design a new library website
  • develop a library newsletter
  • chat with the local museum about hosting a rotating display of Deckerville artifacts and memorabilia
  • continue developing the outreach program and launch
  • implement “favorite item” project with staff and volunteers (more on this later)
  • investigate options for book drops and replace
  • wrap-up the replacement/upgrade of exterior doors