Monthly Archives: January 2007

Eeeeee! Story time! Bunnies!

I just had my first nice big storytime. All of them so far have been only one or two kids, so it was a big surprise when I had ELEVEN kids and seven parents. They ranged in ages from six months to four years (the storytime age is 1-3, but siblings come along) and although it was not a perfect storytime, it was damned good. If I do say. (But not in front of the children.)

The two main things I noticed the crowd doesn’t know my rhythm yet, so I tried to keep a steady pace, and announce what we’d be doing as we went. The other thing is that there was some lost concentration. That’s not surprising with the toddler crowd, but I didn’t recognize until we were in the middle of a story, and there were still about half the kids paying rapt attention, so I decided to finish the story out. The key is to switch up the plan if what you’re doing isn’t getting their attention, but with such a big age range, it was hard. I’m lucky in that the parents did a good job of trying to get their kids back in the zone. It’s not always possible, but I think you can only ask for so much from someone who can’t tell the difference between their shoes.

Here’s today’s lineup for bunny themed storytime:

*Frank discussion of what bunnies do (i.e. hop, wiggle their noses, move their ears, sit on their fluffy tails)
*Hickory Dickory Dock (regular speed, slow, fast)
*Row Row Row Your Boat
*Story: Carrot Soup by John Segal
*Patty Cake
*Row Row Row Your Boat
*Story: Five for a Little One by Chris Raschka
*Ring Around the Rosie
*Free play (wheeled out the basket of toys, and tried to keep chaos from erupting forth, spewing drool)

Surprise! I’m not dumb now.

Jason’s out of town this weekend, and if there’s something I’ve learned about myself, it’s that if left to my own devices, I use those devices to make radical alterations to myself. You should be glad I’m not freshly tattood.

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Click on thumbnails to see larger images. Plus there’s more on Flickr.

I only left the house today to go get hair dye. It’s a good thing I have work tomorrow, or I may never move.

Day off: No fires.

I work every other Saturday, so I get an alternating Thursday and Monday off. I made a schedule for myself, and followed it diligently.

Sleep in.
Read until 1 p.m. or book is finished.*
Look up double brioche stitch, or something that will make a more interesting brim for a hat.
Set up local bank account.
Eat at No Problemo
Knit and watch TV all night.

The banking research had already been done, and in fact, we had such a positive experience I was looking forward to going back. Unfortunately, our account-signer-upper person rubbed me the wrong way. She referred to New Bedford as a big city, implying that it was scary. When we expressed no preference for who’s name should go first on the checks, Jason handed her our IDs face down, so she could randomly pick. She said, “Well, the man’s name usually goes first.” I turned to Wads with a look of horror, then said to her “I think that makes me want to do the opposite.” She did not hear me, or chose to ignore. Whatever. Wads’ name is first ironically.

Wadsbone and I found No Problemo as we searched out the potential neat places near our apartment. The menu is kind of like Chicago’s Picante – fresh and not too greasy. The fundamental difference, we found out, is that it’s run by white skater boys. And they have no horchata. And they close at 8. It’s good enough to go back to, but I still miss Picante.

I discovered something else exciting tonight. While looking for an elusive brioche stitch, I came across MagKnit’s Malagaiter. This will replace the hat I was about to knit. MagKnits is also responsible for the sweater I knit for Antron.


antonback.JPG” alt=”Back of Anton’s sweater” />

THEN, E pointed me to this mittem idea for transit cards.
Transit mitten

And E told me she’s wearing the arm warmers I made her last winter. I’m so full of knitting love that I may try to tackle the pattern problem I’m having on the sweater I’m nearly finished with.

armwarmers.JPG” alt=”E’s arm warmers” />

* Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams. Not part of the Hitchhiker series, I can now understand why Adams’ fans are so peculiar. I really enjoyed the novel, but it messes up my sense of humor in a way that makes me unable to hang out with people who think Everybody Loves Raymond is funny, and I pride myself on my ability to cross clique lines unnoticed.


We got a DVD about bullying, called Stop Bullying! and I couldn’t tell from the packaging or any online reviews (definitively) what age group its for. We have juvenile and young adult sections, so I brought the film home to check it out. It came highly recommended, so I was also curious to see if it really is good, or if it uses a star wipe, if you know what I mean.

I am really really glad I’m not a kid anymore. I’m sure everyone has bully stories, as even bullies are usually bullied by someone else.

I just finished Hoot, which has a really nice bully subplot. The main character thinks and acts really well when repeatedly confronted by a bully, in a way that could be emulated.

I’ve decided that the DVD is indeed really good. At first, I think thought it’s for for the J section. The kids are mostly in junior high, therefore using the kid-taste-rule-of-thumb, it’s for upper elementary students, because junior high students like to read about high schoolers, and elementary students like to read about junior high. Then I considered the types of scenarios they were talking about. Lots of it is universal bullying, but some of it involves situations that invoked bullying like talking to someone else’s boyfriend, so I’m going to stick with YA.

Story time

I read the story Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? which involves making various zoo animal noises.

Polar Bear

Does anyone know what noise a flamingo makes?

I had no idea, and we discussed it during story time, and decided that flamingos, like bunnies, don’t make a lot of noise. So when I asked “What noise does a flamingo make?” we’d all just sit quietly and look side to side, and then crack up. It was awesome.

But still, I want to know, Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, just what noise we’re supposed to make. Also, walruses too.

Week two: no fires.

I had a great day today. I weeded the J Mystery section (that’d be books like Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew), mostly taking out books like Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. Exasperatingly, Boxcar Children are still popular, which means lots of real estate (and I’m not a big fan).

I now know some of the kids who frequent my department. After saying hello to two of the regulars, maybe 15 minutes later, one of them asked me where the origami books were. I had put out paper, scissors, and origami books for Crafternoon last week, and they wanted more. Origami blood lust. Awesome.

A reporter from the local paper came to interview me. Having a journalism degree, I knew enough to give nice full quotes, although I was in a jokey mood, and cited aluminum can deposits and the blueness of the state as reasons I moved to MA. It’s not entirely untrue (stupid Illinois and their lack of can deposit). Then he took what I’m sure will be a terrible picture of me pretending to pull out a book from a shelf, while looking at him from my bad side. (Little known fact: I indeed have a good side and bad side of my face. I’ve demonstrated it to few people, but I assure you, it’s a fact.)

A RE* teacher from the local UU* church came in looking for books, and I found out that her son lives in my building, and that there’s a knitting group every other Monday night at the church. Which was tonight.

I thought about going, and as I drove home (because it’s 20 degrees and snowing, I’m not biking right now) I thought about just getting home, putting on my pjs, and watching crap TV all night. Then I decided to implement a friend’s rule: Say yes to every offer for three months. I’m not going to make friends quickly unless I do stuff. So I did. I went to the UU knitting. It involved a chalice and thoughtful knitting and it made me miss going to church.

I know other cool stuff happened today, but I’m happy and tired, so I’ll go to bed with that.

*RE= Religious Education at a UU= Unitarian Universalist church

Baby bear

I was really hoping that the Bears AND the Patriots would win today, making an all-Sonya Superbowl. Jason and I watched the Pats game at a LNB (local neighborhood bar). Alas, the Patriots did not make it, which makes me kind of glad we left the bar at half time. I haven’t perfected my mob attitude and flaming pitch fork, so I’m glad we finished the game out at home.

I’ve finished my first week at work. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I should be doing during my day, as well as figuring out what things I should be getting ahead on. Liiiiike, say, the summer reading program (SRP). I have to start scheduling things now, like performers and venues. It’s kind of cool that there are parts of the program that are so traditional and ingrained that I have no choice but to do them. This means that I have a half-scheduled SRP already! When my boss was the children’s librarian, she started the Teddy Bear Parade. Kids bring their bears and wheel them around in Radio Flyers, all to the tune of the Grateful Dead tune “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”. It’s a town tradition. I can’t wait to introduce Fairhaven to Oatmeal Butt.
Oatmeal Butt

3rd day at workity: a small fire.

My day at work was similar, but I burned dinner tonight. I had popped buns in the oven to toast, then got distracted subscribing to some magazines.

Now I’m viewing a couple of DVDs I’m considering weeding from the children’s section.


It’s by the creators of Triplets of Belleville. I have high hopes for this one.

May or may not suck, but it does have interviews with Diana Wynne Jones, who wrote Howl’s Moving Castle.

Weed, dude. Totally. Bra. Yeahhhh.

Day 2. Still no fires.

I am just about done with my second day at work. I went and visited the craft dungeon, the part of the basement that has become overrun with craftybits. There are 200 empty rolls of toilet paper, one million pipe cleaners, foam stickers, paint, tape, glue … it’s a crafter’s wet dream. My predecessor’s predecessor liked to buy craft crap – like googly eyes. There’s so much down there, I was overwhelmed. I have never in my life been overwhelmed by craft supplies.

So, I decided to start Crafternoon – since I found so much crap to use, it’s going to be easy. There will be a craft available every day after school for the kids who come in. I planned two crafts for today. One was coloring mittens and polar bears (admittedly, the first wintery shapes I could find), and the other was using foam shapes of sea animals and transportation. I posted the definition of ‘vignette’ and challenged the kids to come up with a vignette using the shapes. There were a lot of roads near the sea. I guess it’s appropriate. There were bored teens waiting to use the computer, and they totally colored polar bears. HA. Everyone loves coloring.

I’m took home “Sing and Sign Nursery Rhymes” so I can learn a few, because I’m going to do a story hour about ASL and signing with your little one. I can’t wait to see the expression on Jason’s face. If he thought me watching Reading Rainbow was weird, he has a lot to adjust to.

On the knitting front, or back, I finished the main portions of the sweater I’m knitting. I cast on for the sleeves, and I should be done relatively soon. I’m a bit traumatized by the lack of fitting, and the person I’m knitting for is 1,000 miles away, so this will be interesante. I found out today that 80% (that’s 4 people) of my library staff knit, and I just skyrocked up 67 arbitrary points with them. Lastly, Karla pointed me to an exhibit at the NY Museum of Art and Design, called Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting. It’s up till June, if any knittas want to meet me and go. This kind of blew me away:
tiny mittens

Day 1. No fires.

My first day at the library went well. My morning was spent learning about the children’s and young adult sections, and poking through my desk. Luckily, the last librarian left me a lot of info, so I’m not starting from scratch.

In the afternoon, after school let out, I met a bunch of the Fairhaven kids. Lots of 4-6th graders. There’s a sign above my desk that has my full name, but they’ve decided to call me Mrs. G. I didn’t have the heart to correct them, although I will tomorrow. As my sister advised, if I’m going to buck the patriarchy, I have to take on the little things.

The moment of the day came when a 6th grader asked me to help him find the authors of the constitution of Jordan. As in, Kingdom Of. We found the constitution, in English, with all the signers’ names, but no information about the authors. The CIA World Factbook wasn’t working, and none of our print resources had that much information. I forgot what it’s like to think so literally about school assignments. The point was that this kid learned about a new country, and found where to find information. He was so concerned about finding the right answer, and he left with the scrap of hope that if he can just call a Jordanian embassy …

I’m so so so exhausted, in a way I can’t describe. After work, I had to take a nap. Then I went to the trustees meeting, which was actually quite fun and informative. I now know what the annual budget looks like, and I know that one of the trustees used to date a girl from Iowa. Back in the 40’s.

I’m feeling full of optimism for this job. I think there’s a lot I can do to make the collection better, and that’s a good place to start with, as I get my bearings and start to figure out the community and the library.