Manuals and Plans
The last few weeks, well actually months for one, I have been working on 2 different manuals for the library. These manuals are being created as instruction and procedure so that things can be handled by anyone if need be. The things are cataloging and programming, both of which, when done right, benefit not only the staff and myself, but also you, the patron. I started working at the library in August of 2012, I became the director in July of 2016 and here we are in 2021 and I am still learning my job.
When I took over, I had existing staff for the first 4 months and wanted it that way as we were all learning things; how to do my job, the way I wanted things done, new cataloging software, etc. By the end of 2016 I had 2 new staff and by the end of 2018 I had 2 more new staff. I learned quickly how vital quality training is to insure not only good service to the public, but also to create the best work environment. Add in creating procedure when I was sick in 2018 and I can assure you I am pretty intense about making things as clear and detailed as I can, seriously, my goal is that anyone can come in and do most of the various tasks in the library.
Cataloging might seem to only be important for us librarians, and typically most people wouldn’t recognize the difference between a weak or strong record, but trust me it can mean life or death for a title (book, audio, video, etc.). For instance, the other day I was running inventory and weeding books in the 900 adult non-fiction section. I came across, “The Great West” by Charles Neider. This book was written in 1958 with first-hand accounts from the men who “discovered and created” the American West. Sounds pretty interesting, right? Well, this book has only been checked out 15 times since 1998 and the last checkout was in 2014. The book is not Core or Most Highly Recommended, it is old and is not going out, all grounds for weeding, but I saved it. I saved it because it has a weak record. For subject matter it only has West/History. This book is 457 pages long and is divided into 3 sections: Pathfinders (Lewis and Clark and Jedediah Smith are mentioned), Heroes and Villains (David Crockett, Kit Carson, the James Brothers and Bill the Kid are mentioned) and Observers (Mark Twain, John Muir and Rudyard Kipling are mentioned). If you searched the card catalog for any of the names I mentioned this book would not come up, yep, a weak record. I am so proud of the work my staff is doing to make our collection stronger, so that books like “The Great West” survive. Their “post-it book” and Kelly’s Library Science degree have formatted the cataloging manual, you will never need to see that manual, but you will reap the rewards.
The programming manual was first created in 2019 and was specific to Children’s events. It was the first time I had to train a Children’s Librarian and it was also the first time I had to train someone for a job I had not done myself. We have modified the manual over the last few years as programming events have come and gone. Last fall I started watching my Children’s Librarian and had decided I thought she would be great at all programming. If you don’t know Brittany, she is outgoing, positive and bubbly, yep, pretty much opposite of me. Not only would I love for someone to help me with our adult programming, I am pretty sure someone with Brittany’s personality could draw in a better crowd, or at least not scare them off as I might do. The cool part of creating a new manual that covers all programming is that it is also brings out my More folder and gets me excited about getting the library back to offering events, just like pre-COVID, but even better. I am going to leave you with a list of all the listings in the programming manual, keep in mind, not all these things are happening currently, but hopefully soon.
Adult programs: Book Club, Crafts, Evening Events, Community Garden, Genealogy Club, MOCO Warriors Support Group, OUR Story, Smartphone Classes and Senior Book Club. Children’s programs: Daycare Story Time, 4-H Club Collaboration, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, Saturday Activities, School Outreach/Book Baskets/Story Time, Story Time, Summer Reading Program. Family programs: Free Libraries, Local History, More TOTE, Activity Kits, Code-a-pillar, Passive in House. Teen programs: Gaming and 100 Books Before Graduation.
Upcoming Events: 3/17 Story Time in the Community room (masks required for adults) at 10am, 3/18 OUR Story, Versailles City Park (weather permitting) at 4pm, 3/20 Saturday Story Time (masks required for adults) at 10:30am