hello LQCL

I now have two weeks under my belt as director of my new library. It’s been fantastic. My staff are lovely, the building is gorgeous, the patrons are enthusiastic, and the board is both generous and not micro-managing. Ahh, the honeymoon.

Despite my decision to change as little as possible during my first month I just spent 10 hours yesterday shifting books. When I asked my staff what they would change about their jobs or the library, they all individually mentioned the paperback book spinners. For those of you who aren’t library geeks, these spinners are hated by librarians everywhere and nearly as reviled by patrons. I looked at a survey done last year and one of the things specifically mentioned was the dreaded spinners of doom.

So yesterday, in the midst of a small blizzard, I started moving books. A lovely volunteer had come in on Monday (out of the blue, needing community service hours. Remember what I said about offering volunteer opportunities?) She moved some of the pb books into the general fiction shelves. Which was fantastic (Thanks S from Kewaskum!)

I went to finish the job, but found that Large Print was at the beginning of the shelves, with fiction starting somewhat randomly in the middle of the range. So I decided to interfile Large Print as well as pb. But then I saw that many LP or pb books were by authors located in the extensive Mystery collection, which also started somewhat randomly in the middle of a bookshelf. There were no other genre collections–no romance or sci fi, etc. And in many cases the authors were located in teh mystery and general fictions sections. So I decided to interfile those as well, and just put stickers on everything. 

Now this is a small library. We only have so many fiction titles. Yet I was still shifting at midnight and I only made it to the “U” authors.

So much for not changing anything in my first month. I hope my patrons appreciate it instead of hating me, but as a patron I prefer only looking for an author in one spot instead of 4. We’ll see.

What else did I do my first two weeks:

  • made a new website
  • got funding for a music & gaming collection
  • bought music & games
  • met a zillion people
  • learned the procedures of the library, changed a few to be less paper-intensive
  • ordered supplies
  • set up my computer & office
  • searched at length for previous year’s records
  • started puzzling out previous year’s handwritten records
  • went to library & village board meetings
  • had a great staff meeting
  • changed all the contact info with stores, jobbers, system, etc.
  • did some ILL, cataloging
  • dealt with patron incidents
  • started to change a policy
  • got temporary funding for storytime programming
  • met with outgoing & incoming library board presidents
  • met with village president
  • met with the Tech Guru (he knows who he is)
  • had a director’s meeting with all the other system directors
  • worked on book collection development
  • bought movies
  • figured out how to deal with fine money
  • trained staff to print holds reports and do serials check-in
  • started planning a media lab
  • and a bunch of other stuff, including:
  • moving 3,472 books.

Not to be a big sniveller, but my back is killing me. So all you future library directors out there (because I know you’re reading this blog with bated breath): take two ibuprofen before moving three thousand books. Make sure you figure out your predecessor’s handwritten budget before she leaves. And thank all deities for fantastic boards of trustees!


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