Saturday, June 27, 2009

What a week!

I'm so glad it's the end of the week!
1. Our library system (and our library) has registered more children this summer for Summer Reading than ever before.
We're running out of string backpacks and book logs to give them.

2. Due to budget cuts, our library system has been under stress all June. Last week we learned that 7 or so people had been laid off and a branch was going to close.
This Thursday we learned that the threatened branch was not going to be closed, but the shortfall would have to be made up in other ways.
--No upgrades on computers. (our computers already can't read some of the information people bring into the library on flash drives, because normal people have up-to-date software and the library now isn't going to get a planned upgrade and will fall further and further behind. Oh, sorry you can't open that file someone sent you -- we simply don't have that version of Word or Excel or whatever.)
--Massive cuts in our materials budget. (sorry about that DVD you wanted to watch -- only one copy, if that, was bought for the system. Yes, I know we used to get the DVDs the day they were issued, but... budget cuts don'tchknow. Sorry about that best seller book you want to read. Would you like to be number 200 on the waiting list for it?)
--During the next few months, we'll learn how these deep cuts will affect how we work and what services we can offer at the library.

3. Thursday was lovely. No rain and I drove to Washington, DC, to hear Laura Amy Schlitz (last year's Newbery winner), speak to the Children's Book Guild. She's a local private school librarian. She talked about the writing process and learning the speech she gave, without notes, at the Newbery/ Caldecott banquet last June. And about her wonderful children at Park School, which is near Baltimore, Maryland. I always enjoy hearing how the people around the winner of that medal honor the winner and help them celebrate.

4. Then, after work on Friday I drove an hour to go pick up a second grandchild -- the six/ almost seven-year-old.
--They stayed up until almost midnight chatting. (GO TO SLEEP!)
--They've tried on all the ballet dresses and costumes in the house. (You gotta put away whatever you take out. Yes, Grandmom. -- it's still not done. promises, promises to do it tomorrow)
--They rode bikes.
--They went to the pool. The almost 7-year-old is finally doing some actual swimming, instead of her usual doggie-paddle. I was getting worried about her abilities because the family she lives with takes her out on their boat a lot. Today she managed to swim halfway across the pool. Maybe by the end of the summer she'll make it all the way across. Next year -- we'll aim for lengthwise.
--Meanwhile her sister, the 9-year-old (nine and a half, actually) is on the swim team at the pool, has learned a new stroke (breaststroke) and is earning ribbons swimming in the first heat -- sometimes the only girl in her age group from our pool.
--This evening, mad because I wouldn't let them camp in tents at the pool with the swim team, the two of them built a tent in our living room and are presently sleeping there -- with a large whale protecting them on one side and large Golden Retriever dog on the other.

Time for bed - -or else this post will be labeled as a Sunday message, not a Saturday one.
-wendie Old

1 comment:

laurasalas said...

Wendie, I'm sorry to hear of these budget cuts. People are so used to the library being the magical place where everything can be opened, read, explored--it's hard on them and on the staff when limitations are exposed. Hugs to you and all the librarians and media specialists across the country working under harder conditions.

I'm so jealous that you got to hear Laura Amy Schlitz speak. How was it? Love Good Masters. Love, love, love it.
And thank you for the laughs about your grandkids!