Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gearing up for Summer

Over the winter I've been trying new programs with some successes and some failures.  I've been taking pictures and getting ready for write-ups, but they're not quiiiite there yet.  Soon!

The big news has been that I won The Michigan Library Association's Pletz award, which is such an honor!  You can read about it here if you're interested (and want to see my amazing cat print dress) http://www.milibraries.org/about/frances-h-pletz-award/

At this point Summer Reading is planned and locked down.  When people hear about my programming stats (60% improvement my first two years, and still growing albeit at a slower pace!), they always want to know how I do it.  The answer is PROGRAM PROGRAM PROGRAM. Summer is the teen librarian's time to shine--the teens too young for jobs/cars usually don't have a lot going on--so give them something! As I work on scheduling my staff for the summer, the first step is to fill in the programs.  Here's my June, to give you an idea:

There are only four days in June when I am working but don't have a program, and some days I have 2-3 programs.  Is it a lot to do? sure. But I never understand the librarians who avoid programs or only do a few because they're so concerned about burnout.  To me, this is the job. This is how you make it work--by working, a lot!  Some of these programs are more work than others--D&D night, for example, is very little work for me.  But something like Cupcake Wars takes a fair amount of prep work.

I'm keeping up my winter focus on providing lots of programs about lots of things in the hopes of creating new "regulars" as my core group grew up and left me!  Some of my craft programs have been pretty small, but they are still a lot of fun and I think they'll grow.  I'm having trouble with the North Branch still, and having a hard time pinning down why.  Last month, no one showed up for book club at all!  But I had 7 for DIY Spa Day (write up coming), which is a decent crowd for that branch.  I'm trying out some crafty things there this summer to see how that goes.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crafternoons #1: Sushi Candles

A lot of my regulars have aged out of library life this year--once they get cars and jobs they stop by and say hey once in a while but are mostly busy doing other things.   That means this year will be a year of finding NEW regulars.  My fall lineup of programs is focused on things that will appeal to the middle school crowd.  One thing I just started is a series of "crafternoons", a once-a-month program with a different craft each time.  I do not anticipate a large turnout for these, but another focus for me this year is remembering that small programs are successes too. 

I used these instructions: http://www.instructables.com/id/Beeswax-Sushi-Candles/

For my materials, I purchased all of the beeswax on amazon.  I got two large boxes of white and green, because I figured those would get the most use, and then a smaller box of assorted colors.




This is a LOT of supplies, I'll be able to do this craft more than once, for sure.  I plan to take whatever is left from the crafternoon to the next meeting of the Anime Club. 

I tried the California Roll first.  There's no way i'm giving teens kitchen knives, so I used regular scissors to cut the wax and it works just fine.  Also, I didn't bother with a blowdryer, I just held the wax in my hands and breathed on it a little to make it a bit more pliable and that seems to have worked fine.

I cut strips of pink and white...
and smooshed them together for the...crab? I don't eat sushi.

To make the cucumber...
I rolled up a bit of white
Smooshed it down into a sort of wedge shape, and then put a bit of green on the wider end of the wedge.  Pretty good! Later cucumber bits looked a little better.
Some crab and a couple of cucumbers were smooshed together wish a wick in the middle, then wrapped in green (nori) and white (rice!).  I later added another layer of white to make it a bit thicker.  Not bad!  It looks much better than the few times I've tried rolling actual sushi!
I made a couple of other simple rolls. The tuna is just some red rolled up, the other one is some leftover pink (mystery fish!) with carrot, cucumber, and avocado.  Once I got in the groove it was pretty easy to make these!  I'm going to take one home tonight to burn to see how that goes.

At this moment I only have one teen signed up, but she's my favorite teen so even if it's just her, me, and the new intern we'll have a great time.