Thursday, January 29, 2009

Off to Teach a Workshop

Nothing special on the blog this morning, but tonight I'll announce the winners of the "Favorite Authors" contest, and start a new one. Have you entered the contest yet?

In the meantime, I spent last night collating handouts. I'm teaching a Readers' Advisory workshop at the Basha Branch of the Chandler Public Library this morning. I do two versions - a two hour workshop, that doesn't include many websites, and a three hour workshop that includes websites. I always have fun, and, since Chandler asked me back to a different branch, I think their staff enjoyed it as well.

Readers' Advisory is one of the hardest parts of the public librarian job, and, one of the aspects that is the most fun. It's suggesting books for people, after listening to them talk about what kinds of books they like, and what they're in the mood to read.

In the workshop, we get to do something that librarians don't do as often as people think - talk about books. While a number of people think we spend our days reading or talking about books, in reality, I spend my time answering reference questions, dealing with computer questions, attending city meetings, and, since I'm a library manager, working with, and assisting my staff. I've fixed copiers, toilets, cleaned up unspeakable messes. But, my favorite part of the job has always been talking about books.

I hold a quarterly brown bag luncheon in my office to tell people about books. Library staff in our system take one lunch hour a month, and spend it talking about books. My favorite question, and, the one I cringe when I get, is "I need a good book." It's fun, and challenging. And, every bit of my education, life experience, and reading experience can go into answering that question.

Today, I get to meet with other library staff, in Chandler, for two hours, and discuss the best way we can talk about books with you - our library patrons. Have you talked about books with a librarian lately?


Kay said...

Wish you could record your sesssion today and I could listen to it. Talkling about books is my favorite part of working in a library.

I do enjoy helping patrons find just the right book or at least suggesting a book for them. Sometimes it seems I have to pull info out of them one drip at a time to see what they might like. At my branch, the other staff come and get me when there is a fiction question and sometimes I can help. One patron and I had a very nice discussion at the self-check machine at Monday about THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and what she might read next.

Lesa said...

Kay, I think you're WAY beyond the information I could teach you. You're a natural. Some people are just naturally good at it, and you're the type who is easy to talk with, and a good listener. Just perfect!

Luanne said...

Reader's Advisory is one of the best parts of my job!

Lesa said...

Isn't it fun, Luanne? One of the best parts of mine, as well.