Summer Reading Roundup Week 2: One to Remember!

Oh boy, was this a memorable week for summer reading! Months ago we scheduled it to be the week where we record extra statistics for our state aid reports, which is always extra work, but little did we know what this week had in store for us.

Monday I was off at our other branch doing storytime and then came back here to finish my day. Tuesday we had our regular storytime at the library, and then I had a meeting in the afternoon. In between was our regularly scheduled elevator inspection, and this time our elevator was found to have 2 faults: one with the alarm and the other with the door. We recieved an estimate for the repairs and work is being scheduled.

But Wednesday. Oh Wednesday... Wednesday morning I walked in to water pouring in the staff entrance. There was water flooding the public restroom and the children's department, as well as the computer lab. We have had flooding problems before during periods of heavy rain (this spring was also quite bad), but never this bad as long as I have been here. Luckily, no books or other materials were damaged--just the carpet which is due to be replaced someday anyway. Long story short, professionals came in to clean the carpet and we had to close off the children's department for the day. (We have a seperate floor for the adult department.) Did I mention Wednesday was also a Library Board meeting day?

This morning I came in not quite knowing what to expect. The fans were still drying out the carpet. A dehumidifer was running (and draining into the public restroom--which would remain closed). None of the kids' public computers would turn on. The problem turned out to be a bad surge protector, but the spare did not have enough plugs for all 3 computers so someone will have to run out and get another (and some extras for the future). It was also raining (again!), so Thursday's normal outdoor storytime need to be moved into the children's department.

We do not have the luxury of a meeting room in our 97 year old Carnegie building, so storytime is accomodated by moving wooden tables and chairs out of the center of the room, where there are no stacks. Except that today there was nowhere for them to be moved to with all the industrial fans and dehumidifer running. So our families sat around the tables and we did the best we could. There wasn't as much room as we would have liked for everyone (although it was a smaller crowd at 25 people) but c'est la vie.

I tell you all this not to make you feel bad for us, but to show how important it is for youth staff to be flexible, have a backup plan, and basically do the best you can with what you have. Would we love for our building to never flood and for the roof not to leak? Yes, but that is the tradeoff we make for being in a historic building (roof work is currently in the bidding stage). I am so glad that my co-workers have been able to keep a sense of humor and do our best to provide quality programming and services despite our challenges this week. I am also grateful to our patrons who have been so understanding and sympathetic of our issues this week.

We all have our fingers crossed but tomorrow is another day, and here's hoping Friday goes smoothly! Like last week, maybe. That was a great week.


  1. Hear hear for flexibility! I too am moving wooden tables and chairs out of the way at least once during the week!


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