A Girl in the (Neighbor)Hood (Library)


A really, really weak pun on Boyz in the Hood. Give me a break; it’s been a long week.

Anyway, I had the neat experience of being able to fill in at a neighborhood branch Monday and yesterday (and, happily enough, it was my neighborhood branch, so my commute was 1/5th of what it normally would be), and it was a lot of fun.

I’m not going to lie, though – the first hour of the first shift, I felt as helpless and useless as I did my very first day of work. I didn’t know where things were; I didn’t know how to help with the list of reserves; I didn’t know where to sign in. But once I got all that figured out, things fell into place, and it was smooth sailing. Luckily, one of my coworkers from my branch got transferred there, so I got to work with S, which was nice! At least I knew someone coming in.

A few differences between a main branch (MB, where I work), and a neighborhood branch (NB, of which my system has about 25):

  • NBs have fewer staff members, and they do a lot of different types of work with the different constituencies. At MB, I work with children and teens, period. Rarely am I asked to fill in at another department.
  • NBs don’t usually have security personnel there all the time, and it’s generally easier to call the police if they need assistance; we have security at the MB and we call them first; the police are only involved if it’s an unusually volatile situation.
  • NB storytime – at this particular branch, at least – is consistently well-attended. They pre-register attendees about a week ahead of time, so the parent will come up to the children’s desk and say, “I’d like to register Annabelle for the next babytime,” and then whoever is at the desk will write down “Annabelle” on the next week’s sheet. It fills up fast. At MB, sometimes we have lots of attendees, sometimes we don’t.

One of the interesting aspects of my coverage at NB was that I was there on Monday and Wednesday. Monday was the last day of spring break for our city; Wednesday I got to see the usual after-school crowd who were much, muuuuuch better behaved than our usual after-school crowd!

Special thanks to Friend N who popped by (and told me she reads my blog; I’m always gobsmacked that people read this), and N’s son C.

Links, now.

Some literary liquor.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m extremely against book banning and censorship. What these kids did to circumvent it was AWESOME.

Like beautiful words (see below), here are some lovely sentences in literature.

Updated young adult lit (“sacrilege,” said Mama Bear.)

Yes. Yes, I can.

And a boyfriend ain’t one.

From Friend D:

Beautiful words! (I think ugly words are much more interesting. I have a friend who hates “shampoo,” while Sister A hates “moist.”)

What’s next for YA? (Mama Bear sent this to me, also, a heartbeat after D did. Sorry, Mama Bear, but D gets the credit.)

How to get started on Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Happy birthday to the Library of Congress!

From Mama Bear:

An ode to bookstore cats.

I was never a huge fan of the Little House series (who wants to make candy out of syrup on the snow, boring), but I did very much enjoy reading this article.

I’m definitely going to have to read this. An epistolary novel? And it takes place in England??

Good question. 

This takes me right back to being a teen.


Well, I’m not sure about this, but I’m glad it makes people happy!

James Baldwin doesn’t get nearly enough exposure.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, on Coworker A’s recommendation, I read Madapple. It was a really interesting premise, but I didn’t really connect with it. I’ve got some great books on my nightstand right now, so stay tuned, chickadees.


One response »

  1. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

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