Two weeks, the last time the library was open, I was so busy that I didn’t have time to write an entry in this blog. Being busy is a great thing, I wish it would be always busy in the library.
It took longer than I thought it would to prepare the books I cataloged the previous week ready for the shelves. But, I had to do all of these things before I couls shelve the books:
- Print and cut due dates notes
- Print the “material label,” the ones with the bar codes and author/title information that goes in the book
- Print the “spine label” that has the call number of the books. These were needed in two copies, so if a book has a dust cover a label could go both on the book itself and another one onto the cover
- Put all of the above into the books: two out of three were self-adhesive, but the third need glue
- Cover the labels, but not the due date piece with a clear film to protect them from peeling down
- Add a protective transparent cover for the hardcover books.
While I was doing this a class from the religious school came in and they asked for a book on Passover. At the time I still had the Purim books out as we were just a few days after the holiday (and on the second day of our Purim Spiel). So I recommended for them to read a Purim a story, while I gathered the Pesach ones. As of this writing, two weeks later, we are still before Passover so all the books for younger readers about this holiday are on library’s table. Come on in and borrow some to read with/for/by your children.
Are you confused why I put “Hasidism” in the title of this post? Don’t be, I am getting to it. A patron came in last time and asked for a book about this topic. I tried to guide the reference conversation to get more specifics on the nature of the “information need” as I learned it in library school. But the patron didn’t offer more details why he needs it, what he would like to find out about them, so I offered my two favorites books related to Hasidism.
Martin Buber‘s “Tales of the Hasidim” is an absolute must to understand the origins of the movement. It is a fantastic read of shorter, often funny and/or inspiring stories, with a great introduction to this world. On the other hand to understand the world of today’s Hasidism you need more. That is why I suggested the more sociologically inclined book by Sue Fishkoff titled “The Rebbe’s Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch.” It provides insights to the operation of one particular, albeit the most well-known Hasid group
Some people think that librarians just sit in the library and read books, when there are no patrons to assist. Let me share what I was doing today instead in little over 3 hours:
- Checked the library’s email and felt lucky that only two out of 20+ email messages required an answer.
- Put new batteries in the clock on the wall.
- Accepted four donated books by a patron, who brought them in. I also got her permission to re-sell any of the books, in case we already have them. Then checked the books and found that two we already had. The other two will be incorporated into the library’s collection. They were both on Hanukkah for children. you can never have enough Hanukkah book, as its quite a popular topic.
- Attempted to print a sign, to be put outside on the door, with our open hours. Unfortunately the printer didn’t work, so I wrote one with hand. Something I rarely do nowadays and it shows.
- Added a checkout entry into our library system, based on a note a trusted member left, about a book she borrowed in our absence.
- Checked in 2 books that were left in the library’s mailbox in the office.
- Started a new Facebook page for the library. Previously we had a group, but now I know that “pages” suit better our purpose. Once the page is fully set up, I will remove the group.
- Checked who started recently to follow our Twitter account. Netiquette dictates to follow them back. Most of them were other Jewish or library related organization, so I followed them back. Some of them were marketers, otherwise known as spammer. Those I blocked.
- Stamped two periodicals that we just received with the “Property of the Library” stamp. They were the new issues of “The Jewish Bible Quarterly” and “CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism“. I left them on our big table, so others could peruse it if/when they are in the library.
- Greeted two people who wandered in the library and were happy to see it open.
- Updated the statistics about the library’s usage based on the notes that volunteers left.
- Placed children’s books about Purim on the table that I pulled out from the shelves. This way when the children come in looking for them, as they surely will today, it will be easier for them to choose.
- Lent a book about Purim for the duration of the religious school class today.
- Talked to a patron in Hungarian for a few minutes as I may be the only person he has a chance to practice his native language with.
- Went through another bag of donated books, identifying which volumes we can incorporate in the library. In this case it was 5 out of 8, which is much better than usual. A lot of the books that people donate to us are of popular volumes that we already have copies of. This time however five of the books were short novels targeted for the 10-12 year old age group. In that category we have room to grow.
- Did the first part of cataloging 14 new books: adding them to the catalog, with all the correct information. Before I can put them on the shelves I will still need to cover them, print and put spine and material stickers on them. Then, hopefuly next week, they will be ready for their audience.
The library will be open the following Sundays in the next three months, from 9.15 to 12.30
- March 4, 11, 25
- April 22, 29
- May 6
Please, visit to meet your friendly librarian, borrow a book or two…