A lot of people don't understand my job. Sometimes it is my fault, I act like I go to work and play with toys. That is only because it is the fun and simple way to describe it. It gives people the better idea of what a library is (or could be) if I tell them I play.
Let me tell you about the things that have been happening lately. Some of these things may or may not of happened on the same day, but they definitely could of, none of them are random occurences.
Beginning of the day....
Come in with coffee in hand, within 10 minutes a teacher and a group of parents come in unannounced asking for a tour. I gave them the most lively one possible considering I had to put my coffee down.
I check the guestbook and make sure it matches up to my memory the day before, this lets us know exactly how many people use the library and who they are (Family Child Care Providers, Teachers, Parents, etc....)
Within a half an hour I hear a child's screech from the hallway (there is a Child Care/UPK center next door...) The children then run in even though they were told to walk. I laugh at this every time. I take my poptart and red bull out of my purse, it is officially breakfast time.
A volunteer may or may not come in and help me count up and shelve toys, this is sometimes a lengthy and tedious part of my day depending on what kind of busy we are.
Some days I'll see up to 45-50 kids and their adults within the next 2 hours. My average is about 20 kids/morning depending on the day. Either way, I don't leave my desk, it would send my OCD a little over the edge.
There is always a lull around 11:30. This is usually when the ADD kicks in, when it is quiet. When the afternoon session begins at the center next door they come in again, usually only about 10 kids, they play and I chat with the teachers, eat goldfish crackers and check in with blogs. I am addicted to quite a few... Mo Willems consistently entertains me with both his picture books and doodles, and Annoyed Librarian always gives me a chuckle. There are many others on my subscription list to keep me reading.
Before my lunch at 2 i usually try to get something accomplished besides making sure all their toys are counted up (and chatting of course). This varies from processing new toys, sorting through the miscellaneous bin of mess and dealing with toys that are missing peices. Depending on the importance one of these things (how big the pile is, annoyance level, boss complaining that my desk is a mess, etc) at least gets started before I leave for the day.
After lunch coincides with the time that children are beginning to get out of school. The afternoon is either insane or quiet depending on the day or people who come in. There is rarely a happy medium. I do have to say that parents are the majority visitor in the afternoon. And this is often my favorite time of my job because I know them. I typically know all their names if they have been in more than twice.I talk with mom's about children and toys and whatever else may come up.... they're my mom friends. They welcome speaking to an adult for the first time all day and I enjoy getting to know their family.
If the children know my name, i will probably hear it approxiamtely 100 times over the course of the day. Depending on the child they may or may not put my into overdrive. I mean really, how many times can you hear your name in a day and not go crazy? The questions that follow are equally and mind bending... I need that toy with the 3 balls you can see through?... i need the toy with the elmo... why can't i play with the basketball?... is this a ball?... how about toys that start with the letter Q?... Some how I come up with answers to each of these.
Clean up is my least favorite part of the day. I will only do it once a day. I wait until about 5-5:30 depending on the mess, I'll finish shelving and clean up at the same time most days. This is so when I walk in the next day there is nothing to do but begin. When I say clean up by the way, it means cars that kids can ride in are usually straightened up and there isn't bags dumped out on the floor. This is the minimum, I either have to have a lot of time of a OCD fit to clean up much more than that on a daily basis. You just can't... It will only get messy again, after about a year I figured it out. As long as I am able to find the toys and walk straight too them it's good enough. About once a month I hit each of the sections though to give it a thorough cleaning, making sure the toys on that particular shelf belongs there, straighten up, etc.
I leave 8 hours after I came in... turn off the lights and put the toys to sleep.