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Posted to Campbell Unclassified on October 1, 2021 at 10:40 AM by Genesis Gaule
While Children’s Librarian seems like a fairly innocuous job, it does have some very real hazards. Here’s a quick guide to the pitfalls of children’s librarianship.
Children’s songs are insidious earworms that will hook themselves into your brain and never ever ever let go. One sing through of “Let It Go” or “Baby Beluga” and you’ll be humming it all day, the same silly words on repeat over and over again. What’s worse is that your humming will infect your coworkers! You’ll all be trapped in a terrible loop of “Baby Shark” until you go slowly insane.
Children (bless their little hearts) do not have the executive functioning skills to stop themselves from spoiling whatever is the latest, hottest book. You’d better sneak the latest Dogman book out of the cataloger’s corner and read it under your desk if you want to enjoy it without being spoiled (because you better believe the holds list on that puppy* is at least ten deep).
It doesn’t matter if you are so careful, if you wear an apron and gloves and goggles, if there is a craft with glitter, you will be going home with glitter on you somewhere (usually on your face – I don’t know how it gets there either!).
If you’ve hung around small children for any length of time, you know that they don’t have a filter. And they love to share! You will have to keep a straight face while a preschooler regales you with tales of their parent’s/sibling’s/neighbor’s embarrassing medical condition, practices their swear words, or makes an inappropriate observation about something or someone. You have to keep those laughs stuffed in deep until everyone leaves, you can sneak into the storytime room closet, or hit the bathroom.
You will be shushed. I get shushed all the time. (They did not warn me about this in Library School.)
You will watch your very small friends grow from babies into toddlers then preschoolers. They’ll need your help finding chapter books and then you’ll chit chat about the latest and greatest book, but before you know it, you’re getting a graduation party announcement in the mail. It’s unavoidable†. Everyone grows up, but children’s librarians often get a front row seat to the magic of watching someone grow from a tiny bean to an independent human being. It’s a very real occupational hazard that inspires wonder and awe (and sometimes Kleenex).‡
† Unless you’re Peter Pan. Then all bets are off the table.
‡ (and don’t even get me started on those small friends having babies of their own. Oofda.)
Tag(s): at the library, article, Andrea Lorenz
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 18, 2021 at 12:46 PM by Genesis Gaule
The Library lost our guinea pig, Ivy, this month. One day, she was greeting patrons as they approached her home and the next day, she took ill. We found veterinary care for her and started her on a prescribed medical care plan. Unfortunately, it was not successful and the next day Ivy died.
As a public figure, Ivy had a following. Patrons of all ages swung by before or after finding library materials to say hi and smile at the popcorn jumps and squeaks. During quarantine, we kept the public informed as to the sisters’ activities and how much they missed their fans. Pictures were often included and we are certain they brought smiles to our patrons while separated by quarantine precautions.
The sisters did not look alike at all. Ivy was a summer tan with highlights while Bean has ruffled black fur. We kept pictures with their names at the cage so patrons could chat with each one when visiting. The sisters played and performed together. Like many sisters I know, they also fought over attention and oftentimes, food.
Guinea pigs love to eat. They love treats as much as hay. As staff, it is our duty to keep an eye on what they consume. Patrons bring greens and veggies from their gardens in the summer which are big hits! Our little friends are only fed by staff with an occasional guest pass attended by staff.
Grief is not easy for anyone at any age, but there is a strength in sharing it. We comfort each other by telling and hearing stories about our little friend, Ivy. Simply said aloud by a young patron, “That’s sad,” connects us. One young boy told me that Guinea Pig Heaven is just like Dog Heaven so she would be OK. Adults commented how they’ll miss her just as staff does.
Ivy is missed and remembered. This past year brought loss of all sorts to many of us. The grief is real and so is the strength of community to help carry the burden.
Tag(s): recommendations, pets, guinea pigs, grief and loss, at the library, article
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 19, 2021 at 11:20 AM by Genesis Gaule
Two of the hottest attractions at the library for the past three years are our guinea pigs, Ivy and Bean. Ivy and Bean came into the library courtesy of an animal-loving library assistant who wanted nothing more than for the library to have a pet. She did her research and used her persuasive skills to win over the library director. One quick trip to Petsmart and two little guinea pigs became library stars.
After much library staff debate, the girls (because they are girls) were named Ivy and Bean after the titular characters in Annie Barrows’ beloved chapter book series (though my personal favorite choice for their names is still Tater and Lil Spud). Ivy is light brown with some darker speckling and Bean is black with longer hair that sticks up in every direction.
Ivy and Bean loved storytime and could frequently be seen “popcorning” (or jumping straight up in the air in joy) when little kids came to see them. One of the first and most frequent questions we got after we closed down during the pandemic was “What about the guinea pigs!?” They stayed with their favorite library assistant for a while, but came back when employees started coming back to work in the building.
Ivy and Bean love books (mostly Bean, but Ivy is content to listen when stories are read to her), but they hate having their nails clipped. They love fresh veggies and yogurt snacks and can frequently be seen burrowing into their fleece blankets or hanging out in their igloo. They’ve participated in two Stuffed Animal Sleepovers, been present for close to 100 storytimes, and entertained probably around three times as many children and adults. Guinea pigs are great library pets – they’re relatively hypoallergenic, very small, pretty quiet, and very cute.
If Ivy and Bean have stolen your hearts, like they’ve stolen ours, consider supporting them. We accept donations of aspen bedding, fortified guinea pig food, timothy hay, fleece for blankets, chew treats, toys, and monetary support.
If you’d like to learn more about guinea pigs, check out:
Pet Guinea Pigs Up Close
by Brynn Baker
Easy 636.9 BAKER
Get Crafting for Your Gorgeous Guinea Pig
by Ruth Owen
Easy 745.5 OWEN
100 Fun Facts About Hamsters, Mice, Guinea Pigs, and More
by Rose Davidson
Easy 599.35 DAVIDSON
Guinea Pigs As a New Pet
by Stephen Nelson
by Felicia Macheske
Easy Reader Blue 636.935 MACHESKE
Tag(s): pets, guinea pigs, easy nonfiction, at the library, article, Andrea Lorenz