Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Ex

I've decided that being the new gal at the library is kind of like being the new girlfriend and part of being the new girlfriend is meeting all of your significant other's friends (i.e. new patrons, even staff members.) And slowly, as the relationship progresses and you start getting to know the friends, you start to learn about the one who came before you, like this dude's ex-girlfriend. You can find out if this ex girlfriend was a psychopath, a complete sweetheart, a bitch, a heart breaker who left him just a shell of a man, etc.

When I interviewed for the job, I was told that Miss Erika was dating a guy who lived in Arizona and he kept sending her job ads and finally she applied for one, got it, gave her two weeks and is now probably sweating her butt off. She had been working at the library for about six years and started right out of grad school. A good amount of information but still, not very helpful. Well, I've been in my new relationship for about three weeks and slowly but surely I am learning about Miss Erika i.e. the library's ex. I've heard about her from patrons and even the school librarian I visited yesterday and I've compiled what I've learned in a handy dandy list.

1) She has a massive amount of stickers (really, like three drawers full) and she would let the wee ones take them all out and choose which one they wanted, which would of course take a significant amount of time. One parent said, "It's a new era. Do what you want but please just give them one, otherwise we'll be here all day."

2) According to the school librarian at the elementary school I visited yesterday, if you gave her 30 minutes for a presentation, she would take all 30 minutes. As the school librarian pointed out, at times it was painful... particularly when she had about 20 minutes of material and she was talking to kindergarten classes.

3) She kept a bottle of bubbles in her desk drawer and she would blow bubbles at the kids on request.

4) This one is a doozy--so odd that I felt compelled to write this entry. A little girl named Grace came in this morning with her mom and kept saying "Copy" to me. "Copy copy copy" (although at first it sounded like she was saying "Coffee" and I was thinking "Yes, Coffee. Gooood Coffee.") and I looked at her mom, kind of puzzled. So her mom explains to me that Miss Erika used to let her daughter make copies of coloring sheets with the copy machine. Her daughter is 3 years old... Whhhhaaaaaaaaaaaa? This is weird, right? And really not a good idea when you think about it, right? Or am I just being a curmudgeon?

This *gestures to above numbered list* is worrisome. These tactics seemed to go over well. Miss Erika was well-liked (to pull a Willie Loman). It's also worrisome because that isn't at all my style. And I don't want it to be my style. I'm not the bubble blowing type, just like I am not the seasonal sweater, cat themed jumper wearing kind of gal. And I do not think it's fun or appropriate to let a three year old use a very expensive piece of office equipment as a toy. (Wow, curmudgeon alert!) I can be a good children's librarian despite that, though, right? I can be well-liked too, right? Eeekk.


At 12:03 PM, Blogger tinylittlelibrarian said...

You can still be liked, it'll just take them a bit to get used to your style. I like your ex comparison, very apt.

I agree about the copier, my stars. We give out a lot of colouring sheets, but we copy them ourselves. Stickers are important but I wouldn't let the wee ones pore over a drawerful, no way.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Cheer said...

I remember when I first started... it was Beth this, Beth that... I was introduced as "the new Beth" for at least a year. It got old after awhile.

Be yourself and I know that the kids (and their parents) will love you!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Librarian Girl said...

That happened to my friend too. She is also not a theme-sweater, bubble-blower and her predecessor was. It didn't take long for the kids to LOVE her though. They'll love you too, don't fret.


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