Three Summer Savers

Hafuboti shares three of her library's best time and stress-savers during the hectic summer months | Hafuboti.com

In the almost-decade that I’ve worked at a public library (how the heckie-pooh did that happen?!), I can unequivocally state that summers are, at their mildest, hectic. And over time, our Children’s Library team has come up with a couple of simple time-savers/stress-reducers that I thought I should share to hopefully help someone else out there.

1. SKIP THE DISPLAYS

A cat freaks out and has a very wordy existential crisis. | Hafuboti.com

This evolved from a tip that I learned from this ALSC blog post by Abby Johnson many years ago (and which I implemented at our library). We have one spot in our Children’s Library where we make themed displays throughout the year – except in June and July. This year we even skipped having a sign that mentions in a theme-related way that these are popular books in our community. Did it affect our circulation of those items? No. Have patrons complained that the don’t get the concept? No.

And hey – if you’re a larger library that has plenty of titles to fill up summer-themed displays? Then go for it! For us, it takes one family to check out all of the theme-related books in our collection, therefore we’d rather keep the space dynamic with items almost constantly moving. It also majorly helps us out on shelving since we throw whatever we grab up into the empty spots and it looks great. Hooray for face-outs!!!

If you try this then you may be amazed at how many people think that you carefully curate the just-returned items. It’s also a lot of fun to tell a patron who compliments these “displays” that it’s actually the community and patrons like her who are the designers.

2. PUSH BACK THE BOOKS

Does Hafuboti regret this really bad Salt 'n Pepa pun? No. No she does not. | Hafuboti.com

If your library happens to keep its books flushed, then this tip is for you. If your library doesn’t do this, then you’re only getting two tips from this post. ::trombone wah-wah:: Now I’ve heard other terms for the practice of bringing the books’ spines up to the edge of the shelf, but “flushing” is what I learned when I worked at a bookstore years ago, and that’s what’s stuck with me.

Within a few months of working at my library, I came to the conclusion that flushing DVDs was a Sisyphean task. I asked our Director if we could just push back all of the DVDs to save time while also keeping the shelves looking neat and orderly. Thankfully he said yes. And so for years we have enjoyed not flushing that section.

Cut to a few years ago: keeping items flush at the Children’s Library can be a weekly challenge to say the least, but in the summertime it felt nearly impossible. That’s when I was like, “Wait. We’ve been here before.” And after discussing the pros and cons (the conniest being that it makes the spines a little less easy to see), we checked with our Director and she said to go for it!

Now every year on the last day of school, we go through and joyfully push back all of the Junior Fiction, Early Reader Fiction, and Junior Graphic Novels.

And when school’s back in session (or even a little before that depending on how busy it is or isn’t), we go back to flushing.

3. GET THOSE ITEMS OUT THERE

As ALSC puts it: "Babies Need Books Every Day." Don't upset the baby. | Hafuboti.com

Sometimes we run out of space on our reshelving cart(s), and then items start to pile up on our back counter. The last time this majorly happened to us was four years ago during the summer. I came up with this improvisation back then, and it wasn’t until this year that we needed to do it again (and for more sections than just our Picture Books).

I created and printed out a few signs, then put the ready-to-be-shelved items on top of the lower bookcases, and finally attached the signs to the bookends that were holding up the books. This year we even needed to do this in the movie section! Here’s a photo depicting (and recreating) what I’m trying to explain:

It's a simple sign with an emoji letting library patrons know that their library is use. Like, a lot. | Hafuboti.com

You’d be surprised at how many of those items would check out – especially in the Picture Book section. And once we had more than a few minutes of quiet, we went and shelved those items like the wind. We do have a very part time library page, but she has to rotate between our two library buildings. If we had never gotten a quiet time for us to get the excess shelved, then at least we would have helped her in terms of getting the items to the correct areas for her next shift at our library.

(And in the above picture you can also see our Junior Fiction Books shoved back.)

Anywho!

Here’s a set of the signs I created for you to download and print if/when you need them. It should hopefully save you some time if you’re rushing around trying to get things done. Click on each image to get a non-logo’d version of the respective sign.

You know you want this sign for your popular library and its books. Get it at Hafuboti.com. For free. | Hafuboti.com You know you want this sign for your popular library and its movies. Get it at Hafuboti.com. For free. | Hafuboti.com

And there you have it: three of our tips!

Do you have any tips or tricks that you’d like to share? Feel free to comment even if it seems like something obvious. You never know what will be a revelation to someone out there. I mean, looking back it seems so obvious that we should shove back our often shoved-back books just like we do with our DVDs. You just never know.

Libraries Are For Everyone: Guarani

Here’s another translation provided by Sebastián Alarcón: Guarani! Thank you again, Sebastián!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.comLibraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.comLibraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.comLibraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Guarani featuring ten diverse library patrons on a yellow background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

 

Libraries Are for Everyone: Catalan

I was contacted by a language enthusiast named Sebastián Alarcón, who gave me four new translations to turn into LAFE signs. Up first is Catalan! Thank you so much, Sebastián!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Catalan featuring ten diverse library patrons on a yellow background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

Libraries Are For Everyone: Yiddish

Sheryl Stahl, the Library Director at the Los Angeles Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, reached out to me with the Yiddish translation of Libraries Are For Everyone. Thank you so much, Shery!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone in Yiddish featuring ten diverse library patrons on a yellow background #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1 | Hafuboti.com

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

2017 Children’s Library Themes

2017 Library Decor Themes at the Gretna Children's Library. From 'Appy New Year to Pigeon wanting to drive a zamboni! | Hafuboti.com

I am so woefully behind on sharing with y’all what we’ve been doing at our Children’s Library that drastic measures are called for in order to catch you up. So this post is designed to be a fast ‘n furious update with minimal text. If you have any questions whatsoever about anything you see here, there, or anywhere on my blog, then don’t hesitate to ask me! Either in the comments, on social media, or at hafuboti@gmail.com.

Now onto the themes!

January 2017: ‘Appy New Year!

I’ve already written about this, but here’s a quick visual for ya.

'Appy New Year: January 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring ebooks and emojis | Hafuboti.com

'Appy New Year: January 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring our reading bench display | Hafuboti.com

This theme is one of the most loudly commented-upon by kids. I lost count of how many kids would come into our library and excitedly tell us how much they love emojis. We also had ample opportunities to discuss our ebook resource with patrons.

February 2017: Toss Kindness Like Confetti

This is the only 2017 theme that neither Natasia, our resident artist and creator of our decor, nor I remembered to get a picture of anything. ::trombone wah wah:: You can get a bit of information in this previous post.

March 2017: Nebraska Sesquicentennial

All Nebraska librarians learned to say the word “sesquicentennial” when our state celebrated it’s 150th birthday.

March 2017's theme at Gretna Children's Library was all about the Nebraska state sesquicentennial | Hafuboti.com

March 2017's theme at Gretna Children's Library was all about the Nebraska state sesquicentennial: Happy 150th display at the reading bench | Hafuboti.com

The bunting is made out of an atlas that was in our Friends’ book sale with yellow circles in-between.

April 2017: Artsy April

This time around for Artsy April, I asked Natasia to show off her personal artistic style. And let me tell you what: this has been the most popular window display EVER.

Artsy April: April 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring artwork by our talented team member Natasia. Blue, purple, and gold circles | Hafuboti.com

Both children and adults alike where enamored with Natasia’s beautiful work. What you can’t tell from the photos is that the smaller circles are gold leaf. For reals. It shimmered and created gorgeous effects. Pure. Magic.

The other dots were tissue paper.

Artsy April: April 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring artwork by our talented team member Natasia. Blue, purple, and gold circles | Hafuboti.com

May 2017: The final LEGO MAY-nia

We decided that 2017 would be the last time that we celebrated all things LEGO in May. We felt like we were giving a lot of free advertising to the LEGO company. Plus, we had plenty of other things we wanted to do instead. All that said, we went out with quite a LEGO bang!

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.com

Plastic table cloths and cardstock et voilà! Window display with impact!

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.com

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.com

We put up real LEGOs on our wall to hide all of the paint damage from sticky tack. ::side eyes sticky tack::

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.com

We affixed ultra-brief bios of each real-life “Master Builder” underneath their LEGO Mini Figs so that people could sit on the bench and look up to learn something.

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.com

We loved these giant LEGO bricks that Natasia made so much that we decided to group them in a smaller space so that they’d have a bigger impact. We generally don’t decorate around our activity area, but this was perfect.

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.comAnd although LEGO MAY-nia is over, we will forever do our most popular passive program: The Little Library LEGO Club. A HUGE shout-out to S Bryce Kozla for this program. This year we finally decided to not put batteries into the base (the tower would get too heavy to spin), and let the kids turn the platform to find the perfect spot. This has been a wonderful change that I wish we’d done from the beginning.

June & July 2017: CSLP’s Build a Better World

Natasia did an incredible job with our decor for the summer. Her use of tissue paper is mind-blowing. And with this front exterior, she did a beautiful blend of both tissue paper and cardstock.

The only issue with this decor was that the summer sun beats down on our building for the first half of the day. Instead of sweltering in silence, Natasia opted to go with the flow, and actually ended up getting more compliments on her gears since her solution made them really pop:

Lightly-colored shadows were cast onto the white paper by the tissue paper gears in direct sunlight. It looked super-cool.

Those 3D gears actually did turn if you were gentle.

August 2017: The Ocean

The main paper cutout of the shark was popular with kids. So popular, in fact, that many would come up and smack the window where it was at, scaring the bejebus out of us. It also looked creepy when kids had their hands on the outside windows (little shadowy hannnnds…).

This display was a team effort between Natasia and Adina. All of those ocean creature silhouettes strategically hid sticky tack scars. ::stink eyes the sticky tack::

It was a lot of fun to see people notice the jellyfish – usually when the air vent was blowing and their tentacles gently moved. Natasia made these using paper lanterns cut in half, paint, and plastic bags.

September 2017: Monarch Butterflies

It’s rare for me to declare a theme, but I couldn’t help myself with this one. I have adored monarch butterflies since I was a child, and had begun rearing them from egg to adult. What Natasia did with my request was absolutely stunning. Everything (except the green leaves) were made from black poster board and tissue paper.

I kept the above caterpillar and have him in my home. The rest went to a local high school teacher for her classroom.

I haven’t talked about our fabulous team member Adina enough on this blog. She’s revolutionized our decor over at our Main Library, and lends a helping hand at Children’s now-and-then. She created this cheery scene with paper, scissors, and paper punches. Wow!!!!!

Ashlynn created this neat display on our whiteboard that showed the life cycle of monarchs. LOVE.

October 2017: Creatures of the Night

We continue to enjoy not being constrained by holidays in terms of decor, though that doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun with it. Our focus was on nocturnal critters, and Natasia knocked it out of the park using scissors, an x-acto knife, and black poster board.

::sings:: Gooooogly Eyyyyyes!!!

November 2017: The Return of Dinovember

Typically we don’t like to repeat themes, but since Natasia wasn’t part of our team during our first Dinovember, we thought it’d be fun to have her take a whack at it. She decided to do a “doodle” version of dinos à la Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the like.

December 2017: Decemberley featuring Mo Willems

Ok y’all. I know that we’re in the wrong in the world of copyright. But there are times where I can be a bit of a petulant child (sorry, Hyperion Books for Children and Mr. Willems). When I had the thought of “Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Zamboni,” I knew that we had to celebrate Mo Willems’ work for our annual Decemberley celebration. And I think that it was a good choice because we could hear kids shouting their favorite characters’ names as they approached our front door. Duckling got a ton of love.

I was unable to photograph the cool ice effect that Natasia achieved after some trial and error. The ice is made up of long strips of packing tape that have been covered in different sizes of glitter. It looked amazing in the sunlight. Sooooo sparkly.

My favorite part of our decor was when I realized that we could hang images of all the things that the Pigeon wants (as chronicled in both Pigeon Wants a Puppy and Duckling Gets a Cookie!?). It was irreverent, fun, and a ton of fun when either people figured it out or asked us what was the deal with the cookies, hotdogs, french fry robots, etc. Plus they would spin, and at least once a year I want things hanging/spinning from our ceiling. What can I say? It makes me happy.

Another big shout-out to Angie Manfredi for her Winter Reading Program idea. It continues to be very popular and is a good idea.

Finally, I blew up the How to Draw Pigeon instructions from PigeonPresents.com for our white board.

AND THAT’S WHAT WE DID IN 2017!!!!

Hooray! You made it through my most epic post ever. And as a reward for making it to the end, I’ve included the images that I created (or just colored in) for our Mo Willems celebration. Click on the image below to get a pdf of both sides of the following images: a cookie, hot dog, walrus, iceberg, puppy, bus, and french fry robot. You can use these images however you’d like – enjoy!

Disclaimer: no pigeons were harmed in the making of this post.