Making the big move from Adult Reference Services to Youth Services was not supposed to be a big deal because I’ve been a children’s librarian for most of my career, but after working with adults for 10 years, this may take some getting used to…
Instead of people asking about how to save a document on the computer or “how can I get an ebook on my Ipad”, the questions are: “can you help me find the dress up doll game on the ‘puter’?” Whaaat, where do I look on the many old games loaded onto the children’s ‘puter’ for that one? Other recent questions and statements include: “which game has the girl with purple hair”, “I want the animal game”, and “not Clifford the big red dog!” This new territory will take some getting used to. Legos used to be wonderful when my son would make wonderful, imaginative structures that I would “ooh” and “aah” over. NOW, how many times a day do we (the children’s staff) pick up Legos off the floor…? A bunch! Let’s put it this way, I do not need a gym membership anymore.
What is absolutely mesmerizing is seeing the wide eyes of the children when they find their favorite books and those books that they can actually read by themselves. I love seeing the delighted grins and hearing the excitement in their voices as they shout out to Mom: “here it is, the book I’ve been looking for!”
The wonder of a child’s first trip to our library, the goldfish greeting them at the door as they walk in and the gerbils waiting to entertain them as they sidle up to the gerbil glass cage. Yes, we get to have fun animals (not super cool animals like lizards) in the children’s department which are not as appreciated in the “adult side” of the library.
The books that are in the children’s section contain everything that a child and some adults could want including board books for babies like: Duck and Goose or Paddington Bear all day. The board books allow the babies to use all their senses while looking at them including: taste – yes, many end up in their mouths, hearing – as Moms and children’s librarians tell the baby, to “take that book out of your mouth”, seeing – the brightly colored pictures, smelling – as they sniff the pictures of flowers on the board book about Spring, and touching – as they feel the soft bear belly from the Touch and Feel Home book.
The wonder does not end with the board books but continues on with the vibrant picture books; each one has a great story to tell in both words and pictures. Mama Don’t Allow by Thacher Hurd is hopping with jazzy, saxophone playing alligators. It’s great when kids ask if I’ve seen any alligators playing in a band. Where else will you get questions like that? Olivia, by Ian Falconer tells the tale of Olivia the pig who does whatever any little kid would do during the day at home including: dancing, painting on walls, and, maybe, napping. I could go on and on about the wondrous books and the children that inhabit our library but it’s time to end this blog. Would I go back to work in the Adult Services Dept? I don’t think that I could because no adult has ever asked me to read them a story or showed me the great book that they found called The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog (except for Savannah, whose adult status is, indeed, questionable).