Category Archives: Interesting Patrons

Lucky Girl

I really am the luckiest girl – I have some amazing patrons! One of my favorite families brought me this beautiful necklace from their recent trip to Hawaii. I found it waiting for me on my desk when I came back to work on Monday. It’s a silver flower – the kind they use when making leis. Who thinks about getting their librarian a gift while on vacation? In HAWAII?! So very touched and honored 🙂



Happy Friday!

Miss Molly*

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Brotherly Love….

This was from a few weeks ago. I was sitting in the story time room having lunch and I happened to look over at our flannel/dry erase board and this side was facing the wall….

In case you can’t read this because of the glare, it says “I farted on my brothers fase!!!!” lol. I can only assume a boy wrote this….but you never know. 🙂

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Mrs. Molly Portrait

A couple weeks ago I was working on Saturday and one of our favorite families came in. Their daughter, Sarah, is really into drawing and she drew pictures of Ali and I. They are so cute! And really good!

Also, I love that they say “Mrs. Molly” since that is what they call me now that I am married (too funny.) And Ali is only 17 (and not married), but her picture also says “Mrs. Ali.” 🙂




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Letters to a Young Librarian: Ten Things I Didn’t Learn in Library School, by Eric S. Riley

This letter is great, because it is so true. I have not been to Library School myself (and somehow manage to perform my job) but I imagine that they don’t tell you about kids tracking poop through the Children’s Room, women having miscarriages in the bathroom, skateboarders walking in to the library in shock and covered in blood, teens putting a strange – and still unidentified – jelly substance on the light switches, teens making out in the bathrooms, dealing with homeless people or the various bodily fluids you will personally be cleaning up yourself.

These (and many more) have all happened to me in the mere 7 years I have worked in libraries. I imagine there will be more to come. It’s definitely one of those jobs where people have absolutely no idea what you actually do every day. I can tell you one thing….it does NOT involve reading!


Letters to a Young Librarian: Ten Things I Didn’t Learn in Library School, by Er…: When I first started working for the Public Library in 2007 there were numerous things that came up over the course of my day-to-day work th…

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The Hello Song Turns Inappropriate….

I have been using a song to start off my 3-5 year old story time called “My Hands Say Hello,” which I found on Abby the Librarian’s awesome blog.

The song goes like this, waving your hands in the air:

(to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
My hands say hello
My hands say hello
Every time I see my friends
My hands say hello

Then you repeat with different body parts. It’s a great way to get the kids (and the parents) participating right away. I always ask the kids to name a part of the body we can use to say hello. Usually it’s feet, elbows, knees. If they don’t say anything, I’ll suggest one to get them started. Sometimes they’ll say belly, hair, eyes, lips, etc. which gets a little bit silly and fun. I do feel like I’m asking for trouble sometimes, since you never know which body parts they’ll mention. The other day was a first though, when I asked for body parts to say hello with, a little boy, who I don’t even think is 3 yet, yelled out – “your booty!” The parents burst out laughing and the boy’s mother rolled her eyes and grinned. It was pretty funny. I considered going with it, but decided not to, as I wasn’t feeling overly confident in “booty” region. 🙂


Filed under Interesting Patrons, Library, Story Time, Strange Tales from the Children's Room


Ah, the library volunteer.

Volunteers are great, don’t get me wrong. There are lots of ways they can help out at the library. But here’s the thing: most people, and these are typically intelligent people, are under the assumption that being a librarian is EASY. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit at a desk and read all day? And when this is all people think I do all day, (yes, people have actually said this to me) then it stands to reason that they can just walk in and be a librarian. No sweat. We have even had town officials suggest that the library could be run on a VOLUNTEER basis instead of having paid staff. This is how little people know about libraries.

But, back to the volunteers. It is very difficult to manage volunteers when you have very little staff. The problem is that more often than not, it actually ends up making more work for the staff. Plus, whoever is in charge of managing volunteers, which happens to be me at the moment but hopefully not for much longer, has to figure out jobs for them to do, which makes less time for actual work.  And it can’t be just any job, by the way, because the library has Union employees and their contract states that volunteers may not take work away from Union employees. So we have to find random things for people to do, which is actually more difficult than it sounds.

I know, I sound really ungrateful. Some of our volunteers have been awesome and we love them. But not all of the volunteers are there simply because their life-long dream is to help the library. We have LOTS of people working off DUIs and other such misdemeanors and those people are not typically happy campers. Usually we try to set them up with some lame job in another room so they don’t have to interact with patrons.

Today, I had one of the most interesting volunteers come in. This woman, who I will call “Linda,”  has to do about 90 hours of court-ordered community service, though neglected to offer the reason on her volunteer application. (I don’t really want to know.) Linda looked slightly uncomfortable in the children’s room as I wrote up a letter to the district court stating that she could do her hours here, pending a CORI check.

When I handed her the letter she thanked me and then said, “And just to let you know, I really don’t like children at all.”

I felt like I handled this pretty well by replying, “Um, OK. Duly noted.”

But Linda wasn’t done. “And I don’t really like working with people at all, either”.

“OK….,” I said slowly, “Well, we’ll try to find something for you to do…..that doesn’t involve kids. Or people.”

“Great,” she said. “I like to work outdoors.”

Believe me, Linda, we will keep you outside.

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Strange Tales from the Children’s Room…..

Caution: Watch for Falling Poop!

I think we have actually lost track as to how many children have left a bit of excrement behind in the Children’s Room. In the 4 years the new building has been open, there have been at least as many incidents, if not more. Today was no exception.

I was walking out of the story time room and into the main room to find 7 year old Alice* staring at me with a look of horror on her face. She looked at me and then at her elderly nanny who was pulling a bunch of tissues out of the box on the circ desk. “It’s over there!” Alice pointed down one of the picturebook aisles. My first thought was that there was a spider or some kind of insect in the play area. But when I asked Alice what she was pointing at she gazed at me with her large, frightened eyes and said, “David* pooped in his pants and a piece came out of his shorts and fell on the floor.”

So, definitely NOT a spider, then.

And because this is not the first time this has happened, I was completely calm and totally unsurprised.

“Well,” I said, “The timing really couldn’t be better because the carpets are being cleaned tomorrow!” (They really are!)

The nanny looked pretty mad and mentioned that David was starting school tomorrow – I think kindergarten. Obviously she meant that he should not be doing something like this. She asked for cleaning supplies, which we have in abundance for situations such as this. I appreciated her cleaning it up, because the first time this happened – when I was still an innocent youth librarian – someone’s child managed to track poop throughout the children’s room. There was a bit in the playhouse, on various places on the carpet, and even on the couch. Sadly, I was not there to clean it up. This incident inspired the now-famous “Poop” email that I mailed out to my children’s programming list. The reason behind the email was to ask, nay, IMPLORE parents to please let a staff member know if their child has had an accident somewhere in the children’s room and that it needs to be attended to immediately. Hey, accidents happen. It’s not a big deal. What is a big deal, is if a child has tracked poop all over the public library children’s room and the parent simply picks up the child and leaves, without saying anything so that ANOTHER child stumbles upon the mess and that other parent has to deal with it.

Not cool. I can understand that it’s embarrassing, but seriously. It’s also pretty rude. Not to mention GROSS!

I’m not sure if this happens in other Children’s Libraries. The kids feel completely comfortable in the Children’s Room. So much so, that a lot of them come in and then immediately take off their shoes, as if they are home. Perhaps it is the same thing with the poop. I don’t know.

Interestingly enough, this is not the worst thing that has happened in my Children’s Room. But we’ll leave that story for another day….maybe.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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