Monday, May 29, 2006

Hurrah! I got some more help. . .

Presently, I am the librarian for our church. It doesn't pay anything but it gives me a chance to use the skills that I went to college for and hardly ever get to use otherwise . . . since I never "got that media specialist job."

When the church first started almost 50 years ago, someone or maybe, several someones did a good job of cataloging books. I wasn't a member then. I came 21 years ago and it was an ignored place by 1985. No one did anything to keep the library up. People donated books and they just piled up -- even if they weren't appropriate for a church library. In '95, I started to help take care of the mess but then I got a job teaching in California so I left with good instructions written down for others to continue what I began. Guess they gave up because I didn't see much change when I returned 7 years later.

Then, one of our church members, a wood craftsman, built beautiful library shelving in the church narthex. It sat there for three weeks with nothing on it. no one was doing a thing to move any books to it from the old library that was down the long hall.

Sooooooooooo, I volunteered to be the librarian. Of course I wasn't satisfied with just moving the books. . . I had to check to make sure that each had the three cards, were listed on the accession list and in good repair. THEN and only then, we transfered some books to the narthex. I had two volunteer helpers. There is also a video shelving unit so got some of the videos placed there. . . went thru the check list of videos and there were over 200 missing. It is no wonder . . . with no decent checkout system in place and no one in charge.

OK, so here I am, now starting to catalog the myriad of books that had never been catalogued and the job is overwhelming to me. I counted 24 things to do to each book by time as it is placed on the shelf. THIS IS A BIG JOB and neither of my helpers wants to type and typing is slowing me down.

Sooooooooooooooooo, three weeks ago I placed a notice in the church bulletin that I could use some typists in my work with the library. I asked for temporary helpers or full time helpers; any day, any time; for one time or every week; or once a month or twice a year. . . was not particular. I would take all that offered. Week one. . . nothing. Week two . . . nothing yet.

Finally,last Sunday, TWO (2) people volunteered to come and type at church. One will make the title, author and subject cards and the other will type the book pockets and cards. I already type the spine numbers. I also type the accesion list. They start this week! I am sooooooooo happy!

This morning and part of the afternoon, I spent working over at church, getting shelves of books ready for the different people that work on the cataloging. Got at least one shelf of work for each helper, filled with books that are in different stages.

Art files all the cards in the three drawer metal cabinet and glues in the date due slips and stamps page 13 with our church name. He also helps me decide if it is a church related book that agrees with doctrines of our faith when I am not sure. . . most of them, I can do myself but it never hurts to have a 2nd opinion. He catalogs his own books at his home and is a voracious reader. He used to invite the Jehovah Witness people over so he could prove them wrong. Ü They refuse to visit him any longer. lol

Dorothy helped me sort the cards in the title, subject and author drawers when we first started since we needed to make sure we had all the cards for books that were already catalogued. She now helps at home with the videos -- she has a few more to type cards for and I am glad I don't have to deal with them!

Ka 'ren will now be my typist for the three cards: title author, and subject. . . sometimes there is more than one subject card. I write down all the information for her and she will type it on the appropriate cards using samples I made for her.

Elaine will type the pockets and check out cards. She wants to take them home to do but after the first few hundred that she hauls back and forth, I bet she will opt to bring her typewriter there or use the one I have stored in the cabinet -- on a different day than Ka 'ren volunteers.

I will continue writing down the cataloging info, puting clear plastic covers on the nicer books with jackets and a sealed plastic cover for special paperbacks. I will continue to type the numbers for the spine and put tape over them and colored tape for certain types of books to make them stand out for sections like Fiction or Children's books. I will keep up the accession list on my laptop and keep the supplies ordered. I will repair the books that need it. I will also shelf all the books in the narthex (or the overflow in the room where we are working) and write articles to encourage people to make use of the library for Sunday bulletins and the monthly newsletter. This is a big job even with help!

You would think I would be looking for the day when all the books are catalogued . . . I am . . . because then I get to do some ordering of current books and that is something I know I will enjoy! All the hard work will be worth it. Then I can start all over again with MORE hard work. . . am I a glutton for punishment or what?

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