Monday, April 16, 2018

Diary of a bibliothécaire, first time going solo

French Village Diaries Diary of a bibliothécaire la fée Mélusine
La Fée Mélusine

Here is the next instalment of my life in the library. As a part-time, temporary librarian I thought my role would be doing what is necessary to keep things ticking over for the next four months; scanning the books in and out, putting them back on the shelves (in the correct places) and being a welcoming face for the public. However, even though I’ve only been there two weeks, I’ve already had far more autonomy than I expected.

We have a small display area in the library where a different theme can be showcased every few months, in a way that is as eye-catching as possible, in the hope it encourages readers to try something new. Last week I was allowed to pick the new theme, select the books to be included and given free rein on setting it all up. This was another first for me. I’ve never really been into design and wouldn’t really say I have an eye for detail or decorating, but with the help of C’s huge cupboard of treasures, I did my best with some fabrics and even added a bit of sparkle. I created a hat any fairy princess would be proud of, made out of wallpaper, glue and some gold material, all in the hope that La Fée Mélusine will find herself a wider audience. Mélusine is a local fairy legend who I’ve been fascinated with for a while, and where better to learn more about her than the local library.

Last week also saw my first four-and-a-half-hour solo afternoon session. From opening up, ensuring the computers were ready for the internet users, talking to and helping the 18 visitors who came in, answering the phone, dealing with subscription renewals and putting away the returned books, to logging out and locking up, it was all left in my hands. I survived and the library survived, but more than that, I enjoyed it.  

French Village Diaries Diary of a bibliothécaire English stories
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Next week I’ll experience my first school visit. C and I have been busy planning a number of different sessions for little ones aged three to ten, but all on a similar theme – England. Each session will feature a few words in English, some English nursery rhymes and a story we can tell in French and English. I’ve also been down Ed’s old toy box to find some suitably British things to decorate the salle de spectacle with, including a large Union flag, some Minis, a London taxi, some soldiers, a teapot and Paddington Bear.

French Village Diaries Diary of a bibliothécaire English stories
Getting ready for our English themed story time sessions
The older children will be Going on a Bear Hunt with us and the younger ones will be chasing The Queen’s Hat when a gust of wind carries it around London. Who knew being a librarian could be so much fun. 

You can read my previous Diary of a bibliothécaire posts here and here.