ASSOCIATES (vol. 7, no. 1, July 2000) -

View From The Backroom

Motherhood, The Sequel



Carol Borzyskowski
Library Associate II
Winona Public Library
Winona, MN 55987


For the last many (donít ask!) years I have worked with children only from behind the circulation desk. This year, things have really changed both at work at and home.

Okay, I am just coming right out with it. I am a grandmother now. Both my son and daughter had baby girls within the last year. Otherwise my experience with children, and babies has been pretty limited and in the past.

How does this relate to the library you wonder?

Well, our Children's Librarian quit right at the start of the big SUMMER READING PROGRAM. She did have everything planned and the performers engaged, but we needed to find staff to do all the storytimes scheduled. Guess who volunteered to handle the 3rd and 4th graders?


Right. Staff seemed amazed. Several comments made were on the order of, "I canít picture you in the children's department."

It really must be time to polish up the grimy old curmudgeon image I have acquired. Everyone is so used to me just sitting in my windowless backroom behind the circulation desk. In fact it took three weeks of reminders just not to be scheduled on circulation desk while storytime was going on. I was out of my place!

Storytime is going great by the way. I seem to have developed a subset of 9 and 10 year groupies. The 3rd week while I was walking around the Children's Department with a hand puppet talking to kids who looked the right age and they started following me little ducks. I collected hugs, and pats, and several were trying to hold my hand.

Our Theme is TICKET TO TOMORROW and I have been doing space, aliens, robots, planets, etc. The kids really love my ALIEN VOICE and my robot moves. So it is turning out to be fun.

I got involved with just the essence of the GREAT IDEA of reading to children. Isn't that simple and profound? There are so many great sites on the Internet to help but here are two that I really liked.



NEAís Raising a Successful Reader

Then to pull in the grandmother thing, I wanted to find out how to set up and run a storytime for infants. So if any of you have a program in place or information on how to, please contact me!

I did write to a few libraries that have infant storytimes, asking for help, and being the nice helpful places libraries are, they wrote back. SO, maybe some information is on the way.

But, what I want to impress on all of you is TAKE A RISK, step outside your job and occasionally volunteer and fill-in for something different. It helps the library in general, the patrons in particular, and you can sit around with a smug satisfied look on your face when someone says, "I didn't know you could do that!"

Next time: Library Lockins, not just for kids!

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