Monday, February 28, 2011


Let me tell you about my Last Day at Work.

It was Dr. Seuss Party Day and I had spent my Last Day Off From Work getting ready for it.  I had red and white striped hats and I had snack bags and I had props and shadow puppets and I had a script my middle grade tellers had written, based on "The Shape of Me and Other Stuff" by Dr. Seuss. 

I had turned "The King's Stilts" into an audience participation story.  I had trivia questions for the Dr. Seuss Facts and Figures Game Show.

Mt teen tellers were on alert with orders to be there early.

I was ready.

But I had to get through the morning.  That was tough.  Because people I really love, and they know who they are, kept coming in to say goodbye.  Thank heavens, I had a full box of tissues at our disposal.

I have been soooo lucky, all these years.  I sat at my desk, or worked in the shelves and the best people in the world came to ME, to talk; to ask my advice on books; share their funny stories; their poems; their successes; their worries. 

Those friendships will survive but I will have to work at it.  I can't just drive to work and know that sooner or later Jan or Connie or Jean or Amy or Denise or Deidre or David or Adam or Andrew or Jack or Christine or Kerry or Fuka or Mollie or Mark, the Origami Man will show up to brighten my day.  (Or Annette or Gloria or Grayce or Sandy or.....There isn't enough room here.  Or Joey or Ashley or Hayley or Erik or  STOP!  or Halle or Katie....)

Okay, enough wallowing.  Then there was the event.  I had four middle grade tellers and four teen tellers.  The teen tellers led the Game Show and the Funky Chicken.  The middle grade tellers did the Reader's Theater.  The kids made a lot of noise and we all had fun.  It was the biggest attendance at a school year performance in YEARS - if ever.

Someone gave the library a donation because it was such a great program.  As Suzanne said on hearing that, "Yesssssss!"

I was given wonderful gifts; a journal, flowers, an original card with pictures of my favorite things, origami pins and magnets (to die for), CHOCOLATE, and a book - written and illustrated and bound just for me by a wonderful family.  (Thanks, Katie, Evelyn, Chelsea and Sara).

Then it was party time and we all gathered for food, remembrances and fun.  George wore shoes!!  Not sandals. 

Kelly and Adam wrote ME a poem and I cried and cried.  I will post it here tomorrow.

Claudia came back from Maryland. 

Suzanne wrote and illustrated a book, entitled "If You Give Karen a Group of Kids...."  It was so funny and so true!

Betsy created a "fake" catalog record, just for me, commemorating an in-library competition.

I had messages from so many people and pictures through the years.

The tears are still falling but I am smiling, too.

Now, today, I plan to........ 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Story Cabaret

Here's an idea.  Gather with people in a cafe atmosphere and listen to well-told stories - adventures, stories of change and transformation, stories about the silly things that people do - grown people, people who should know better, too.  Story Cabaret is a cross between stand-up comedy and one person shows.  And here's the best part.  The audience gets a chance to share, too.  So join the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild and Touchstone Theatre in the first Story Cabaret - Friday, Feb. 25th at 8 pm.  Bring Your Own Story And Wine!  Cost is $10 per person.

Well, I am leaving my day job - the one people have told me not to quit - on Saturday, Feb. 26th.  I host the Dr. Seuss Birthday Party at 2 pm - at the South Whitehall Township Building, next to the Parkland Community Library.  This will be my last appearance as the Youth Services Librarian at that library after 22 and 1/4 years.  I will miss the kids and the parents, my fellow workers and the books.  But here is a list of things I will not miss:

Waiting for the bathroom.  Really, ONE ladies' room for the entire library, public AND staff??!!

Stinkbugs in the ceiling lights - and everywhere else.

Air conditioning that doesn't work in the summer and heating that doesn't work in the winter.

Moving books ON to the overflow cart and then moving them OFF the overflow cart.

Moving furniture and then moving it back.


Being only ten feet away from the snack table.  I have no will power.

Sharing an office with every program and every group that meets in the library.  ALTHOUGH sometimes this is fun.  Go Knitters!

Planning Summer Reading Club!  Let someone else do it this year - and next - and the year after that, too....

Being "in charge"!  It was fun most of the time and I had help being "in charge", but I was the one who had the responsibility.  Time to give that up! 

Squeezing past the Reference Librarian's desk in the workroom and squeezing past the ILL staff person's work station and storing YS stuff in three different places.

Long blue curtains - although if I was more organized we might not need them to hide things behind.

Trying to be organized.  I am NOT good at this at all.  Thank heavens for my assistant, who is.

Getting up five days a week and driving on 22 - and then driving back (sigh).

If I start listing the individuals and things that I will miss - beyond the ones I've mentioned - I might rue my decision to retire.  So I won't.

See you at the Story Cabaret, I hope.  Or at the Dr. Seuss Birthday Party.  Or back here.