Friday, October 10, 2008

Bookmobile Adventure 2008

I've been remiss about posting tedious updates about my knitting or tedious updates about exercising because work has been interesting.

Remember when I made two baby surprise jackets this summer? Well, both the mommies are still out on maternity leave, which produces an 80-hour-per-week staffing hole. The rest of the staff have been amazing about filling in, but they were getting tired, so I decided to step up and help: I offered to spend two weeks working on the bookmobile.

This has been a blast. Our service isn't actually a traditional bookmobile; instead, staff use wheeled bookcases to bring the materials into the places we visit. We set up a little mini-library in the lobbies, hallways, or activity rooms of various daycares, senior centers, or apartment complexes. We call it the WOW Mobile, "WOW" standing for "Words on Wheels." After grounds maintenance, it's the most physically demanding job of our library (those carts are heavy).

The first day, two of our stops were at the north end of our county service area, and the third was at the south end. I began to wonder if we needed to change the groupings. But it became clear as the days progressed that the Outreach Department does a good job of balancing the scheduling needs of their customers with the logistics of getting around the county. Still, I decided to keep adding the places I visit to the map:

View Larger Map

Because of meetings, I've had to cancel 3 of the 10 days that I'd planned to be out on the WOW, but I'm looking forward to making them up later this year.


Anonymous said...

I bet that is rewarding work. But why don't you hire any maternity replacements? Or is that one of hte downsides of short maternity leaves? Here in Canada most librarians would be entitled to a whole year of maternity leave which means you can hire someone on a one-year contract to cover them.

yarmando said...

We don't typically hire maternity replacements -- can't afford them. But staffing was stretched very thin, so we gave some part-timers more hours, shifted some full-timers around, and hired a couple temps. I'm just stepping in at the end to help relieve pressure that has been building since July.