13 April 2013
Mark has several old T-shirts that we've held onto for possible costumes or other fabric needs. I'd already snatched two to turn into a new dress for Emma (more on that later). So I found a third one and, in about half and hour, turned it into a nightgown.
The nightgown was a quick and dirty sewing job. I cut the sleeves down and took a couple of inches off the side seams. The dress was suppose to be a better fit.
13 January 2013
I know that getting more exercise would be a good thing for me. And I have many ideas for drawings, but don't ever get around to executing them. But any time I devote to those things is less time to spend with Emma with Mark. Working full-time already takes a lot of time away from them and I'm reluctant to add more time away from them. But, I have decided on four things that I would like to accomplish this year.
1) Make a quiet book for Emma. I went and bought a lot of materials for this already and have started to piece some pages together. This will be a gospel inspired book. Pages will include the Creation, the Tree of Life, the Resurrection and the Restoration.
2) Finish the knitted scarfs. I start knitting scarfs in Glasgow with the hopes of selling them. But then we moved. And the scarfs have been sitting on the needles, just waiting for me to pick them up again. (Do you know anyone who needs a scarf?)
3) Read 50 books. My reading options have been rather scarce over the past year and half. I only read about 25 books last year. I hope to double that this year. And I have a plan to read more bestsellers, and expand into Amish fiction, so that I can better understand my patron's reading interests.
4) Finish the cross stitch I started in Japan. This is a 14" x 14" ballet dancer. I don't know if I'll accomplish this one. I tend to underestimate how long cross stitch projects take.
That's a lot of projects, but they have a definite start, you can see how much progress you're making, and an ending, which is what I need this year.
And now for all of you who didn't see the pictures on FB, here's Emma at Christmas.
|Helping Daddy open his present.|
|Playing with her cousin inside the ladybug tent.|
|Discovering a new toy, and eying on of her cousin's.|
|Its snow! (eewww)|
28 December 2012
There will be more changes coming though. The director is retiring in the summer and the Children's Manager is retiring in March. I hope we get someone excited about changes. There is another librarian I work with who has a lots of plans. Plans to change the layout, online services, and classes. I have plans for social media, reorganizing the DVDs, and Reader's Advisory. It'd be great if they find someone as excited about changing things around as we are.
A few thing still frustrate me. I don't like Horizon (the catalog system). There are some searches it just can't handle, like limiting by type of item and location. I can't make my own lists. And I can't place holds for patrons on more then one item at a time. Some administrative procedures frustrate me too because I can't get a clear answer on how to do it. I ask, and get told to ask someone else. And it just goes round and round.
And I also occasionally answer the phones "Central Library" instead of "LPL Reference Desk."
19 August 2012
I'm having mixed feelings about this. I don't feel nearly as good about this move as I did when we moved to Montana. But we all know how that worked out, so maybe this is good thing. When I flew down to Virginia a week and a half ago, the staff were all very excited and kept telling me how much they wanted me to come and work for them. And I really want to go work with them, but I'm not sure how well I'm going to fit in. They may be expecting a programing, social media guru, and I'm not that. Yes, I've done my fair share of programing and I know how to use social media, but those aren't my best areas of librarianship, and I'm not sure how much of lit and RA skills I'll be able to use there.
Yes, I believe I'm having some expectation anxiety here. I didn't have much of those for the Glasgow job because, 1) I hadn't met the staff beforehand; and 2) I was going to be the head honcho. I could use all of my skills in whatever way I saw fit.
After word reached the Glasgow library staff that I was moving, one of the assistants told me that the Board was considering asking me back. I don't know if that happened at the last public board meeting or in a private meeting, but it's come as a shock. A part of me wants to stay here. A part of me really wants to run this library. I know I could do good here.
I also know I couldn't work with the current board. About two weeks ago, one of them appeared at story time with her grand-kids. She hung out afterwards and tried to talk to me. This is the first time any of the board members have attempted this, outside of board meetings and the polite "Hellos" they've given me in the grocery store. I'm afraid I didn't let her say much. You know how scary quiet people can get when they finally loose it and explode? Yep, that was me. Its possible she wanted to talk to me about coming back, but if it was, she choose the worst way to start a conversation with me. Maybe if she hadn't started off by asking about my job hunt, I wouldn't have become an angry Fluttershy.
But, the board hasn't tried to contact me since, so if were reconsidering me, they haven't been very vocal about it. Its not like they don't have my phone number and email. There are other ways to reach me besides hanging out at story time.
So the mixed feelings probably aren't going to go away until the uhaul is packed, the car is loaded and we pull out of this little, middle of nowhere town.
30 July 2012
Its also been a big crochet and knit month. I finished a skirt for Emma, which wound up not being the right size (she grew) which I've decided to try and sell. I'm like to get $15 for it, but I can negotiate. It should fit a 9-12 month old, provided she isn't a really tall baby.
04 July 2012
- eating with her fingers, even if its not a finger food, like soup and pudding,
- animals, especially the neighbor's dog,
- "reading", she will open her books, flip through the pages and babble to herself.
- the vacuum -- its big, makes a loud noise, and she once tipped it over onto herself,
- Daddy leaving the house without her,
- going to bed.
09 May 2012
And here I thought things were going so well.
We've been very busy in the Johnston household. First, we moved from Japan to Boise, ID. Mark had several interviews lined up and he aced them all. So we were going to stay in Boise. Then he found out he couldn't start right away, like they told him he could. Because of his international background, it was going to take a month to complete his background check. But that was okay, because he had another job offer in Utah. So we moved to Utah and stayed in my parents rental in Roy. He had to wait to pass his CDL before he could start training, but that was okay. Training wouldn't start until the end of April anyway which gave him time to study.
Meanwhile, I had been contact with a little library in the middle of nowhere Montana that was looking for a new director. A gentleman from their local workforce services department had found my information somewhere and invited me to apply. He said the board was interested in giving me an interview and they were figuring out how that interview was going to take place. I didn't want to drive all the way out there without some sort of compensation. Gas is expensive, and if I was going to travel to an interview without a firm offer, then there were better options then this place. But, they decided to try a Skype interview. Unfortunately, none of them knew how to work Skype. The first twenty minutes or so of my interview was my instructing them in how to connect with someone though Skype. They hadn't bothered to try to research that before the interview, and none of them had an account set up. Thank goodness one of the board member's spouses had a Facebook account (You can now Skype through Facebook. Its kind of neat.) or the interview probably wouldn't have taken place at all.
I thought the interview went well, but not fabulous. To my surprise, the next day they called and offered me the job. I accepted. That was on a Wednesday. The next Tuesday we drove off to the middle of nowhere Montana.
Flying into Boise to arriving in Glasgow, MT took 18 days. Things were falling into place. We didn't have a place to live yet, but we had several leads and another board member was kind enough to put us in her basement while we waited. It didn't take long. Housing is very rare here. There's an oil boom happening in North Dakota, and Glasgow is close enough to get spill over from that. Plus the railroad has been hiring, so there's a large influx of new families and not enough housing to go around. I think if someone were to build an apartment complex, it would do very well. So were extremely blessed to find the rental that we did as quickly as we did. We moved in on April 25th, only a week after we arrived.
I had started work on April 19th. I wasn't suppose to start until we found housing. But with nothing to do but wait on that, I decided I may as well be working; earning some money and learning about the library's systems and the community. I got no formal training. One board member gave me a tour of the library. The previous director volunteered a couple of hours to give me an overview on some of the administrative procedures. My total training time with other people had been less then 8 hours, barely a full day. The previous director had been very sweet in letting me call her whenever I have had questions. The staff have been marvelous in showing me how things have been done. But most of the systems were a matter of trail and error. At the same time I'm making lists of contacts, finding out the current status of several different projects and grants, getting my name put on all the library accounts, sending out press releases on current library programs, brainstorming new programs, deciphering the budget, creating staff schedules, reading book reviews, ordering new materials, researching prices for new library furniture, and creating new incident procedures. I'm learning how the current procedures work so I can figure out what, if anything, needs to be changed to be patron friendly and/or efficient.
As of May 3rd, 5:30 PM MST, we are jobless again. And I don't know why. That night was my first board meeting. I had meet all of the board during my interview of course. Since I started work they had all dropped in to say "hi" and "welcome" but not much else. The first thing they said to me was "You're not really what we were looking for. You're not what we expected so we're offering you a severance package. We think its very generous. You'll be given two weeks pay. Do you have any personal items in the office? No. Then we'll have your keys. Bye." I tried asking what is was I've done to make them come to that conclusion. They won't tell me. Only that I don't match their vision. They're sorry for the miscommunication. More like no communication. How am I suppose to work on their vision when they won't tell me what it is?
The longest conversation I had with any of them was on a car ride back from a library federation meeting in Wolf Point. I had gotten a ride out with another director from Malta. (I was a stop along her way, and when I accepted her offer, I didn't know who, if any, of the board member were going.) Since I arrived I had been warned to beware of a couple of the board members. That they seems like nice people, but they were very hard to work with. This particular board member had struck me as being kind a bully, and I'm wary of bullies. So I was that thrilled to be riding with her, but I did want to get to know her and what she wanted for the library. Our conversation was not very enlightening. She had a few ideas of what she wanted. Booktalks to all the book clubs in town, visits to the schools and unincorporated towns in the county, which I was all for. But she didn't know how many book clubs there actually were in town or how to reach any of them, other then her own. Nor did know how many towns there were in the county. So I put that on my list of things to research. I'm afraid I wasn't very forthcoming with my own ideas because a lot of them were, and still are, half formed. I had only been on the job for a week and was still feeling overwhelmed with everything I had to learn. It didn't help that we had just come from a federation meeting where I had learned even more was required of me. I don't know if that car ride was my undoing, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.