I have been a children’s librarian for just about seven months now and, so far, my transition into the profession has been a pretty easy one. There hasn’t been any tears, the library is still up and running strong and, as far as I know, I haven’t seriously angered any patrons. However, I’m still a newbie, and there have been a few mistakes on my part — such as the thing with the pasta.
The thing with the pasta started in the Spring as we were gearing up for Summer Reading. My supervisors announced to me at one of our planning meetings that I would be in charge of crafts over the summer program. During the school year, we have a library assistant plan and present the crafts program every other week, but during the summer it would be all me, every week for 12 weeks, and I was to not only plan the crafts, but buy the supplies as well. They told me to plan on 100 kids showing up for each craft program. Needless to say, I was very intimidated and, as a result, I may have over prepared.
One of the crafts I planned involved gluing pasta onto construction paper to make pasta art. I had a mental image of tables filled with kids gluing as much pasta as they could onto their papers, so when it came time to buy the pasta, I bought a lot. And I mean a lot.
You can probably guess what happened. While we did have close to 100 kids for the first couple of weeks of crafts, by the time we got to week 5, which was my pasta craft week, we suddenly dropped from about 90 kids to…20. Yeah, that’s right, we had 20 kids, and waaaay too much pasta. I told the kids that they could make as many pictures as they wanted and that they could use as much pasta as they wanted — and they took me up on my offer — but we still only went through one and a half boxes that day.
This week I tried to get rid of more pasta by having the kids make rain sticks (also, I joked with the parents that maybe the rain sticks would actually work and we’d get rain…no such luck yet). But, again, we only had 15 kids show up. These kids tried their best to use up the pasta; each one made more than one rain stick and would fill the paper towel tubes up with pasta. But we still only used about two and a half boxes.
It was a good program: The kids loved their rain sticks, and many of them did a rain dance around the room while shaking the rain sticks. And I did learn from this experience, especially about how much pasta to buy for craft projects. But I’m still left with a cabinet full of pasta and no idea what to do with it (aside from giving the unopened boxes to staff). Any suggestions you guys may have will definitely be welcome. 🙂