Though you may see Julie and Linda around Topsham Public Library, much of their time is spent in the offices working on a variety of responsibilities.
Sometimes people just forget to bring back library items they have checked out. It happens. Julie, Library Aide Plus, sends notices to remind patrons to return these items, and if the items are still not returned, a bill for those items is sent out. Someone has to keep track of these things, and Julie is the one to do it.
But there is much more that Julie does: if you cannot find an item in Minerva or MaineCat she can request it through Maine State Library. They may be able to find an item from a library outside of Maine. In order to use this service, the item has to be older than six months, and if it is costly to replace, Julie informs the patron because if the item is lost in the mail it still has to be paid for. Due to this, Julie likes the items that are requested to be $30.00 or less.
Julie doesn’t just request things, but she also fulfills requests from other libraries. The Area Reference and Resource Center Library is comprised of Maine State Library, Bangor Public Library, and Portland Public Library. They make 3 -4 requests a week that Julie fills with items from our collection.
Other aspects of her job include ordering supplies, cataloging magazines and deleting those that have been in circulation for a year. Julie is also our unofficial official organizer. She loves to organize and sort and clean and make tidy.
Julie’s favorite thing to do is to repair items because she can do some crafting at work. She glues bindings, tapes rips, buffs CDs, re-covers books and audio/visual items, and puts new audio books in the plastic covers. Did you know that the audio books do not come in the plastic cases? Julie does that. Those cases are expensive, but when an audio book is being loaned to hundreds of people, those cases are needed.
It’s a whole different world across the room at Linda’s desk.
Linda gathers all the information about Topsham Public Library programs coming up each month. Then she organizes the information into an article for The Cryer, and this becomes her template for information that is spread all over town via the airways and the internet. That forms the basis for everything else Linda does. Linda creates PowerPoints for each program to put on our electronic bulletin board and to go on the community bulletin board on the town TV station. She also enters the information onto several online calendars around the region, as well as maintains the calendar that is on our website, and she creates a paper copy of the monthly calendar that anyone can pick up at the circulation desk.
That Up & Coming list that everyone looks forward to–well, you all can thank Linda for that, and she is also the one who sends out the weekly newsletter and the special announcements you get via email.
Linda’s favorite thing to do involves mysteries. Annually, Linda organizes and leads an interactive murder mystery evening. About a month prior to the mystery evening everyone chooses a part to play, and they dress up according to their part, and then they all try to solve the murder. It’s a crazy evening with costumes, good food, and quirky characters.
She also facilitates the Mystery Readers’ Roundtable, a monthly mystery book group. What could be more fun than reading lots of books you like to read and then sharing them with others who love them too?
And along those lines–Linda has created a new online resource for all you mystery lovers, Mysteries Abound contains information about Mystery Readers’ Roundtable, a link to a source for all your mysteries in order, and a link for Linda’s own mystery picks. Make sure you check it out!