Chocolate Cake and Group Hugs

by Laura Findlay


Dear Zoo,

Well, it’s been a week. I’m actually writing from my bed, with a hint of sunshine poking into the room (it will rain soon). After what was a spectacular week of Roald Dahl madness, my final outreach visits, ophop wins, frantic school holiday planning and Moomins and I have succumbed to some sort of bug which I am trying to destroy with large quantities of Vitamin C.

This week had numerous high points and each of these made me think about how lucky I am to have fallen into librarianship. We celebrated what would have been Dahl’s 100 birthday with chocolate cake, afternoon tea, activities and prizes. One quirk of being a librarian is that you spend most of your time creating things that will hopefully engage your visitors without ever knowing if they actually will until you send them out into the world. This week was especially pleasing because the activities were all a hit. We had a quiz-meets-scavenger hunt on Dahl himself, book reviews, a BFG  dream jar collection, fox origami and word puzzles.

This week was also interesting because I had my last visit to the kindergartens. This experience – outreach – has been the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of my job here. My trip this week involved introducing children to lemurs through ‘Follow Me’, singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat, with lots of frantic rowing, looking at other kinds of movement and meeting my friend Mr. Kiwi the hand puppet who likes gentle pats and pecking small children’s hands in search of worms. He was the star of the show. Librarianship is also often surprising and this week I was surprised with flowers and cards and a spontaneous giant group hug with one of my preschool groups. It makes me happy that children first learn to be loving and generous with their love before the world kind of tramples that out of us.

I’ll save the rest of the week for another post. And oh look, in the paper again. Fourth time in as many months.

Yours with 5 weeks to go,