Here’s another one of those “things I didn’t learn in library school” topics: puppet storage.
Around the time I started this job, they completed a medium-sized remodeling project in the YS department. A major portion of the work happened behind-the-scenes. They remodeled the office space and built a staff workroom. We have a decent amount of storage space, but any YS librarian can tell you: there’s no such thing as “enough storage space” in the children’s department of a public library.
Two of the toughest storage challenges are puppets. Yes, they’re cute and cuddly, but they are also a huge pain in the ass to organize/store. (Please pardon my French, but I tried “patooty” and it just didn’t cut it.) In the past these were stored on shelves, garbage bags, in hampers, and in piles. Now we keep all of our storytime stuff (puppets, storytime books, big books, flannel boards, ellison machine, and puppets in the workroom. Maintenance was nice enough to mounted a wire shelf to the wall. Then I heard that adult services decided to stop storing A/V materials in media pouches. I asked tech services what was they were planning to do with them after they finished re-cataloging the materials. They said “toss them”, so I asked if I could have them.
The bags started rolling in about a week later. Eventually, I had 2 ENORMOUS boxes of them. I’ve put them to good use all over the department. They’ve been particularly good for storing puppets. They’re great because 1) they come in several different sizes (we use 4 sizes to store puppets: S, M, L, XL); 2) they’re sturdy; and 3) the clear window makes it easy to see what’s inside.
Most of the puppets fit in one of the 4 sizes. We place each puppet in a pouch, label it, and hang it from the bottom of the underside of the wire shelf using an “s” hook. Oh, and they’re in alphabetical order.
The larger puppets sit on top of the shelf. When the top of the shelf started getting cluttered, Ms. Shelley found clever way to repurpose old magazine files. She lined them up on the shelf, gave each puppet it’s own little seat.
It’s pretty cute when they’re all facing out, they look like they’re ready to watch a movie.
Anyway, that’s about it. Pretty fascinating stuff, huh?