Things People Have Said to Me About the New Library That Turned Out to Be Untrue

  1. Henrietta will never build a new library. Someone said this to me seven years ago, on my third day on the job. At the time I hadn’t given the idea of a new library even a tiny thought as I was preoccupied with learning everyone’s name. We’ll open our new building in July.
  2. Henrietta will never bond for anything. We’ve bonded for a touch over $8 million.
  3. Voters will never pass a project that costs over $9 million. I also heard $5, $6, $7, and $8 million cited at the highest amounts voters would tolerate. 62% of voters approved our $12.5 million dollar project when we went out to referendum in November 2017.
  4. They will try to cut _________. Many people have said this to me, and the blank has been many things, including square feet, shelving, the children’s room, the book drop, air conditioning, and the elevator. The implication of “they” also changed depending on who was speaking. What actually happened is that the building team used data and input from the community to build a rational and sensible building plan focused on the library’s mission and the community’s goals. The library we’re building is the library we need.
  5. Everyone will try to take advantage of you. This is a wearying position to put yourself in. Everyone I’ve dealt with has been fair and open, and there is nothing wrong with honest negotiation processes and businesses trying to turn a profit. Making a profit is the point of building a business, and it should concern you if you are dealing with a businessperson who doesn’t care about the financial health of their company. From your end as someone purchasing goods and services, there are laws, regulations, policies, and best practices to follow to make sure everyone gets a fair deal.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. If you’re looking to do a big project of any type, people will get uncomfortable–even, maybe especially, if they support your idea–and they’ll say things to you out of that discomfort that may be based more on feelings than facts. Your job as a leader is to know and remember what is true. That’s a strength and skill that you can build, nurture, and support.

Maybe I’ll do another entry on coping mechanisms.

“Put a Fork in the Road with Me”

Tonight I was going to do my homework for this finance class I’m taking, which is to read chapters one through twelve in Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers (Third Edition) by Thomas A. McLaughlin.

Then I remembered I had leftover buttermilk in the fridge.

That’s when I got out one of my newer favorite baking books, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, which I love for a lot of reasons, one of them being that the large number of recipes almost guarantees that if you are any kind of baker, you can always find something that you can bake with ingredients that are already in your kitchen. I could have at least read two chapters of Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers (Third Edition) in the time it took me to decide on trying a recipe that was new to me, Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake. A bummer about this recipe is that I do not keep malted milk powder in my supplies, so I was unable to make the chocolate malt buttercream frosting the recipe calls for (nor did I have any heavy cream for the ganache I contemplated), but I decided that I could substitute the marshmallow frosting I learned about last weekend when I baked Dorie’s Devil’s Food White-Out Cake. I don’t really like marshmallow, but I am kind of obsessed with making it because making it feels like magic.

So instead of reading chapters one through twelve of Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers (Third Edition), I listened to Jack White and the Black Keys and baked a chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting. When I had downtime in the baking process, I brazenly read Entertainment Weekly because Danny McBride interviews the Black Keys in the new issue. That’s an obvious choice.

The cake is quite good, probably the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made, and it’s not even for an occasion. I ate a slice tonight, I’ll probably eat a slice for breakfast tomorrow, and then I’ll bring the rest to work on Tuesday. I’ll have to bake this cake again at some point, although I’d use a different frosting. Probably ganache like I wanted to do in the first place.

All this goes to say that I have been up to my usual antics while I haven’t been blogging, although watat has been on my mind for a few weeks now. I keep making notes in my notebooks about things I want to write about here. When I logged in to post this, it had been so long since the last time I logged on that I’d forgotten my password. I also had so many updates to run that WordPress was having a little panic attack about it.

I don’t know if I’ll really write more. Or when. I have to read chapters one through twelve in Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers (Third Edition).

Also there’s still more buttermilk in the fridge.

About Me

New readers keep asking, “Who is this Children’s Librarian?” “What’s wrong with her?” Well, here are some answers:

Name: Adrienne Furness

Profession: Children’s Librarian, freelance writer

E-mail: [email protected]

Pets: 2 cats, Benny and Ella

Favorite Color: purple, but I sort of like them all

Favorite Food: fried egg sandwich, something from the Leaf & Bean

Least Favorite Food: Miracle Whip

Favorite Defense Mechanism: humor

Favorite Book: How Reading Changed by Life by Anna Quindlen

Some Favorite Picture Book Authors and Illustrators: Tony Johnston, Kevin Henkes, Jules Feiffer, David Shannon, Mo Willems, Ellen Stoll Walsh , Simms Taback, Margie Palatini, Harry Bliss, Jan Thomas

Some Favorite Chapter Book/Teen Authors: Jack Gantos, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Richard Peck, Linda Sue Park, Lemony Snicket, Meg Cabot, M.T. Anderson, and J.K. Rowling

Some Favorite Authors for Grown-Ups: Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, and Anne LaMott

Some Favorite Comics: Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Amelia Rules, For Better or For Worse, Pickles, Unshelved, and The Boondocks.

Favorite Movies: Too many to even think about listing. Reality Bites is a movie I’ve watched repeatedly and still enjoy. I will watch literally any horror movie, especially if it features zombies.

Favorite Directors: Easier question — Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, Tim Burton

Favorite Television Shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Babylon 5, Veronica Mars, Robot Chicken, The Office (BBC and US), The Daily Show, Jericho, LOST, Mad Men

What I’m Listening to These Days: White Stripes, REM, Fiona Apple, The Bens, Green Day, Weezer, They Might be Giants, Frank Sinatra (as if you don’t love him), Ok Go, Ani DiFranco, Hellogoodbye, The Mountain Goats, The Llama Song

Favorite Shoes: How does a girl choose? Currently my blue slide sandals with the white flowers.