Monday, March 27, 2017

This Time of Year

This is one of my storytime faces. Chosen because it is a face I have made many times this month when failing to manage my stress. 
It's this time of year again. The time of year that we're really working hard at getting everything ready to go for the Summer Reading Club. This is the hardest time of year for me. Which is why this blog has been pretty quiet lately. :)

This is a time for planning, for getting everything into place so that we're ready for Summer Reading. It's the time to think of ALL the things you need to think about so that summer goes as smoothly as possible. In fact, tt's hard for me to stop thinking constantly about what's on my task list, what due dates are coming up, what we're going to do for XYZ, how Program X is going to work, how we're going to staff all the things we've got planned. Even when I'm trying to fall asleep. Even on my days off.

This time period is a special challenge for me this year because we are changing so much:

  • We're switching to a new online Summer Reading software (we're going with Beanstack), which is very exciting but also a lot of work. 
  • It's my teen librarian's first year planning and doing the Summer Reading Club, so I'm trying to be supportive of him (and it's my first year really needing to be involved with this so much since our previous teen librarians were more experienced). 
  • I'm developing a whole system of new "Pop-Up Library" outreach visits to try to target our underserved populations of kids and families and get some books into those hands. My director is super excited about this project and wanting to get the entire library involved, which is great, but it's a very involved project. 
  • We are hopefully going to have an intern to help with the outreach project? But I've never hired one before, so we're starting from scratch with that process, too. 
And all of this is good, exciting stuff, but it's a lot of new stuff. A lot of learning and trial-and-error and planning and thinking and coordinating. And a lot of things are up in the air, which is is hard for me to deal with. I like projects that are finished. I like plans that are firm so we know what's going to happen. 

There's a lot of good that's already come from all these things that are in the works. Maybe the best thing is that I've made some great connections with folks in our school system and our community and found them to be super supportive and enthusiastic of what we're trying to do. I'm sure that our outreach visits will be fine, and no matter how they go we'll be taking notes to improve the service next year. But if nothing else, we've made some new partners, which is awesome. 

I'm heading to the Power Up Conference in Leadership for Youth Services Management and Staff at the end of this week and I'm super excited to learn from some awesome leaders in our field. And then when I get back, it's going to be scheduling school visits, training staff, getting the final pieces into place with our outreach, and basically steamrolling right through until summer starts. 

Summer is always super busy, but I actually like June and July better than I like March, April, and May because by the time it's June there's no more thinking. There's no more planning. There's only DOING and coming into work each day to do what needs to be done. (It helps that our local schools have gone to a balanced schedule, so our entire Summer Reading Club is just 8 weeks long! For some reason that feels SO much more manageable than 10 weeks!)

So, here we go. Into this time of year. We'll get through it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reading Wildly: Romance

For our March Reading Wildly meeting, we read romance. This was a genre suggested by one of my staff members and once we put it on the schedule, I started noticing how often I was getting requests for romance, too, particularly at our teen desk.

Here's what we read and shared at our meeting:
Next month, we're reading manga, which is outside the comfort zone of many of us (if not all of us!). We've reached out to our Teen Anime Club to suggest some series that we should check out, but if you have any manga recommendations, I'd love to hear what you suggest!