I was born and raised in the Midwest. I was used to months with snow piled ten feet high in parking lots, freezing temperatures, and day after day of dreary skies. When I moved to southern North Carolina, I was sure those weeks of winter blues, that drab period after Christmas with no sign of spring in sight, was surely a thing of the past. Eight years later, I now find myself freezing if it gets below 40 degrees and running to the window to catch a glimpse if there’s even the slightest chance of snow.
Regardless of your location, it’s easy to feel a little drab and dreary this time of year. As children’s librarians, how can we turn those blues into a more enjoyable season for both our patrons and ourselves?
Change It Up
This time of year may be the chance to try moving around your story times or adding that special program you never had the opportunity to present during your busy summer. Though winter participation may not be as high as your summer reading club attendance, now may be the time to try a new interactive activity with your next school group or enhance your storytelling techniques. Who knows? Trying out a change during these slower winter months may be the perfect antidote to combat those winter blues both you and your patrons may be feeling this time of year.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Do you feel like you need a jumpstart after your break from the holidays? Find a co-worker willing and able to help you battle those winter blues. Hopefully, we all have those colleagues we can turn to when we feel a little down, but if you are a children’s librarian working alone, go outside your system if needed to find a colleague you can bounce off new ideas. It’s necessary for us to strengthen those relationships with the young patrons and their families we serve, but it’s also critical that we develop a network of colleagues for support and inspiration. Becoming part of a community may help us out of a funk any time of year.
Add a Little Fun
My co-worker had a great idea to start a birthday club for those staff members interested in participating at our community library. We celebrate birthdays at our branch one day a month with gourmet cupcakes and cards. This treat is a special time for us to connect with one another. It carves out the time we need to take a break and to celebrate. Participation in these types of shared activities can definitely help lift spirits during these winter months.
Depending on your location, spring may still be several weeks or even several months away. Your suggestions could bring a little light into another dreary day. What tips do you have for beating those winter blues? Please share in the comments below!