January is an engaging time! It’s a new year, a new month, and a new decade! Sometimes it stresses me out to think of all the ways that I can get newly energized with this spirit. I like to think of it as my Leslie Knope spirit- as I am always trying to better myself as a children’s librarian, manager, friend, and human being.
Let’s grab our glasses- Laurie Berkner style, and have a look at some ways to refresh.
Maybe this is the year that you try a planner to organize your children’s library life of story times, professional developments, outreaches, etc– while giving yourself space to jot down new ideas, and maybe even plan a life outside of work.
But also– maybe this is the year that you ditch your planner! I have spent oodles of money on fancy planners that seemed intent to tame my wild nature and control my out of box ideas, and yet then I only ever use it for two months and lose it. Instead of shelling out $20- $50 on a fancy planner, I picked up a $7 one at Marshall’s and let’s just see how it goes. A planner won’t fix my life, so no more pressure trying to make it work.
This is a great time to look at your programs! What are people clamoring to attend? What program have you tried again and again with no luck? There is an opportunity here to take a fresh-eyed approach to see if your community needs match up with what you offer at the branch. Take a minute to talk to the program attendees, kids that don’t come to your tween/teen programs, look at what’s being offered at community events or other libraries in your area, do some professional development, talk to your supervisor, etc. Maybe you need more of one program or less of another? Maybe you are missing an audience that hasn’t connected to the library? This is a chance to relook at it all.
Speaking of- let’s check in on your professional development needs. How long have you been at your current job? Is it still meeting your needs? While it might not be time for a job switch, there might be other opportunities for you to grow in your career. You can talk to a trusted supervisor, or sign up for a mentor (ALSC has a great program), and get some new ideas for your professional self. Or take some time to participate in some webinars or maybe taken an online class from ALA. Or maybe it’s time to write a guest post for this blog (email firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!
Wherever your refresh takes you– now is a great time to harness this new energy into transforming your self and your relation to children’s services. Please share any other refresh ideas that you have in the comments below!