Blogger Kary Henry

Letting Go, Making Room

I’ve been feeling a bit contemplative lately. End of year? Winter weather? Regardless of the reason, when I came across an article in The Horn Book Magazine , I was ready to think deeply about letting go and making room.

In the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, Marisabina Russo writes beautifully of her journey from writing picture books to a graphic memoir. The last paragraph of her poignant and powerful article truly resonated with me: “Take a deep breath. Absorb the view. Then try to get ready for whatever comes next.” (emphasis mine) While Russo also shares her journey from a difficult cancer diagnosis to health, that final sentence struck me on a personal and a professional level. In order to “get ready for whatever comes next,” we often have to let go of something now.

Homeschool programming at my library had been going along swimmingly. Two programs every week. A good attendance level in each group. Happy families. True connections. Even throughout the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to maintain relationships over Zoom. We did virtual sticker boards together, thanks to StickTogether. We watched Perseverance land on Mars! Virtually, we did STEM activities, created artwork, learned, and shared laughter and experiences. When we were able to come back to programs in person, things seemed fine.

Until things changed.

Some families moved away. Others transitioned to a different schooling choice. Attendance numbers dropped significantly, sometimes to only two children. First, I went down to one program a week. Next, it was one program every other week. Finally, we made the decision to stop offering the program.

Using Russo’s words, I “absorbed the view.” The view was telling me to let go of homeschool programming. I mourned the loss of something I had built up, loved, and was proud of. I could, and did, revisit how best to meet the needs of homeschool families in our area.

But the do-er in me realized that, in letting go of one thing, I would have the ability/time/energy to take on something else. The “next” thing. This next thing has me excited and energized and eagerly serving a different group of patrons in a way we hadn’t been.

In addition, that brief hiatus from homeschool programming allowed me to revisit what we were doing. Perhaps more importantly, I examined how we were doing it and to make necessary changes that will hopefully help us regrow the program when the time is right.

The personal and professional connections I made to Marisabina Russo’s essay were impactful. I’m grateful for how she shared her journey and how that helped me reframe mine.


This ALSC blog post addresses the following competency: I. Commitment to Client Group

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