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New Year, New Goals

We are almost two weeks into 2024 – how are you feeling about those New Year’s resolutions? I made a new goal for myself last year – not to make New Year’s resolutions on the first day of the year. The first few weeks bring post-holiday catch-up projects that make new priorities hard to accomplish. Instead, I like to spend January thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, and make a goal by February 1. 

What is something you want to try to accomplish this year? Consider some of these ideas:

  • Learn – Learning is a common goal – and there are so many ways to dive into new topics! Planning to carve out extra time for learning in 2024? Research online courses or make a case to attend ALSC National Institute this fall. Want something a little more self-paced? Check out new or recorded webinars or explore a different professional tool. This year, my youth team plans to explore the Autism-Ready Libraries Toolkit.
  • Expand Storytime – Storytimes are a daily or weekly staple in the lives of many children’s librarians. Want to add something new this year? Supercharged Storytimes refreshed its content in 2023. Looking for a smaller time commitment? Jbrary’s 2023 Favorite Storytime Picture Books list has dropped – you could make it a goal to read each recommended title. Maybe you’ll find a new storytime favorite!
  • Volunteer – This might be the year to volunteer – in your local community or perhaps virtually through ALSC or another professional organization. Learn more about ALSC Committees here. Keep an eye on ALSC Connects for open meeting dates – you can attend a virtual meeting or two to see if there is a committee that might be a great fit for you.
  • Stop – New Year’s goals often add to your plate – but that isn’t always feasible or best for you or your workload. January can be a good time to step back and look critically at all of your commitments. Maybe you don’t want to drop a monthly program series mid-school-year, but this might be the year to have a program take a break in the summer and not return in the fall. Love visiting classrooms monthly, but the time commitment is just too much? Maybe this is the year to change that to quarterly visits. Taking a break – or fully stopping a service, program, or other commitment – is always okay.
  • Add Something New That Isn’t Related to Work – My favorite goal for the last two years has been to add something to my life that isn’t work related. I enjoy my ALSC volunteer commitments, and I love reading children’s literature, but all of that relates to my job (and I do much of that work outside of work hours). Would I read kids books even if I wasn’t a Youth Manager? Of course. Would I read as many? Probably not. I wanted to fill my life with things that didn’t feel so connected to my job. I started volunteering at our local zoo and subscribed to monthly tickets for traveling theater productions. I love both, and both let me separate from my job. What is something you can add to your life that lets you separate from work? 

No matter what your goal is for 2024 (or your lack of a goal – no goal is okay too!), the ALSC Membership Committee wishes you all a great year of books, kids, and libraries (and hopefully a little less pivoting in 2024 – let’s leave that behind in 2020-2023). 

Annamarie Carlson is the Youth Manager at Westerville Public Library, and a member of the 2023-2024 ALSC Membership Committee. 

This blog post relates to ALSC Core Competencies of: VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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