Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Love Being a Librarian

I serve on the school board for the K-8 elementary school my children go to. The individual who is currently serving as the part-time librarian recently asked for assistance in locating a system to automate the library's small collection. I researched several products and found some nice reviews. I also sent a query to several library related listservs I'm on to get some feedback from various users. The response was absolutely amazing in that I received multiple suggestions from a variety of librarians who currently serve in school libraries or are familiar with the needs of schools and other very small libraries. Today, I was completely blown away in that the librarian whom I've never met and lives in another state and who authored a review of a particular automation system emailed to give her input. After a few emails back and forth, she offered to provide consulting services via email as well. It happens that the product she reviewed is at the top of the short list I presented to our school system as suggested products and is reasonably priced as well so it is quite likely I will have questions for her. This is yet another example of the ways in which fellow librarians have responded to random questions posed to assist with purchasing decisions, technology help, and other needs. I hope I have been able to assist other librarians in similar ways.

Friday, May 25, 2012

104 Days of Summer Vacation

Actually, at our house summer vacation is only 89 days, but that doesn’t quite sound as cool. As of yesterday, my children are officially 2nd and 5th graders and our summer has started! Our summer kicked off with a quick trip to Chicago along with my daughter’s friend on Wednesday. All the kids had a great time although mom and dad were definitely worn out but the end. A variety of activities are on the summer agenda for the kids. I like to keep them busy enough that they keep learning and have fun, yet allow enough down time that they are ready to go back to school in August. My son's first question after getting his report card was if we can do "mommy school." We use that opportunity to review the last year's concepts and get a bit ahead on the next year. Both children will be attending a variety of camps including 4-H camp, church camp, and Cub Scout camp. We plan to do some camping as a family as well. Of course, if you are going camping that also means a lot of swimming and swimming lessons. Other mainstays of our summer are Vacation Bible School and participating in the summer library reading program. Both kids will also spend a week at grandma's house on the farm. Our oldest will spend a lot of time working on her 4-H projects. We signed up for quite a few, but fortunately, there is some overlap between projects. I’m really excited to supervise a vast amount of cookie baking (and eating) for her foods project. She also has a sewing project, several animal projects, child development, citizenship, leadership, photography, and several nature related projects. We will begin working on my son’s Wolf Cub Scout requirements for next year as well. Fortunately, a number of the requirements are activities that are easily incorporated into summer fun such as planting a vegetable garden and flower and planning an outdoor meal. Both kids have been troopers in helping to plant and weed our vegetable garden which has moved from our front yard to a community garden plot. Our front yard is going back to a more respectable flower garden. The highlight of our summer is our planned summer vacation in July, but we’ll keep that destination under wraps for another post. Of course, countless other activities will be experienced “before school starts this fall!”