Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thrive Thursday July Round Up!

I'm happy to say that I'm hosting the Thrive Thursday School Age Round-up for July. Want to know more about Thrive Thursday created by Lisa Shaia? Check out past round ups at Thrive After Three. Make sure you don't miss a thing by following the Pinterest Board and Facebook group!

There are so many great things to share this week, so let's get started.

First of all, there's this article by  Linda Braun on the myth of a "busy summer". I completely understand the sentiment behind it; but, I don't know, maybe it was the fact that I read it after work during #alaleftbehind, but it left me a little salty. I don't think that, when we're commiserating with our Personal Learning Networks, anyone assumes that this means we're not doing things the rest of the year. Here are 2 thoughts this brought to mind: 1) The in-room usage we're talking about in the summertime is definitely unmatched, and that translates as "busy" to me. For instance: during the school year, when I might have 2 Library Stars tours, an outreach visit, and desk time scheduled in one day, I might forgo my lunch break for 30 minutes of catch-up on collection development or program planning. But during the school year, I won't feel the pull to make that choice 8 out of 10 working days in a row (hello, June!). AND I'm one of the lucky ones with a large team to work with. Also, 2) I can't even imagine someone telling an academic librarian to stop complaining about finals week because stakeholders might question the worth of the university's library the rest of the year. Just think about that for a second.

If you agree with the sentiment in this article-- that's understandable, and we can still be friends! But for those of you who are struggling right now, or if this article made you feel worse: Your feelings are completely valid. Since SLP started, I've felt in turns: frustration, exhaustion, jealously, confusion, and lots more negative emotions. And if I hadn't let myself feel these things fully, and express them in safe spaces, I might have let them affect my work. And I'll go as far to say that commiserating makes me feel stronger when I need it. This week, Brytani shared some very real struggles, and for many of us, hearing that we're all in this together makes us mightier. It gets us out of bed, battle-scarred, another day, surging forward together. Any time during the year.

 So, thank you, all, for working so feverishly. Your communities surely appreciate you. 

Anyway, after all that, let's get on to some awesome programs that are so mighty they make me tired just looking at them:

Lindsey at Jbrary shared an Afternoon of Disguise program, complete with links for you to run your own! Jbrary also wrote about their Battle of Funny Books, to fit their theme this year, Funny Business.

Jennifer at In Short, I am Busy and Jean Little Library (and my ALSC Institute roommate, holla!) shared her two favorite programs: A Very Fairy Flower Party and  Angry Birds: It's Science! Both of them look like an awesome time.

Amy at The Show Me Librarian shares a techie maker program using Makey Makey and Scratch, which makes me feel like I can do it, too!

Marge at Tiny Tips for Library Fun held another successful after-hours library camp-out. If you have the ability to run a program before or after hours, it always adds an air of mystery for the kids!

Lisa at Thrive Thursday shared a couple great programs. Here's: Musical Melodies using pop bottles and food coloring; and Smell-a-Rama Bingo! (How do you even come up with that?!)

Anne at So Tomorrow did Bristlebots-- robots made from toothbrushes! And she also shared her always hilarious Minute to Win It part 2.

Kelly at Ms. Kelly at the Library shared some great science crafts. The skeleton with QTips is genius!

I also found a few great posts that passed through my feed this week:
Ariel at Hushlander had a great passive program: Origami!

Brytani at The Neighborhood Librarian inspired me with her take on SLP Outreach (INCLUDING DR SEUSS TWISTER WHAT) and Advocacy Anytime.

Kathy at From the Short Stacks rocked a Mad Scientist program.

And finally, what would my life be like right now without reading about Angie at Fat Girl Reading's Enthusiastic and Canon My Little Pony program?

Whew, that's a great July!

..Now someone pass the gin.


  1. Yes! Thank you re: Linda Braun's article!! I concur. And I will also say that there are different types of busy. In the summer months, "busy" means that there is hardly a moment of QUIET during the entire day (even when in my office, I can hear families enjoying themselves in the department), while in the fall department traffic is periodic and centered around our program times, and I have time to concentrate on quieter work. For an introvert that makes a WORLD of difference in how taxing the days are.

  2. Marge's thoughts on not making summer programs the be-all and end-all of your library services are sooo much better stated than that article. It didn't make me guilty - it made me mad. I would love to have the volume of circulation, program attendance, and traffic during the school year that I have during the summer. I would also love to have additional staff year-round, work a 40-hour work week without working additional hours at the library or at home, and not go home crying from exhaustion each night.

  3. And "busy" can mean a lot of different things. My highest program attendance one year was in NOVEMBER - but there's a difference between people coming for a program, checking out a few books and leaving in the course of 2-3 hours and a constant stream of families, daycare groups, summer reading, etc. I do love summer, but we can't keep it up for more than nine weeks.

  4. I just accidentally deleted a heartfelt anonymous comment. It wasn't my intention. Please repost! My CP gets so spastic this summer and wants to double type for me.

  5. Ugh. You know, reading the Braun article, I feel like maybe she began wanting to open up a conversation about HOW we talk about being busy (and finding ways to make it sound better for advocacy purposes?), but then lost her way and stumbled just a little into the land of shaming. I guess I can forgive that. :P

    I did have a win this week, after all. I have a regular patron who always checks in with me and if I tell him I'm having "one of those days", he usually says something like, "why? you've just been sitting there all day." And I let him because we're friends like that. This week, though, I just skipped the whole thing and told him that over the past two weeks, I've had more than 300 kids in my programs. He told me I was allowed to be tired. I mentally high-fived myself.

  6. Ah, it's ok Bryce. I don't remember what all I said and I was probably rambling anyway. :)