Summer Reading is right around the corner at my library! In fact, today is the last graduation for the high schools (they stagger their ceremonies during the week so friends and family from the other schools can attend.). As my library is part of the Collaborative Summer Reading Program, “(CSLP) a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens, and adults at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.” Summer Reading started with the intent to prevent the “summer slide” or “summer brain drain.” This phenomenon is occurs in children who have three months off from school (the traditional/agricultural school set up) and do not continue to read. Studies have shown that these children often forget what they learned the previous school year; retention was dismal. However, those children who read during the summer retained far more than their non-reading cohorts and subsequently more prepared for the up-coming school year. –A side note, some American schools have switched to “year ’round school” (which grants 6-8 weeks worth of Summer vacation, instead of the typical 12 weeks of the traditional school systems).
The Collaborative Summer Reading Program is a panel of numerous library staff from around the state that develop themes up to three years out, including various ideas and resources for the three demographics. The Adult demographic is a recent addition . . . and not all the libraries cater to them. Our library has been trying to do away with it for years . . . but it won’t die just yet.
This year’s theme originally was based around construction and design but evolved into Build a Better World, which encompassed a host of other subcategories such as volunteerism, and various professional fields.
After three years of struggling to host a spectacular Adult Summer Program, I revamped it this year to a much more low-key affair which incidentally is similar the few other libraries in the county that also offer the program to the Adults (out of 15 libraries in the county only four of us continue with the Adult Summer Reading Program).
However, the amount of programs and events for the children and teenagers is enormous! I would love to know how your local library is celebrating Libraryland’s Annual Piece de Resistance. Feel free to brag in the comment section.
So my Mentee has a second interview for her dream job and is naturally thrilled she made it to the next round. My first round of coaching just might have helped! It turns out one of my good co-workers overheard me share my excitement with another colleague and now she want me to coach and mentor her! My goodness! How does my popularity soar?!
Now I am assisting two women as they make their way through the world of Librarianship; otherwise known as “Libraryland” in professional circles. Truly. My Mentee is through official channels of the Arizona Library Association in a structured program. We have to sign forms and submit reviews every so often, etc. My Mentee is already a part time library assistant looking to become a full time library assistant at the Downtown Branch in our state capital.
My co-worker is currently returning to school to get a high end certification. She is already a full time library assistant at the library I work for. At the moment she wants me to help her with scholarships, so that is what I am doing. Although later she assures me she will need help with “everything!”–Oh goody. Something to look forward to. My co-worker situation is far more informal and more of a pact between friends.
Helpings these wonderful ladies is such an amazing feeling! I pray I can assist them in their dreams!
My manager knows I want to be a leader and has been steadily pushing me in that direction for the past two years. Aside from nominating me Arizona Library Association (AzLA) Emerging Leader (which I won), having me do a poster session at their annual conference last year and allowing me to try her position on for size (it’s too big!), she has also guided me into participating the AzLA Mentoring Program. I do not feel I know “everything;” but so close it’s scary. I have wanted to be mentored in the official capacity for a long time, but looking back I always have been guided in an unofficial capacity. So I shrugged and signed up because it sounded like fun and good way to meet new people.
Enter Mrs. H, my mentee. She lives “upstate.” She is incredibly bubbly and willing to learn. She is what I have been missing. Mrs. H is in her 40s with colorful tattoos, piercings, short hair dyed in rainbow hues, as well as the mother of two boys (one of whom is transgendered). Mrs. H is an articulate, people person, and so much fun to mentor! Gosh, if it were always this easy, I wish I signed up years ago. She reminds me so much of my friendships from high school and college, before I branched out into a more conservative professional town. Mrs. H is a great reminder to do more for the citizens and the fringe populations. I cannot recall the minimum commitment for the mentorship program, but I can already tell you Dear Readers, I’ve made a friend for life! If you ever have the opportunity to mentor someone or to be a mentee, in any capacity, I highly encourage you to take it on.
My boss is on maternity leave with her fifth bundle of baby joy. This time, for the first time, she has left me in charge. *insert maniacal laugher here*
In actuality, she has distributed her duties amongst three of the librarians, but at my particular branch, I will have the last word on some issues. It has already been a month and quite frankly, my partial duties are stressing me out! Granted, it is compounded by some new developments on the home front. . . Any time, there is an internal-interim position, it is extra weight on that employee, as it is a double the workload. In my case, it is not even double, which makes me sound completely lame for being so stressed out. Thus said, I wanted to take this on and it is eye-opening. I have gained a new appreciation for her work and in some cases I love it (meetings with the top brass of the City, conniving how to make the world a better place with resources we have and problem solving issues for City staffing), other aspects are petty and tedious (co-worker issues and budgeting). It has me really thinking about what kind of leader I want to be and the difference between leading and management; where to be firm and where to show mercy; if I really ran the zoo, how would I seriously approach it? Am I ready for this? How much growing and skill development do I need to fill the next level position?
When my co-workers found out about I was going to be in a leadership capacity some of them joked about cracking the whip and secretly I would love to, but as my boss is coming back in two weeks, it is simply not my place. Instead there more chocolates are available and puppies are being secreted into the library. HA! But just in case, people take me for a softy I have my “name plate” sign on my desk that reads the truth: “Supreme Dictator of the World.”