Going Off the Grid

SLP takes it out of a children's librarian. It does.

And guess what, it's OK, you can admit it. You can embrace it. No shame there.

Because here's the thing. There's that beautiful thing called summer. You know warm nights and fireflies and picnics and swims and a cool drink by the river or lake and days that go on and on. That's my face pressing up against the window looking at all that each and every summer.

Because in our world of children's librarianship, there's all these kids, and more, more, more kids and families and programs, and kids and parents and kids and storytimes and eager readers, and shortstaffing and readers checking in and winds of budget woes and kids and programs and reading ...and, oh no!, deadlines for fall programs and PR and kids and readers and booktalking and kids and SLP check-ins and robot building and kids and kids and families...and you know, everything.

No matter how streamlined or cool or fun we make the SLP, it's...um, BIG.

But it's fine because in the midst of a crazy time, we know what we do makes a difference with kids and families. The encouragement, warm words, right book and time to spend a few minutes extra with whomever comes in makes the library a welcoming place for the kids and a great way to spend our summers.

The SLP is done here except for a favorite part - kids selecting their well-deserved books in the Rooma-rama of Books (aka our program room). There is time to re-connect with the team, start working on our fall initiatives and services and take some time off.

And that's what I'm doing. Heading off with five other women for our annual wilderness canoe trip where we challenge ourselves through all day paddles and challenging portages carrying our canoes and 50# packs as we tramp and canoe from lake to lake. I'll finally get the treasured glimpse of summer I've been waiting for.

Time to get off the grid, relax and recharge. 'Cause, you know, that SLP takes alot out of us.


  1. Enjoy your time off, Marge! I've got a week of vacation coming up, too. It'll mostly be a read-cation, but I'll try to do as much of my reading on the deck as I can! ;)

  2. You enjoy too! Big year for you of reading. I treasured a chunk of time off when I served just to catch up and explore all the books coming in!

  3. Great program this year. Enjoy your well deserved time away! Sounds like a wonderfully tiring and really beautiful adventure.

  4. I read this at just the right time. Thank you. I was tallying up my numbers for my board report, realizing that I offered 17 more programs this July than I did last July, and that we had a 63% increase in program finishers (which means more reading and more books going into the hands of little ones!) On the hand, I'm thrilled and so proud of myself and my team. On the other, I'm realizing that this is why I'm exhausted. Yes, we streamlined things immensely, but, like you said, it's still huge. I'll be leaving for vacation next week, and I'm beyond excited.

    Enjoy your vacation, Marge! Enjoy the outdoors!

  5. But, but..?! How can you leave us hanging? :) How did the program end? We are very interested in abandoning the meaningless weekly-plastic-prizes type of program and wonder how it came out for you in the end? How does the robot look? Any complaints by kids, parents at the end of the program? Higher numbers or lower numbers? Oh, I am jealous that you're going on a great outdoor adventure, it sounds glorious! But please update us when you return! :) We've been following your posts since we found out you were trying a different SRP and it looks like it was going gang-busters!

  6. I'm hanging too! We ended our program 8/16 so it's only now that we can start looking at statistics and seeing what's to be seen. I will be writing a post as soon as we finish the number crunching. Stay tuned!