Well, I don’t know about you, but the past couple of months have been stressful. I have a 14 month old, and my husband is a music teacher. We have spent many days playing “pass the toddler” as we go from one Zoom call to the next, try to catch up on emails, and plan for the next day or week. As hard as it can be I do love being home with my son, but I miss my library, my students, my colleagues, and most of all, my staff.
I know that I have spent too many moments thinking about the things that I cannot do with the new constraints on my time and the support I have to give my husband throughout the day while he does his job. Therefore, I have decided to spend the time writing this blog post thinking of the things I did do, and what made me happy, during this time of uncertainty.
- My Advisees
I have been able to meet with each of my advisees individually and as a group on a regular basis. I am thankful that we have Zoom, and that I can see their faces pop up on the screen, usually with a smile. Their positive spirits have uplifted mine throughout this time. I have met their pets, said hi to siblings and parents, and talked through what we are going through together. I am so proud of them all.
- Planning for Summer Reading
Selecting books for our Summer Reading program has always been one of my favorite tasks. At my school, advisors for 10th, 11th, and 12th grades choose a title to read with their group. I received numerous emails this year asking for suggestions, and it is always fun to review what I have read and provide some options and advice. Talking about books makes me happy. I also worked on selecting the book for the whole 9th grade, which involved some late-night speed reading, as most of my daylight hours are dedicated to reading The Little Blue Truck and First 100 trucks and things that go (if you can’t tell, we are currently nurturing a truck obsession). Now, I am looking forward to the summer, pondering what I will read, instead of focusing on all of the cancelled events.
- Service Learning and Tutoring Program
In addition to being the librarian, I am also the Service Learning coordinator and club sponsor at our school. When all this began, I wasn’t sure how the students would react to the new Zoom format of club meetings and if we would be able to actually continue on with some of our service projects. I needn’t have feared. At our first zoom meeting, students joined the meeting quickly and immediately began sharing ideas for how to give back and support our community safely during this time. One student came up with the idea to sell t-shirts to raise money for the local food bank. We were able to follow through with this idea by partnering with our spirit store to sell the shirts. We also delivered a meal to the local Ronald McDonald House, supporting a local restaurant in the process, and created a list of virtual service activities to share with our school.
I also help facilitate a tutoring/mentorship program between our students and a local K-5 charter school. After working with my contact there, we were able to organize a group who would be willing to participate in Zoom tutoring. For the past weeks, we met on Saturday mornings. Every time, I was so proud to see my students pop up on Zoom, ready and willing to tutor the elementary students. I put them in breakout rooms, and as I joined each group to check in, they were using the whiteboard feature to explain problems, sharing guides and playing math or reading games. It was so wonderful to see them so eager to continue to help out.
There are many more happy moments, but my time is limited and so is yours. Yet, I hope that you do take some time to reflect on what you have done that has made you happy. We librarians are a strong breed. We can get through this, together.