Ode to a 12 Month Employee

I thought about how to title this post as I walked home for lunch…some of my other thoughts included “Pros and Cons of working during the summer”, and “Hello <hellooo, hellooo> is there anybody out there <out there, out there>??!.

So yes, I’m still walking home for lunch. Then back to work. Most of you, I hope, will be alerted of this new blog post from your poolside seat, or perhaps working in your garden, sweat on your brow, or your phone will buzz in your pocket as you push your child on a swing, or as you sit catching up with a long neglected friend over coffee, or <gasp!> maybe you’re reading a good book?

I say good for you, 10 month employee, good. for. you.

I am only a teeny bit jealous.

You see, there are things to get done in my world. Things that I simply can’t find time to do during the school year. Here are a few of my major tasks to complete over the next 6 weeks:

  • Go through the thousands of books donated to me by faculty moving homes, offices, by those retiring or simply those purging their shelves at the end of the year. I’ll keep the things we need and sell the rest through Thriftbooks, splitting shipping and proceeds. I’m saving up to fund stage 1 of a Learning Lab concept that I’m excited to try out here. More on that in a future post. Anyway, books are stacked everywhere. It’s insane.
  • Complete inventory of print collection. Disclosure: has not been done since 2010. I’m going in. This could be interesting. If you don’t hear from me in a week, someone call for help.
  • Weed like crazy.
  • Add weeded books to aforementioned boxes of books headed for resale.
  • Migrate to Libguide 2.0. Loved the posts about pulling old content and reposting updated material as needed during new school year. Have decided not to spend tons of time mulling over migration and losing content. I’m just ripping off the bandaid and migrating, fixing as I go next year.
  • Creating curriculum for Sophomore Advising Program. While I have you, are any of you lead class advisors? Do you work with Sophomores? Care to share any big advising program successes?
  • Create a playbook of mini research lessons for teachers to choose from next year, a la carte if you will.
  • Replace dinosaur self check-out computer with iPad station. Has anyone already done this? Do you have a mount that you prefer that allows the camera to be used to scan barcodes using the Follett App?
  • Create as much newsletter content as possible so that I can adhere to my bi-monthly newsletter goal (swallowed last year by putting out fires continuously). Database profiles, good books I’m reading this summer (YES, 10 monthers, I am still reading. So far, “Saint Anything”, “The Attachments”, and I’m just finishing up “The Red Tent”…all very good reads), cool apps for education, blogs to follow, that sort of thing.

You get the picture.  You know what the weirdest part is? I’m pretty o.k. with this. Granted, we are spending mucho dinero on summer camps for 3 kids and there is a ton of fun stuff to do in this area in the summer months which will have to wait for the weekends, and I *completely get* that doing non-work related things is totally necessary for recharging one’s battery (soul??).

It’s also really, really nice to check things off the work to-do list to give professional peace of mind, and to run an effective library program during the school year. Especially for the solo-librarian. If I had a team to divide the to-do list with, I don’t think that I would find the summer months as necessary as they are. That makes me a little sad to type, but it’s the truth.

I’m a loud librarian and it’s creepily quiet in here. By August, I’m going to be be standing outside waving people in.  I thrive on the life and activity that my students provide in the space, but it’s also really nice to wear shorts and flip flops, to blast my favorite Pandora station, and to just get *stuff* done.

And can I just tell you how much I’m looking forward to a 3 week southern adventure with my children later this summer? I will be leaving my laptop at home.

Time to get back to it. I hope you enjoy whatever it is YOU are doing this summer.

4 thoughts on “Ode to a 12 Month Employee

  1. Katie,
    Good for you for taking it so well when many of your colleagues are home. I should be doing many of the things you listed at my library, and will do some of them, but on my own time and without pay. I think about talking to my boss about going to a year-round schedule for this very reason. The biggest drawback for me would be that we have no air conditioning in the library and it gets very steamy in July and August. It’s not impossible to add an air conditioning system, but tricky on a historical building. The money for that, and the extra money to pay me could be a deterrent, but maybe I’ll pursue this option next year. Thanks for your thoughts – some of us are still listening despite the summer break.
    Linda

  2. Hi, Katie,
    Yes, we ARE out here! Like Linda I am a 10 month employee and like Linda I come in every so often to ‘take care of business’. Mail, invoices, projects that haven’t gotten done during the school year, in fact some of what you do. When I come in I too am in shorts and flip flops, but I am on my own schedule and coming in usually happens in the middle of the day, thanks to super-effective air-conditioning at school.

    Thanks for posting about your summer work schedule to let us know the real variety of librarians here in AISL. You’re not alone, I know! Thanks also for giving us some ideas for projects we didn’t know we needed–love the a la carte mini-research lessons! Do you focus on any particular discipline? How specific can you get?

  3. Katie,
    The list that you put together for your summer projects is quite impressive and useful. You are certainly using your summer work time wisely. Thanks for sharing.
    Cathy

  4. Hi Katie! While I don’t work through the entire summer, I do work two weeks past the end of school and then start back in August two weeks before teachers return. I use the time in much the same way you are using your summer. During the school year I keep a list of projects to work on during that time–things I can’t get done when the library is buzzing with the activity of the school year. While I’d love to be off, say hiking on a mountain or something, I treasure that time in the library to focus on the collection, curriculum, and library space. Imagine what I could do with an entire summer! Thanks so much for your post.

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