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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On Winging It

Birds in flight
I was reminded again today of the grace of librarians.  In Eau Claire every April, there is a monumental effort on the part of schools and the library to have every first grade class from every school visit the library.  This is a tremendous project under any circumstances, an all-hands-on-deck sort of affair.  The tours started today, and last night Alisha found out that every other person in her department was going to be out (a perfect storm of illness, appointments, jury duty and vacation).

Rather than panic, she lined up the resources she had (staff from other departments came to help kids find materials at the end, and helped direct traffic during the storm of check-outs; a person whose day off it was came in to help; and I came, too).  She changed her plan for what would happen during the day.  And she rolled with it.  Pretty impressive, and I know it is something that all of you do regularly!  Plans B, C, and D are all in a day's work!

I had my own run-in with winging it.  I managed to mess up the machinery for showing a video about the back-end of the library, and while someone from the library valiantly tried to fix it, I pulled out a few tricks from my back pocket to keep the kids busy.  But I wished I had more up my sleeve!  I realize that 10 years away from direct service leaves me a little slower on the uptake with the snappy games and rhymes that will keep a group of kids focused and happy.  And I was a little wistful, but also grateful to have a chance to think on my feet in a way that nothing like a roomful of squirrelly first-graders will require.

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