Welcome to this latest attempt to connect librarians from west-central Wisconsin with each other! Please send in content (booklists, ideas, photos, etc.), and comment on posts so we can help each other. If you were using feedmyinbox to get new posts sent to you before, you'll need to switch to another service (blogtrottr works like feedmyinbox, googlereader is a good blog-reader to try).

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On Being Thankful

I've had a bit of a rocky fall, and have missed a lot of work to help care for a loved one who is at the end of her life.  I thought it might be appropriate during this Thanksgiving season to give some thanks for things that are helping me get through it all.  Here is a partial list of what has kept me going:

  • Amazing, generous co-workers and a supportive director who are ready to step in and help me fulfill my duties if needed--even with busy schedules and challenges of their own.
  • Gentle messages of kindness, support, wisdom, and assistance from colleagues in our system and across the state.  
  • A Youth Services Section board who has handled my increasing flakiness with forbearance and a willingness to jump in and take over for me when necessary.
  • A job I care about, with librarians who are doing incredible work in their communities.  Flexibility and ample vacation and sick time help, too.
I've been letting go of responsibilities and projects, reminding myself that I will go back and collect them up again as soon as I am able to do so.  In the meantime, I'm deeply appreciating my library community.  The support we give each other makes a difference!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SLP Musings, Part 2: On Themes

Luckily, your programs and services don't HAVE to fit into boxes, colorful and fun as those boxes might be.
At the SLP workshop on November 11, our wonderful presenter Holly Storck Post asked people to write down one thing they hate about SLP.  I noticed some interesting trends on this list, and I'm trying to address them in blog posts.

One trend I noticed that people hated about the SLP:  THEMES, and trying to come up with program ideas, etc. that fit the theme.  It wasn't an overwhelming number, but the fact that for 3-4 people, the first thing they thought of was themes is telling enough that I wanted to address it with a blog post!

Themes can be fun.  They can let your mind go in directions it might not have gone before.  Sometimes they help narrow the choices down so you aren't quite so overwhelmed by options.  They can be a unifying element for staff and patrons alike.  They can help with marketing.  But if they are causing you to wrack your brains, cramp your style, or make do with programs you aren't excited for just because they fit the theme, they aren't working.  If themes are your least favorite part of the SLP, I have some ideas for ways you could make that better!

1.  If you don't like the CSLP theme, there is no rule that you have to use it.  You can pick your own theme.

2.  In fact, there is no rule anywhere that says you have to use a theme at all!  A catchy slogan is fun and useful, but you don't have to make it an over-arching theme that relates to all of your programs and services.

3.  If you choose to use a theme, use it for YOUR benefit.  Don't feel like you have to cram every program, event, or special thing into the box of the theme. Just like in storytime, it is better to have an excellent song, book, activity or program than it is to have a boring, un-excellent one that fits your theme.