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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Maintaining Equilibrium During Summer

peony
image from Pixabay
I read a really great blog post on Teen Librarian Toolbox about the Summer Library Program this morning--I highly recommend checking it out.  In it, she talks about how important summer programming is, how good it is to capitalize on students with free time, try to help address the summer slide, and provide a safe and stimulating place for kids and teens to spend time.  All true!  The Summer Library Program takes a lot of our time and energy because it is important!

She also talks about the toll the Summer Library Program can take on staff.  Is it fair to set things up so that youth services librarians (in particular) can never, ever take a summer vacation?  Should library staff have to miss, or feel guilty for attending, family reunions and weddings, which inevitably occur during the summer?  Is it sustainable to create a 3-month period when the level of activity and programming leave staff exhausted and program budgets depleted for the rest of the year? 

How can we meet the needs and expectations of the families in our communities for excellent, engaging, amazing summer programs and still pay attention to the needs of staff?  And the need for excellent, engaging, amazing programs year-round?  This is something I've been talking about for a few years, and I know some of you have some strategies to share. 


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