Friday, September 16, 2016

Getting Back Into Reading

I used to read so much. So, so much. From a very young age. I could finish 1-2 books a day. I remember that two things happened at bed time when I had an unfinished book. The book would get tucked in my pants, I'd say I needed to use the bathroom, and finish the book either sitting on the toilet or lay in an (empty) tub. OR I'd pull out the mini flashlight I kept under my pillow and read under my covers. My mom worried so much about me because all I did was read. I rarely watched TV, I rarely went out to play. I went to the library, filled a bag with books and that was the good life.

As I got older I no longer needed to worry about taking such drastic measures. I continued reading all through high school but then I got to college. My reading for pleasure decreased significantly. I was reading way too many articles and textbooks. I still read releases for my favorites authors and books people raved to me about. Then college ended, shortly after I began graduate school. The amount of articles I read for class left my eye sight a bit on the worse side. Because I read so much for school, all I wanted to do when I got home was watch TV to give my eyes a break. And so my love for reading turned into a love for shows.

Its been hard to break the cycle, I've been forcing myself to read more. But for every book I read, I've watched a season or two. I've gone from reading half a book a month to reading 2-3, and I think its horrible. I want to read more. Have you ever been stuck in this rut? Are you still in it? If not, how did you get out of it?

Friday, September 9, 2016

My IFLA First Timer Experience

What is IFLA?

IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. They are the leading international body that globally represents users whose interests are in library and information services.

Why am I writing about it?

Because I went! For the first time! Let me back track. 

A couple of months ago I received an email from my ALA Emerging Leaders Coordinator suggesting we look into a grant that was being offered by IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) to attend IFLA. After a little research, I applied. A couple of weeks later I received the grant and found myself scouring their web page looking for what to expect. I attended an online webinar that talked about IFLA taking place in Columbus hoping to gain more perspective and still was unsure. Shortly after, a Facebook group popped up that consisted of other grant recipients. As people began introducing themselves on the group, it became even clearer what it is that IFLA was. These were librarians from across the globe. Countries that I had never heard of (I've never been good with geography) and countries I could only dream of visiting but sat on my bucket list still unattainable. 

Before I knew it, I was driving up to Columbus, Ohio to meet new people and attend a new conference. 

As someone who is new to attending conferences within the library world, this conference had me turning in circles and grinning from ear to ear. I've always been interested in the working of others. As I walked the halls of the conference center, I found myself catching bits and pieces of conversations. Some in English, some with heavy English accents and many in different languages. And I loved every second of it. This is what IFLA is about. Bringing the world together through our love for the written word. This was solidified when I went from session to session listening to ideas and actions taken to bringing literacy to libraries, bringing programming to better the community, events to add to our culture, to add to our experiences as humans living together. 

(a session on literacy)

But it wasn't all about the sessions, there were many opportunities to network through the events that IFLA had hosted. Whether it was going to the COSI (which was amazing, if you ever get a chance, you need to go), to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, to the Columbus Library itself. Admittedly, I felt an extreme sense of longing and jealously upon seeing their library. 

(View of downtown from COSI)

(One of my favs from the Billy Ireland Library) 

 (Columbus Library, they have their own underground parking!)

However, nothing was quite like meeting my fellow grant recipients. These were the people who I attended sessions with. People who I went to eat with. People who I walked around with. People who, to be honest, I felt like I knew for years rather than days. I met so many good souls who I still stay in touch with. People I hope to one day be able to visit their country and take the tour as they have taken it here. Some of the kindest, most accepting souls I have ever met. I heard stories about their homelands, I was given trinkets to remember them by, and memories that I constantly talk about whether at work or in my personal life.

(Some of the other grant recipients and myself posing for a group picture!)

Thank you, IFLA for an amazing experience.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Ain't this beautiful

Once a year, one of the blocks in our community closes for a block party. A few days later we receive an art gift from the kids of said block. This year, I fell absolutely in love with their art piece.

Each hand is either a representation of where they come from, or a beautiful design they created. Every hand is overlapping and circling the earth. Every hand is growing from the same tree. A tree whose roots are watered with Love, Hope, Passion and Commitment.

These hands that are attached to young souls who are growing to love those around them, no matter where they come from. These hands that are found around the world because no one is born with hate inside them. These hands that came together to create something beautiful. These are the hands that hold our communities together.