Monday, January 30, 2017

Take me to Atlanta... but don't leave me there

I attended ALA Mid-Winter in Atlanta on Jan 20 - Jan 23. It was a little something different this time since I am not part of two committees. I am part of the IFLA Europe committee and the PLA Continuing Education Advisory committee.

Saturday morning I awoke and in a frenzy rushed to attend my first committee meeting. I had to check out of my hotel (horrible experience, don't go to the Ramada). I sped off to the conference center, remembered that I should be at the Hyatt, quickly drove over only to find out that that was my second meeting and that my first meeting was back at the conference center. SO, by the time I sped back it was near over.

I did get to meet everyone on the IFLA Europe committee and put names to faces from emails. I was also given a summary of what I had missed as well as what would be expected of me. The meeting went a little over time, then I had to wait for the shuttle before rushing back to the Hyatt for the PLA meeting. I was a hot mess that Saturday morning.

I did hit the exhibit hall and got a ton of loot before having to rush off for me 'Money Smart Week' program. This was important to me because I had hosted a 'money smart' program last year and wanted more information. Learn more on the website here to get started on your own 'Money Smart Week.

Sunday was a whole other feat all together. I woke on Sunday had breakfast at our new hotel (Red Lion) and they had the coolest silverware/woodware for eating! So awesome how recycle friendly they were.

I quickly headed downtown with the promise of free picture books and a session I was interested in attending. Only to be hit with five blocks of traffic in every direction. They were having their 5k/10k hot chocolate run. And not only that, the NFL football game was happening. The Falcons against the Packers. 

Long story short, two hours later, lots of frustration and tears, a call to the cops, a 20 minute walk to the convention, missing both our free picture books and my session, we made me. It was a pretty exhausting day.

Finally, Monday arrived with a storm in tow. We were able to stay until 2 p.m. before we booked it to Walmart to purchase two more luggage, before racing off to the airport and our delayed flight. And even with all the delayed time, we made it to the gate as the last people being checked in. Atlanta was a wild ride from start to finish.

My husband came and picked us up from the airport and had flowers as a surprise for me. It was a nice ending to a exhausting yet exciting conference . 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Group with a Twist

Here is the thing. Millennials have so much going on. And I feel like it's getting harder and harder getting them in the library. Forget offering multiple programs a month. My stats end up going down the more programs I offer. Almost like the more I offer, the more options they have, the more they can't make up their mind which program to come to, so they don't come at all.

It has been such a struggle!

So for 2017 I thought I would try something new. My highest attended program (with its ups and downs) is my Better Than Therapy Book Group. We meet the first Thursday of every month. And more often than not, we end up getting side tracked and talking about stuff other than the book.

For January, we pick a cookie cookbook and people could choose a recipe they wanted to make.

Here is my cookie that I made. Not really a cookie. But still. I made Rocky Road Brownie Bites.

Other members brought cookies as well and someone brought milk. All in all, I say it was a hit.

For February, we are going to be reading 'I Wrote This For You' by Ian Thomas (PleaseFindThis). A rather well known online writer. I also encouraged members to bring poetry they have enjoyed over the years to share with the group. I am very excited about this. Especially since I have been working on building our Modern Verse book section at my library. 

(one of my favorite pieces)

And for March, I figured we could read 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo. Seeing how March is our entry into Spring and that is usually the time people get started on their spring cleaning. 

(couldn't agree more!)

I am excited to see how these few changes will affect people coming to book group. Whether the number will go up or down, and whether people will prefer it over continuous reading of fiction books!

Are you offering any programs you are excited about? Care to share?

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Years Resolution

The last time I had a New Years Resolution was... well... never. I mean, I've had the usual thoughts of losing weight, then started the new year eating my weight in food. Or how I was going to change my mindset and then quickly, too quickly, relapsing. Then spending a bunch of years talking about how resolutions were so stupid because I didnt stick with them, and therefore, yep, I was right, they are stupid.

2016 was a rough year for me. But so was 2015. And 2014. And 2013. And 2012. Facebook memeories can attest to that. For some reason, life seems to be getting harder instead of easier. Whether it being that I lost someone whom I loved dearly. Or had a major change. Or having a major setback. There always seems to be something. It is hard. Life is hard. I feel like I am stating the obvious.

But 2016 was so hard. So, so hard. It seemed like it was one hardship after another. As December approached I felt numb. I wouldnt miss 2016, but hey, its not like anything was changing. I was becoming such a pessimist and I hated it. I've always prided myself on being a realist (because that's so much better huh).

So there I was, sitting on my couch, pulling out a scrapebook I've been meaning to start for ages. Gathering pictures, and movie tickets, and flight tickets, and random tokens of things happened throughout the year. And I realized, I didnt give 2016 the credit it deserved.

I did so much in 2016. I advanced in my personal life, my career and the such. I did well. But the overwhelming stress of all that I did and all that I dealt with, my constant anxiety level through the roof as I tried to navigate it all made me feel like I wasnt accomplished. But I was, and all it took was a step back to reevaluate. And the reason I was able to do that was because I was forced to put together a scrapbook. I took my step back, I saw what I did and appreciated the hard work I put in and the results that came in.

So for 2017, I was create a visual board in which I can post things I want to do on one side, and slowly move them over as I do them. Places I want to go, places I went. Career goals and achievements. A reminder that my hardwork is in fact, paying off.

What about you, any New Year Resolutions?