Posted in Librarianing

2021: It was the… okayest of times?

A lot of bloggers in LibraryLand have been blogging about the highs and lows for the year, and since I’ve been struggling, I feel like I should jump in and see if that jogs my creativity again. 2021 was not the light at the end of the tunnel that I’d hoped for, but it was better, because I got back to my library and my community. So there’s that. So without further ado, I present:

The Good


I got back to my library and my community! It’s been such a relief to be back at my library home.

The return of in-person programming! It’s been slow but steady, but families are coming back for programming. We’ve been doing pop-up and grab-and-go programming, and families are staying in the library for a little longer each time.

Collection development! I got to buy books again, and it is wonderful!

I got to develop and innovate with my colleagues during our shutdown and staggered reopening.


The Meh


Patrons who think it’s cool to verbally abuse front line staff. I’ve experienced a renaissance in patrons yelling, cursing, and attempting to throw things at me, and I know I am not alone here. I know we’re largely all stressed out these days, but folx, we’re here to help you.

Depression, anxiety, the blues, call it what you will, I’ve been getting pummeled with it harder than usual and it’s affecting my blogging schedule. For that, I apologize, and I’m hoping to find my smile on a more regular basis as we move into 2022.

Continued uncertainty: budgets, variants, political climates, social upheaval, it all makes for worrisome times.


So what’s next?


So what’s next? For me, it’s getting back to writing things down to give my brain a break. It’s rediscovering my love of blogging and kidlit, and giving myself breaks, whether it’s actually using my time off or doing programming I enjoy. And continuing to keep a spark of hope for 2022.

Posted in Librarianing

Librarian without a Library

Yesterday at noon, I locked the door on my library and headed home. It was a closing I fought for, but not a closing I wanted. We’ve all had our lives upended in the last few days. I’m home with my kids and my 74-year-old mom (one of the main reasons I pushed so hard for our library to close, like many of you), and feeling unmoored. I love what I do, and I love where I work. I worry about my library kids and their families, who rely on us to stay connected to one another, to their schoolwork, to books and technology they may not have the chance to enjoy otherwise.

For now, I’m a librarian without a library, but I do have my books to review, my games to play and talk about, and my kids to cuddle and enjoy what I’ve got. I’m creating, because that’s what I need to do to stay upbeat and sane. Gabe and I will be making some more videos – I’ve promised Candlewick that we’ll be turning in a review of Timmy Failure on Disney Plus – and I’ve got a mountain of books to review and read, not always in that order. I’ll be working on some booklists and programming to share, because that’s what I do. That’s what I love.

In the meantime, there are incredible authors and artists out there, virtual field trips, and free education plans and videos to watch with your kids. There are so many out there; here’s a bit of what I’ve shared on my Facebook page:


Daily Doodles with MO WILLEMS! 1pm at the Kennedy Center site!

Saint Patrick’s Day storytime with author Laura Murray, reading her book, The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School, on YouTube.

StoryMarch sounds like so much fun. Make a piece of art every day, inspired by a keyword list. The next day’s prompt has to relate to the first. Post online with the hashtag #StoryMarch. It started yesterday, but I’ll be jumping in with Gabe today.

This one’s from 2018, but how can you get tired of astronauts reading from space?

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy has a daily shark storytime on Facebook Live at 10 am!

Oliver Jeffers will do a Facebook Live storytime at 2pm EDT every day!

The Cincinnati Zoo – home of Fiona the Hippo! – is holding a virtual safari, every day at 3pm EDT on Facebook Live, where they’ll spotlight one of their awesome animal friends, and include an activity we can do from home.

Dan Santat has printable badges in his Online Survival School for the Pandemic. I just earned my Social Distancing badge!

Gotta give love to my friends and my library system: Queens Library Kindness Readalouds.

Loads of education companies are offering free subscriptions to their services during this shutdown. ABC Mouse, Backpack Sciences, Dyslexia Academy, Minecraft Education Edition, and more are available. Here’s a list.

Head to Mars on a virtual field trip! Here’s a list of a bunch!

That’s what I’ve got, but there are so many out there. Just do some exploring, and don’t forget to utilize your library’s ebooks and audiobooks collections. Many also have access to magazines, music, and movies, so get some mileage out of those library cards.

Stay safe, and stay tuned. I’ll be writing more, I just need to get some books and themes lined up.