School Visits and What We Read This Year

It’s the craziest time of year to be a children’s librarian! Summer reading is almost here! In the past few weeks, I’ve spent a significant amount of time on school visits, promoting our library’s summer reading program and getting kids excited about reading over the summer. I love school visits, and it has been great to meet with kids, and have them come into the library later and say, “You were at my school!”

We have been lucky enough this year to meet individually with different grade levels at most of the schools we visited. This makes for a long day (at least 3 hours at the school, sometimes most of the day), but means we can tailor our presentations to each grade level. For grades K-2, we read a story and talk about the summer reading program. For grades 3-5, we talk about the summer reading program and bring a bunch of books to booktalk. I’m planning on posting our booktalk books next week, but wanted to share the books we chose to read aloud this year.

A question that comes up a lot on Facebook groups of children’s librarians is: “What picture books can I read to school age children?” I’m going to make a list sometime soon with all my favorite school age readalouds, but here’s a short one with what worked this year:

snip snapSnip Snap, What’s That? by Mara Bergman. We read this to kindergarteners on most of our visits. They loved it! It’s the perfect amount of suspense for kindies. All the classes picked up on the “You bet they were” refrain very quickly and loved yelling it with me. I also love reading this book in storytime with preschoolers, and it was fun to see that it worked with a slightly older age, as well.

I'm boredI’m Bored by Michael Ian Black. This was a great pick for 1st grade classes. They thought it was hilarious. There were so many giggles during most of this book. This is another book that I’ve read with preschoolers before (and they’ve liked it), but I think the ending works better with the older kiddos. Preschoolers are sometimes a little confused by the ending, but on the school visits, they thought it was so funny.

extra yarnExtra Yarn by Mac Barnett. I love this book. I love the gentle fairy tale feel of it. This was another great 1st grade book. They were entranced by the story, loved watching the colors change, and loved predicting what was going to happen. I always like to ask if they would sell the yarn to the archduke, and it’s wonderful how many kids yell, “NO!!!!” There’s just something magical and timeless and lovely about this story. Continue reading

On Self Care, Librarianship, and Blogging

I read this really fabulous post from Kendra a few weeks ago about taking “self care Sundays,” and loved the idea. It also reminded me that I hadn’t blogged in a while, certainly not weekly, as is my goal. But I realized that taking a bit of a blogging break was my own version of self care. With summer reading coming up, and with all of the amazing things I’ve been doing in my CALLI program, as well as my commitments as a steering committee member for CLEL, my life has been full, full, full of thinking about libraries, leadership, and my day-to-day work tasks. I truly love everything I’m involved with, but having all of these commitments has left me with very little energy to spend on blogging after the work day is over. (If you’re in a similar boat, I also highly, high recommend Mel’s awesome post about knowing when to say no.)

The good news is, taking a little blogging break left me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and I have a BUNCH of things I’m planning on blogging about over the next few weeks. The goal for today is to get some posts scheduled and to catch up on talking about some great things I’ve been learning through CALLI. So look for new posts coming as soon as tomorrow!

But all of these thoughts of self care left me thinking about how librarians spend their off hours on getting rejuvenated and ready to bring their best selves to work. For me, I read, crochet, cook, and take my dog on long walks. What are your self care strategies?