Friday, October 13, 2017

Hitting A Wall

So, my recent vacation unfortunately wasn't quite the cure for my funk that I had hoped. I just can't quite shake this feeling of being stuck, in more ways that one. Not only am I just feeling restless in general, what I'm most frustrated with is I seem to be having a creative dry spell and fresh ideas for storytime just aren't as forthcoming as they used to be. While the kids don't care if I recycle themes, even using the same books and activities, because they often aren't the same kids who heard it before, it bothers me. It makes me feel like I'm coasting, which is okay once in a while, but I expect more of myself.

I know some of it is inevitable, as no one can continuously produce 100% brand new content all the time, and I have a lot more going on right now and less planning time than I used to have. Plus as I realized today when I did a Fall-themed storytime, which happened to be the theme of my very first storytime ever, that I have been doing storytime for 3 years now, and the last two of them have been at the rate of 12-15 storytimes a week! So I guess it's not suprising I've hit a bit of a creative wall and I should cut myself a little slack as I try to take a step back, clear my head, and hope inspiration will soon return. I am looking forward to our winter break from storytime in December, that will not only give me a break, but let me devote some needed attention to our storytime collection, and hopefully look at STEAM programs for the summer.

One thing I'm a little excited about is I will be going to a youth literature conference next week that I'm hoping will help renew my creative juices and enthusiasm. It's just a small, local conference, but I've never gotten to go to any kind of library conference before, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity to hear ideas from and talk to people from other library systems and meet some authors. One thing I have to be sure to do is get Avi to sign a copy of Iron Thunder for my nephew! My nephew is a serious reluctant reader, but he is also obsessed with the Civil War, so I got him a paperback copy a couple of years ago, and he actually read and liked it! I asked him if he liked it enough to want a signed copy, and he said yes, so now I have a hardback with library binding to get signed for him. 

I really would like to go to more conferences, and get the chance to interact with other library/literacy professionals. I think that kind of exchange of ideas and intellectual stimulation is what I'm missing, as working in outreach does tend to be isolating and limits the opportunities for interacting with colleagues, as opposed to when you work in the library building. This one will be a good start, and there's another small, local one in the spring I hope to go to, particularly since Aaron Reynolds of Creepy Carrots  and Creepy Pair of Underwear will be there, and I hear he is quite entertaining! Just look:

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