Confessions of a Children's Librarian: Storytime, STEAM, Commentary, & More
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Rough week? Who am I kidding, it's shaping up to be a rough next few months. I had fully planned to write a post about my impressions of the Caldecott Award winners and honor books now that I've finally gotten a chance to see them all, but honestly, I just couldn't muster the creative energy.
Everything seems to be hitting at once. I've got major assignments due every week for the next 9 weeks (in addition to regular homework), and it is challenging to keep up with two classes while working and dealing with family stuff. The classes are going well, I'm actually liking Reference, which I dreaded, and while Public Libraries is a bit of a bore, it's not difficult, but it is still a lot of work to do.
Home life has been extremely stressful and unsatisfying the last couple of years, and work has always been my escape. I loved working in the children's department, and I've loved my outreach position. It was very low-stress, fun, and fulfilling, if a little isolating and repetitive, but I did have opportunities to do other things. But now that is changing. There is a major restructuring going on (that's always fun, right?), a shift in focus from quality to quantity, and I know my job description is changing. Though I don't yet know the full extent of these changes, I do know that I will no longer be working one shift a week in the children's department, and will have to do even more storytimes.
I am really trying to get on board and be a team player, but some of these changes are hard to take. Though I understand why I won't be working in the children's department anymore (they are getting additional staff), it is a huge disappointment to me personally and professionally. I really needed the variety to keep from burning out doing 12-15 storytimes a week. It gave me a chance to work with kids of all ages, families, and adults, to stay up on middle-grade and YA literature, to stay in practice with reader's advisory, customer service, and the ILS; and to interact with colleagues that I rarely see otherwise. My ultimate goal is to be a children's librarian, so it was great being able to keep a toe in the pool, so to speak.
So I've been feeling a bit demoralized, frustrated, and stressed, but trying to move on. Any advice for embracing the change, fighting the burnout from the increased monotony, and how to make my already strained voice last for even more storytimes every week??
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