Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Tuesday Slice: Party pooper


Welcome back!  Be sure to get your goodie bag with this year's library shirt.
Let's welcome our new librarians...we still have two openings, so spread the word!
What are some celebrations?
Fill in the Google forms for online subscriptions by August 12th, please.
Here's the spreadsheet with this year's book purchase allocations.  (Excited buzzing.)  We need your ESSER funds list by September 1st.
Be sure to set up your budget spreadsheets to track spending.
Here's how to change your report views in the finance program to see this's year's budget.
Consider adding more genres to search terms; if you need more, let us know.
Ebook patron updates will happen automatically now--yay!  But don't forget to delete expired ebooks from the catalog.
Think about what circulation reports you want to run on a regular basis and let us know.
Did you know we have access to large print books?  Let's welcome our vendor and learn about their benefits.
Let's talk about goal setting for the year.  What are two specific, measurable or observable goals for the library you would like to achieve, and what steps are needed to get there?  Please fill in the form by September 16th.
Here's some basic information for using the IFP.
Visit our library vendors during lunch and get your card signed off for door prizes!
We are going to have some work time to tackle some of these to-dos, and then split up by level for programming discussion. Ice cream will be available this afternoon!
Let's talk about the elephant in the room...

You all know we have a significant teacher shortage right now.
Librarians are on the list of possible staff to pull into classrooms.
We really don't know the details. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tuesday Slice: Back at the keyboard


I haven't written for weeks, unless you count my gratitude journal.  A decades-old habit, I dutifully make my list almost every night, filling in the blanks when I skip a day or two.  Being grateful helps me sleep better, reminds me of the privilege of food, shelter, indoor plumbing, the blessings of health and family.

I haven't written for weeks, because what else can be said about weapons of war unleashed in places of learning and prayer?

I haven't written for weeks, because what else can be said about my rights, my daughter's rights, every woman's rights to our own bodies?  What else can be said about medical confidentiality?

I haven't written for weeks, because what else can be said about the seditious acts of January 6th?  The committee has laid it out clear as day...but will there be justice?

I haven't written for weeks, because what else can be said about climate change, as fires burn just miles up the road, endangering friends' homes?

I haven't written for weeks, because what else can be said about extremists infiltrating our school systems with false accusations that garner airtime and push educators out of classrooms?

I haven't written for weeks, because every idea that surfaced in my brain seemed trite by comparison to the news, the worrisome events that directly impact me, my family and my livelihood.  My school year starts in six days...may there be more good news than bad when I return.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Be still

I am providing the prompt this month:
"Be still."

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  Mark 4:39

My spirit has not been calm for weeks.  My waking thoughts are like gray clouds formed by the rage swirling in my chest, rising through my throat, furrowing my brow and darkening my crown chakra.

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.  Psalms 4:4

I had also fallen out of my morning meditation practice, a victim of my summer sleep schedule.  Sensing the void, I turned to a book at bedtime--A Rhythm of Prayer, edited by Sarah Bessey.

    "God beyond the boxes we build to contain our lives, the hours we track and tally.  God outside of time, yet here:  Come to us, relieve our ragged breaths, slow our steps, relax the red lines that spike in our brains.  Tell us what is true.  Show us how time rolls like calm water, let us cup it quiet in our hands.

    "God, teach us to pause in this moment, to tuck ourselves into the curve of your slow arm, that we may know the miracle of now...May we see the goodness of our still hours and days, sunrises, sunsets, and the darkness where our rest is found." --Micha Boyett, "A Prayer Against Efficiency"

There, beyond my to-do lists and FOMO and fear catching my breath--a reminder to slow down, be still, rest. 

The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.  Job 33:4

The Universe continued to conspire on my behalf, leading me to watch this sermon by Nadia Bolz-Weber:

(If you don't want to watch the video, you can read the sermon here.)

Pastrix Bolz-Weber reminding us to breathe, be still in God's presence.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.   Psalms 46:10

I wish my journey companions 
peace in the Breath of God.
Be still
unfurrow that brow
pry open your thoughts
set free your worries
letting them float 
to the One
who can bear it all.
Rest in Her arms.
Be still, and rest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Tuesday Slice: Missing the ocean


The location was perfect for a weekend away.  Lush green woods surrounded the cabin, so thick that I couldn't see anything else through the leaves except partial glimpses of cars on the road below.

The air was hot and muggy, but surprisingly free of flying, biting insects. The temperature dropped as soon as I stepped into the shade from the trees, and breezes cooled the sweat on my skin.

Mornings were lovely for walking a bit.  The steep hills of the outpost gave my calves a good, much needed stretch.  I stopped to take pictures of plants and wildflowers that lined the road, the paths on the hiking trail, the spiderwebs that looked like silk fabric instead of concentric strands.

The air conditioned cabin helped me cool off, but the trees and the breeze beckoned, so I would grab a book and sit outside in the provided Adirondack chair.  My concentration would be broken by a sudden surge of wind through the treetops, a roaring rustle interrupting the birdsong.

The rustling sounded like waves.  That's when I realized...I missed the ocean.  

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Celebrating the small things

Ramona has given us the prompt of
"celebrating the small things" this month.

My gratitude journal seems to be on repeat these days.  Thankful for my morning quiet time and coffee.  Thankful for the roof over my head, food in the pantry and fridge, running water, electricity (especially air conditioning), indoor plumbing, access to the internet, money to pay the bills.

None of that seems celebratory.  Worthy of gratitude, yes, but party themes?  Nope.

I should have been able to celebrate the last day of my work calendar of one of the hardest years of my education career.  I've been working steadily on school-related stuff since then, though...so that firecracker fizzled.

And let's face it--the news, especially here in Texas, has been far, far less than celebratory.

So what's left to celebrate, and by celebrate, I mean acknowledge as good and true and worthy of dancing and letting go a bit?  Or maybe...just being alive and present and grateful is the celebration.  I can dance and let go just because

my body can move to music
I have the privilege of time to dance

I did positively impact my learning community
we did persevere through a really hard school year
(though I think this qualifies as a big thing)

I can take time to rest my mind and body
I can applaud the celebrations of this writing group of friends.

Thanks for the opportunity to pen my rambling thoughts, my fellow travelers.  May there be a skip in our steps today.

Photo courtesy of m01229 on Flickr

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Tuesday Slice: Giving birth


I very rarely dream, at least that I can remember.  Even more rarely do I dream in color and with physical feeling.  So you can imagine my surprise when I awoke from a birthing dream.  I had slept past my alarm; I'm sure it's because I wanted the dream to continue.

The 'dream scene' opened with me alone in a hospital room, lying on a bed in mild labor.  I could feel and see my belly rippling, rolling, remarking "Are you making your way down, little one?".  I reached my hand down--and felt a head.  Starting to yell for my husband, the labor paused as the head appeared, and then the baby was there.  I wiped off her face, she opened her eyes and cried out a bit, then closed them and rested on my chest.  My husband and the medical personnel showed up, tut-tutted, cleaned her off, and left us to get acquainted.

The scene shifted to our house (not our real one) which was crowded with family (some familiar, some not).  I was carrying the baby around, worried a bit about my milk coming in, wondering if I'd ever deliver the placenta (that part was really strange).  At one point, the nurses from the hospital came by to bring gifts and check on us; at another, I thought I had lost the baby somewhere in the house, only to find her sleeping in a baby seat next to my father, who was dozing in a recliner.

So what does all of this mean?

According to dreams.co.uk,
 "The most common meanings behind a dream about giving birth are to do with new beginnings, creativity and prosperity. This dream symbolises that something exciting is coming your way and you’re ready to embark on a new phase of your waking life. The baby in your dream is a sign of a fresh start, a new project or a relationship that‘s about to bloom. It’s all about hope, anticipation, growth and success."

Furthermore, dreaming about having a girl:

"Dreaming about giving birth to a baby girl can symbolise celebrating your feminine qualities and internal beauty. It may also be a sign of financial fortune, luck and good health."

I am in the middle of a library facility upgrade at work.  I am also changing the focus on my library programming, and have applied for a grant to help me accomplish that goal.  Personally, I am in the pondering/ planning stages (again) of what needs to change in my health and financial habits.

Whether or not the dream is predicting the future, it is certainly reflecting the present.  Do you have vivid dreams?  Do you record them, ascribe meaning to them, share them? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tuesday Slice: Chaos reigns

The library should be the bastion of calm organization...right?

My library is a hot mess right now.  

There are no less than five heavily-loaded boxes of books strewn about the floor--two destined for Goodwill (don't panic, they are old, donated, non-library books), if I can lug them to my car, the other four crammed with discarded library books that really, really belong in classroom libraries, if I can get teachers to take them at the beginning of next year.  I swore I was going to send them on to the warehouse, but these are fairly recent, really good books that we just don't have room for in our small space, so I want to give them one more chance.

I just discovered three more taped up boxes of books in the closet that I could have given away to students two weeks ago at our No-Price Bookstore.  There's always next year...

We have kits upon kits filling tables and stored on top of bookshelves as teachers who are leaving or changing positions return their items. 

And we are getting ready for a small but significant remodel, which entails moving everything out of the maintenance workers' way so they can tape off the area and get to work...as early as tomorrow.  We're about two-thirds through emptying that space, largely thanks to my hardworking library assistant. 

I have two tables of prizes displayed for my daily drawings of clear accounts--posters, jump ropes, hula hoops, coloring books, sunglasses... 

Did I mention that we are also in the middle of inventory, scanning every book in the library and every barcoded item in the classrooms?  And there will be summer school on my campus, so the librarian for the June program needs access to books and tables...

My mantras for the next three weeks: 
"One must break a few eggs to make an omelet."
"If it is not a mess, it's not progress." 
"Change is messy, but worth it."
"Breathe.  Just breathe."