Artwork by John LeMasney, lemasney.com
My topic is staying awesome during a hiatus. My family recently relocated for my husband’s job and for a number of reasons it’s not practical for me to look for a job right away. We had a deal that when he was finally done with school I could take a little break. I love being a librarian, and will go back probably sooner rather than later so I want to stay on top of things during my break. Here is how I’m doing that:
1. Keeping up with my Professional Learning Network
This is a fancy way of saying that I’m following a lot of great librarians on Twitter and I read a lot of blogs. I added a large number of blogs to my RSS reader which is Feedly at the moment. I was already following a good number of librarian blogs and added more, as well as a number of book blogs and child focused blogs not run by librarians.
I started this blog about the time our plans were confirmed. Not only does it help me stay a part of the library community but it keeps me accountable to read and think about library topics regularly. It encourages me to look for new ideas for programs and services and will be one way to show to future employers that I’ve stayed current on literature and best practices.
With no desk schedule to meet I have a lot of free time to take advantage of free webinars. I’ve participated in webinars on the Common Core, serving children on the Autism spectrum, and book previews just in the last little while. School Library Journal, YALSA, and ALSC regularly offer webinars and some past offerings are available to members for free.
4. Chats and Conferences
There are a number of youth services and literature related Twitter chats. Usually these are done around a hashtag with a leader asking questions and participants tweeting their responses. I try to participate in each #readadv chat, and #ewyagc. I’ve seen many good discussions in #libchat, #alscchat, and #titletalk as well. Try searching the hashtag in Twitter to find out when the next session of each is scheduled.
If you’ve been working full time you probably imagine being unemployed as a paradise of unlimited reading time. Somehow I haven’t quite managed to make that work yet. Between family obligations, household duties, blogging, and committee work I don’t get as much done as I’d like. Still, reading is a necessary part of keeping on top of things. In addition to titles for youth don’t forget to take time to check out titles on topics like early childhood development or youth participation that can inform your thinking for the better.