Friday, November 25, 2016

10 Things We're Thankful For This Year

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we're going to do another roundup from our writers for the 5 Minute Librarian blog. (You can see last year's post here). There's been a few job changes, but we're more dedicated than ever to this blog.

First and foremost: 

We're so thankful to all of you, our readers, those who have been following us for two years and those who have found us recently. Your support on our blog and our social media accounts keep us going! We wouldn't be here, if it wasn't for you. Thank you!

Jess B., Library/Social Media Consulting

Jess blogs about social media, marketing, technology, helpful librarian tips and tricks, and Teen Librarianship. She started this blog two years ago and will forever be grateful that Allie and Kat decided to join the blogging team. You, Ladies, are rock stars!

1. Hoopla

Over the year, I've become a huge fan of Hoopla. My favorite way of reading is audio books, but I usually end up having to go on wait lists for the books. When they finally are available, I don't have time to actually listen to them. Hoopla allows me to avoid that problem. They have a huge variety of content that is available for immediate download and it's rocking my world. Now that I don't work daily in libraries anymore, having this online service from my home library has been invaluable.

2. Trello

My goal this year is to organize my life so that I can better stay on top of everything. Trello, a free online organize program, has been instrumental with keeping everything on track. I developed a system where I have a list for every month of reoccurring events and tasks, and deadlines of when I should get them. Now that I can see the whole year in one view, I can tackle projects in a better timely manner and hence, much less stress. (I also mentioned I use this to help keep my email inbox low, moving tasks from email to Trello.) I plan to write about this system in a future post, stay tuned!

3. Children's Department

I'm so thankful for all of the Children's Departments in libraries. My daughter loves visiting them, picking out books, playing with the toys, and meeting new friends. We check out so many books that I had to create a shelf in my bookcase to keep track of them all (and had to learn to renew them all at the same time to keep track of due dates). I know it isn't an easy job, but we so very much appreciate all of you!

Kat E., Assistant Director/Youth Services Librarian

Kat blogs about marketing, databases, programming, hot library topics, and Children's and Teen Librarianship.

1. Ingram Program Lists

I've recently started a new position that encompasses children's services, teen services, and a bit of management. I've done this before, but this time I don't have a staff to delegate to! No complaints, but I am a busy lady. I haven't really had as much time for flipping through Booklist and Kirkus reviews as I'd like - but I do have Ingram Program Lists, which is a compilation of new releases that have gotten good reviews, placed into a cart for me to peruse when I have time.  I can quickly browse and easily decide which books to order with a few clicks. It's a huge time (and sanity) saver!

2. OverDrive

This is somewhat more personal than professional for me (though I talk it up all the time, to the occasional dismay of people I meet at parties). I've had a fairly long commute, and the fact that I can download an audiobook and plug my phone into the jack in my car is amazing. No more fumbling with CDs or uploading things to an iPod, no more pressure of looking through the stacks, trying to find something interesting - I go to the app, browse by whatever genre I'm in the mood for, filter by "available now," and pick something. When I go to the gym, I can bring it with me. If I'm in the mood for a print book, I can do that too (I read a lot in bed at night with the lights off, so I can unwind before unplugging for the night). It's super Librarian of me to say, but I am extremely grateful to have OverDrive in my life. 

3. Facebook Groups and Roundtable Meetings

As I said earlier, I'm in the position of wearing many hats, and while I am new and enthusiastic at my current position... well, I'm also the one who wrote about Burnout. Whether it's being busy or being in a rut, or just the fact that there is no way any one person can know everything about everything, I love being able to talk with other librarians (online or in person) to exchange ideas, get advice, and revitalize the love I have for this profession. I always come away with great ideas and a new excitement for programs, displays, titles to read and recommend, and a myriad of other things. Being reminded of why I love what I do - even when I'm in a really good place! - is amazing, and being able to share my own enjoyment and enthusiasm is the best feeling in the world.

Allie C., Head of Teen Services

Allie posts the monthly "Ready to Go" Book Lists, finding books for the three different age groups that librarians can display or order for their collection. 

1. Any New Books?

I love getting Any New Books? emails in my inbox every week. Here's how it works: enter your email address and pick the genres you want to stay up-to-date on. Each week you get an email for each genre with tons of titles that were released that week. It keeps me current with what's coming out and lets me know if I missed something.

2. Novelist Select

I love Novelist to search for books by topics, setting, feel and more. But what made everything even better was when Novelist Select was added to our system's catalog. Now when patrons and staff search in the catalog there is additional information provided by Novelist. You don't have to do additional searches in Novelist for suggestions of other titles you might like, similar authors, summaries, reviews, recommended lists, and reader rating and reviews. Additionally if the book is part of a series, it lists the books of the series in order. Check it out for yourself by searching the CWMARS catalog.

3. My Husband

Last year I was thankful for my coworkers (and I am still thankful for them). This year I want to let my husband know how thankful I am for his hard work in relation to my library life. (He's a faithful reader of this blog.) He works actively with our library's Friends group and was voted President this past year. He's always willing to help volunteer at special library programs when we need an extra hand. Plus he's very understanding when I need to do my reading for the YALSA Quick Picks committee. (Last year I read more than 350 books for the committee, and this is my second year.) He's a great listener when I talk about my job and always reminds me on the hard days that I'm a great librarian.

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