Welcome to March!

SUMMER READING PROGRAM IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

It’s almost spring! However, I saw the forecast for this weekend with measurable snow SO I guess it’s North Dakota’s last attempt to hold onto winter!

This time of the year always seems a little crazy for me. Everyone is still getting a cold or flu or other illness and we’re all just ready for the warm weather. We’ve had to cancel a few of our story times, either because I knew there was a whole bunch of sick kids, or my own kids had been exposed to something or, in the case of last week, I had been exposed to some “yuck”. The last thing I want to do is get everyone else sick (I did manage to escape the yuck!). I appreciate that everyone was considerate and I didn’t see many sick kids at the story times we did have! We did our best to clean the library surfaces every day, hoping to ward off the germs, but you know now that I think back, I certainly didn’t wipe down every crayon, marker or pencil in the library. You can only do so much, right?? Just keep in mind that the sick season isn’t over yet, and everyone will certainly appreciate the consideration in keeping your sick kids (or self) out of public places when you are able. Thank you in advance!

I know the library hours have been a bit sporadic lately, and I do apologize. It gets tough to cover all the hours I would like to be open when the staff (of staff children!) get sick. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we all hold on through the rest of the winter sick season!

That being said, we’re on track to have story time this week, both for the PK kids at 10:30am Wednesday and 4:00pm for the K-2nd graders on Wednesday as well. We had our very first multilingual story time the on February 26th and it was a great time! Lisa Ledbetter read us a story in Spanish and the preschoolers got to mix up their own paint. We kept it contained in plastic Ziploc bags, with minimal mishaps! (One was exploding green paint on the library director’s white sweater…I learned a valuable lesson that day not to wear white on story time days! PS – it was TOTALLY my own fault!)

Our second multilingual story time is set for BOTH story groups on Wednesday, March 25th. Sarah Wright will be sharing with us about sign language! If you are able, it will be lots of fun I’m certain. For the 4pm story time that day, I welcome anyone who is interested to come in…we won’t limit it to 2nd grade. Usually I pick the stories based on the age group, but for the multilingual times, I think that afternoon group can include the whole town if they’d like to come! The more the merrier!

With springtime right around the corner, I guarantee that there are other library directors throughout North Dakota thinking the exact thing I’m thinking: SUMMER READING PROGRAM IS COMING! I’ve been to the prep meetings, and this year is destined to be good. The theme is “Imagine Your Story”…if you happened to hear the last time I was able to chat with Jim Prather at KTGO radio, you heard that this means we’ll be incorporating lots of fairy tales, legends, folklore, and the craft ideas are endless! I have a huge manual that I am getting lots of great idea from, and I’m excited for the summer to get here. It will be a large undertaking, particularly for someone who has NEVER put something like this together. I made sure one of the classes I took this year in grad school talked about public library programs so I could pick the brains of my classmates! Still, chances are good I’ll be asking for some volunteers this summer so if you’ll be in the area and are interested in helping in any capacity, keep your eyes open here and on the Facebook page for announcements!

We also received a grant this year to have a weekly STEM club, which I was able to push off at least temporarily due to the large amount of activities that were happening for the school kids. But we DO need to get that going VERY VERY SOON, or we will lose the grant money. SO, I’m working hard this week to finalize all the details and I will post the announcement VERY soon!

Now just a bit of “not-so-good” news. Let’s take into consideration all that I just talked about: sickness, story times, summer reading program, grad school, STEM club…PLUS all the regular day to day tasks that come with running a library, my family, the remainder of my life activities…oh yeah, and at least SOME sleep – something has to “give” or it will be my health or sanity! Although I managed not to catch whatever my kids had last week, by the time Friday came and I was back at work, I realized pretty quickly that I AM WIPED OUT. It’s easy to think you have it all together and you’re just plowing through everything until you have to take a break from your daily grind and realize that you’re exhausted. As much as I do not like to cancel anything, or say NO to other ideas, I’ve realized I need to. For right now, the only day of the week that I typically do not have to work or run all over the place for activities for myself and my family is Saturday. I really need that day to be free…including to possibly sleep in if I can! For that reason, I’m “suspending” the Saturday morning HIIT class and kid’s story time/fitness class. I’m not saying “cancel” just yet, because I do believe I will at least revisit the idea of putting them back into the schedule sometime in the future. For now, I need to give myself a totally free day, and I appreciate your understanding!

That’s your March Madness update! Enjoy the nice days as we start to see them more and more…with as long as winter really is up here, we should always remember that spring and summer ALWAYS make an appearance if we’re patient for long enough!

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