Monday, January 14, 2013

Breaks, Ukes, Recognition, and the Reality of Life in the Trenches

Oh, my poor neglected programming blog. I have all these notes and pictures of programming I did this fall and winter and just never got around to posting it. :(

BUT! The winter storytime break is over, and one of my resolutions is to be better about blogging here. But, today I was messing around online a bit before getting to the blogging, when some very relevant posts came up in my reader. Hi Miss Julie! has an incredible post about the need for recognition on the front lines. About how those of us (usually female) who do the work don't get the press and recognition and speaking fees that the ivory tower visionaries (usually male) get.* Kelly at Stacked had a wonderful post in response, adding her call for more support and simple "thank yous" and how far they can go in an often thankless job.**

And how is that relevant to this blog? Well, I started it as a way to say Thank You. I read so many programming blogs (and blogs that cover programming) that I was starting to feel guilty because I'd take and take and take and take and take and thought maybe it was time to see if I could give back to this huge resource.

My new system takes storytime breaks and we've just started up again after a looooooooooong break. So, posts are coming today about what I did last week. I assume my readership is mainly programming librarians, so you know this, but just in case, storytime "breaks" aren't really breaks. It gives you time to recharge, but there's also a lot of planning and prepping (I cut up so much felt) and working on other projects (hello weeding!).

And, in the vein of "What I did on my Winter Vacation," my parents gave me a ukelele for Hanukkah, so I've been learning how to play that and it made its storytime debut last week! I used to play guitar in college and brought it in a few times for storytime, but it's big and annoying to haul to work a few times a week and it's also hard to switch between the guitar and a book. I was hoping the smaller size of a uke would fix that and YES it does! Of course, I had to learn how to play it first, but I've been practicing. (In fact, I just took a quick blog break to run through "If You're Happy and You Know It.")

So, I'm back.

Thank a librarian today.

*I will say that I've worked with some great front-line male children's librarians and I think they have it harder, because society tends to assume the worst of any guy that wants to work with kids. I've had patrons complain about "some guy lurking in the stacks" when it was just a coworker shelf-reading. But, it's a footnote because the larger argument holds.

**I've also been super-blessed in my career to work for systems and with a general public that tends to truly honor the day-to-day efforts of public service staff. It makes such a huge difference. My former supervisor ended most of his emails with "thank you for all that you do." It was such a simple closing, but the fact he took the time and knowing that he actually meant it made such a huge difference.

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  1. Thank you for being you! I am trying really hard to remember to actually learn my own uke and you have reminded me to get back on the wagon!


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