School lbrarians look forward to each summer with great anticipation. We know that we need to rest and relax after a full school year. However, with conferences, writing, and reading, many summers can be as hectic, if not more hectic, than the school year. Here are some tips that help me to recharge my batteries during the summer.
Read something completely unrelated to school
Librarians read a lot! But we rarely read just for ourselves. We have stacks of YA novels, children’s books, and industry books to read. So much so, that we really find no time to read for leisure and we consider this to be a guilty pleasure. This summer take time to read something that you don’t review, book talk, or blog about. Something that is all yours, something that is perhaps private. A book for escape or fun. After all aren’t we the champions of freedom to read, and guardians of privacy. Here is a list from Book Reporter of authors that readers will skip dinner to read.
Sometimes we can’t relax because we have so much in our heads about the previous school year and about the year to come. We are planning and planning during the summer. A good idea is to make a long list of all the ideas and things to do that we have for the coming year (this can be electronic). This is a good time to reflect but mainly just get the information out of our heads so that we can relax. In an earlier post, I reviewed “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload” by Daniel J Levitin. I recommend the chapter “Getting Part of Your Mind Outside Your Body” pages 64-79. In just this small section Levitin explains how “Writing things down conserves the mental energy expended in worrying that you might forget something and in trying not to forget it.”
Start a healthy routine
Summer is a great time to start something new. I’ve always heard people give the advice if you’re going to get a new pet to get it during the summer time so that the children can help house train the pet. Summertime is a great time to get started on new habits. I’ve actually started a new habit this summer. My daughter is a runner and she needed a running partner during the 2-week dead period. I could not run as fast as my daughter who is a track and cross-country runner so I decided to ride my bike alongside her. I have continued that habit every morning even after she went back to practice. It might not be something physical it might be some other kind of habit. You may want to begin journaling, cooking, or something else. Take a look at this article meant for college students 6 Healthy Summer Habits (& How to Keep Them Year-Round).
Explore social media like a kid
These days our kids’ lives are embedded in the world of social media. It is really important that we experience this area of their lives first-hand. Summertime is a great time to explore social media as if you were a tween or teen. If you have a teenager at home they can help you navigate the process. I recommend getting the Snapchat app and reading the Snapchat Discover articles. Many of my students talk about Brother and other daily “news” on Snapchat Discover. You will learn a lot about this generation by seeking out this kind of social media. You might also want to do something fun and silly. This summer I decided to start an Instagram account for my dog. He’s great at posing for pictures and my children love telling their friends that their dog has an Instagram account.
Find what works for you!
I welcome more tips in the comments section. Remember travel and trips to the spa are wonderful things but we cannot always afford these on a teacher’s salary. Think about day trips, local museums, and music festivals. Maybe get out into nature, take a hike or swim in a nearby lake. Have a happy and restful summer school librarians!
Author: Hannah Byrd Little
Hello, I am the Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle. I use my past experience in college and university libraries to help my current students in school libraries transition into college, career, and life. I am currently the lead Senior Class Adviser for the Capstone Project. I also served at the state level with the Tennessee Association of School Librarians executive board from 2009-2013 and was the TASL president in 2012. I am certified as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, have a BS in Communications with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations, a BS in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Information Systems and a Masters in Library and Information Science.