The new year is here, and many of us are making resolutions regarding our health and personal time. But how many of us make professional goals for the new year? I am challenged to think about ways to grow and stretch in the new year. Work-life during the school year is hectic, to say the very least. Right now think about summer and the things that you might be able to do when school is out to build your professional life. Many state library associations offer professional development during the summertime; one goal could be to make plans to attend a summer workshop. To step it up a notch, think about presenting this summer. Check bordering states to see if there are unique presentations you might attend.
A prominent individual goal that is also a professional goal is reading. Making time for reading is difficult during the school year, but I still try to complete about two books per week. Check out this earlier post on reading apps to see how to read and review more books in less time. When looking for an excellent read, there are a couple of places to go, including Bill Gates’s reading list and Oprah’s Book Club list. To keep on top of the latest books, another great source is the New York Times bestseller list. To kickstart reading this year, I recommend Educated by Tara Westover. This book made both Oprah’s top ten and Gates’s top five. This memoir will inspire and remind us how important and valuable an education can be and make us grateful for the opportunities we have.
One thing over which we have less control is the goal setting for our students in the new year. Challenging students to also have some “professional goals” as well as personal goals may be a great way to start. We can teach them about reading for personal growth. Perhaps make a reading challenge for the new year. Also, think about an activity where students can set goals for the future. This year I have noticed a number of local events where individuals are creating vision boards. Perhaps host a student vision board activity in your makerspace.
What will you celebrate in the new year?
Finally, make plans to celebrate in the new year! The first big event I look forward to in the new year is the ALA Youth Media Awards held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This year I will not be able to attend in person so I will be following the awards on Twitter with the hashtag #alayma19. Each year, one can prepare for the awards by reviewing various mock lists including but not limited to the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz medals.
Other celebrations in the spring include NEA’s Read Across America Day on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’s birthday), Teen Tech Week during the week of March 3-9, School Library Month in April, D.E.A.R Drop Everything and Read on April 12, Children’s Day/Book Day – El día de Los niños/El día de Los Libros (Día) on April 30, and Choose Privacy Week during the week of May 1-7.
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.