Monthly Archives: August 2013

20 Minutes a Day

Clocks by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

In the town that I work in, many school children must read 20 minutes a day. For some kids I’m sure this is no big deal–perhaps they read an hour plus each day. For other kids, 20 minutes of reading is surely a challenge. Perhaps they don’t like reading, maybe they have lots of homework, maybe reading is extremely difficult. Still their teachers expect to see a reading log filled with daily 20 minute entries.

I am a creature of empathy. I got to thinking, “Do I read 20 minutes each day?” You may be surprised to know the answer is no. Some days I read much more than that, but some days I don’t read books at all. I like books, and reading–but I don’t always read a ton (yet I always have enough time for social media…). Knowing what the kids in my community are tasked with–I’m inspired to do more. 20 minutes of reading a day is nothing for a literate grown up who likes books (and has access to lots of them) . So I’m challenging myself to read at least 20 minutes a day.

Reading is a habit, a muscle. We can exercise reading or we can exercise other things (TV, Pinterest, Facebook). If you can find the time, I invite you set a reasonable daily goal for reading. Maybe that’s 5 minutes for you…maybe it’s an hour. Regardless, it will exercise your reading muscle AND  it will set a great example for the kids in your life. Teachers assigning 20 minutes of reading will only go so far in growing readers. Seeing a grown up they respect read can make a huge difference in a child’s desire to pick up a book.



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A New Go-To…Dirty Bertie: Germs!

Dirty Bertie is a series imported from the UK. Bertie is kind of a stinker. He’s just the right amount of creative and mischievous so as to keep readers (even reluctant ones) reading and parents ok with it. In Germs! Bertie has three main problems: figuring out how to catch his sister’s chicken pox, how to help his Gran win a ballroom dancing competition (with no prior dance experience), how to deal with his new babysitter (who happens to look like Frakenstein’s monster). Bertie’s resourcefulness shines through as he solves these problems (each covered in a chapter of this three chapter book).

Readers will enjoy this book’s pace (especially the three chapter format), illustrations and Bertie’s rough and tumble charm. The book is a read alike for the Wimpy Kid series and Roald Dahl titles like Matilda.

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Confessions of an Absent Blogger

My last post took place during the Super Bowl. Yes–yes I know. A new football season is upon us and it’s been that long since I blogged–but a lot has happened. After the big game, there was a perfect storm of activity. I was promoted to Manager of Children’s services at my job. This was a very exciting and big step. Still responsible for PR activities at my library, I needed to produce our spring/summer newsletter. Now manager of Children’s Services, I needed to plan and prep for summer reading. I was also taking a grant writing class at the time–and I moved apartments.

When work gets going, I hunker down and focus. I was able to manage all of the things I mentioned above, but blogging would have been stressful. So I left it behind for a few months. For some people, blogging is their job. For other’s it’s a more leisurely outlet (even if it’s related to their work). I write this blog to document my journey through the library. While I could have come home every night for the past several months and blogged about my work and my day–it wouldn’t have been productive for me. I love looking back now, after summer reading, after producing another newsletter–and saying “Hey, I made it…and I love my job…and I like blogging too.”

Since I went to work with my Aunt Julie one day when I was 10, I’ve wanted to manage people one day. It wasn’t all glamour, we ran out of gas on the freeway–but I could see that she was respected, fair and good at what she did/does. Everyday I try to learn something new about being a manager–and I draw on the example of great managers that I’ve had. My biggest lesson so far is that managing is an outward, positive focus toward the team.

One last confession, my husband and I are expecting our first baby in December! I’m excited to see how my library journey evolves in this next chapter.

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