Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Library Diet

The Library Diet

As someone who has fought the Battle of the Bulge for, well, way too many years, I've accumulated numerous books, magazines, memberships, special foods, clothes, equipment and mental frustration that  have resulted in many more "Before" pictures and very few "After" ones. So much so that I've concluded that the best way for me to drop these pesky 15-20 pounds is to give away those magazines, books, memberships, unexpired special foods, clothes and equipment to a worthy recipient! At least my shelves and closet will be lighter. But that still leaves me frustrated.
However, as time goes on, my mindset has changed to adopt some principles that offer a much more realistic approach, reminding myself that this challenge is not a sprint race, but a marathon...long term! And with most life lessons I ponder, I can make some application to the Media Center and the day to day journey  we are on there. It's nothing extreme or revelatory or newstand-cover worthy ("Never Weed Another Book Again!", "Blast Those Shelves Back in Order by the Weekend!", "The Only Reading Motivation Program You'll Ever Need!"), but lends a degree of sanity to my life that offers realistic results. So here goes!

1. It's Not a Sprint, It's a Marathon
You don't have to do everything this week, month, semester or even year! Tackle one or two new programs, not everything you hear someone else doing. Give yourself time to implement a few quality ideas each year. I have yet to implement a specific grade-level program for all levels at my school, but I have added one or two special things a year that I have been able to build on. See what's important to your administration and go with that.

2. What Can You Live Without?
Foodwise I can identify the things that I know I don't need or will help me reach my goal. Nothing drastic, since I'm in this for the long haul. How about your Media Center activities? What are you doing that isn't helping you reach your media goals? What's getting in the way of your daily to do list that makes you have the last car in the parking lot? Checking e-mails way too often? Moving the same piles of paper every day/week/month? Making more files for more Pinterest Ideas when you haven't done the ideas from FAME 5 years ago? It might be difficult on a daily basis, but determine that weekly, you are going to get through your To Do list or just drop it!

3.  Do You Have a Plan?
Just like I'm trying to plan my meals each week, and failing when I wing it (grab the box of Cheerios to keep at school since I can't get my mornings together), you won't make much headway in a quality Media program just by showing up. If you meant to observe Hispanic Heritage Month, it's a little late! And Columbus Day is here now! But now is when you might plan for Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Native Americans, etc. Nothing big, but will you have a book display? Do you store your signage in a way that it's easy to locate each year? (wait, was that the Fall Box, November Box, Orange Stuff Box? Is Veteran's Day in the September Patriotic Box or the May Memorial Day Box? Do I have too many boxes?) If you spend more time trying to organize your stuff, try getting rid of the stuff! Then you don't have to invest in all the files/boxes/time it takes to organize it. And you can get on with your plan!

Okay Media dieters and others, that's enough for this week. As a former leader for the WW organization, I know all of the tips, slogans, recipes, etc, that are popular and can work. But only as they are put into practice on a regular basis. I'll post some more of my "plan" next week, no excuses! In the meantime, be good and forgiving to yourself and just determine that you CAN do this!