Spring Fever?

Column Editor:  Mary E. (Tinker) Massey  (Serials Librarian, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Jack R. Hunt Library)  <masse36e@erau.edu>

Wow!  It’s tough to get up in the mornings.  Just seems to come at the wrong time of day.

Well, at 5 am, I throw off the covers, slide into some slippers, and trudge to the refrigerator to get some cold water.  Nothing like chilling your innards to get you awake.  Take a look at the old MASH rerun, get a shower, get dressed, feed the cat, and start breakfast.  As I eat, I watch my favorite TV minister for a half-hour, sip my tea, and then finalize the body and mind for work.  The drive is about twelve minutes, and we begin the work routine: turn on the computer, sign in, check email, take care of small projects, and line up the heavier ones for the day.  Check the schedule of meetings and get going — it’s 8 am.

I’m sure each one of you knows his/her job duties by heart and virtually (in your head) thinks them through as you perform them.  Is this the same old routine day in and day out?  I find that some things can be changed or at least the order in which we do them.  As today, we are on hold while our records are sent electronically to have the authorities checked by an outside company.  Well, I probably have time to relate a few things to you while I am waiting for the records’ clearance back into Voyager.  We do this quarterly and then scrutinize all records on a yearly basis.  It’s hard enough to get myself going in the spring without interruptions, but I’ve done it for over forty years and I have about a month to go before retirement.  When I de-processed books in the early days, there was a routine, going from the front of the book to the back in removing library identifiers like book plates, call numbers, stamps, etc.  Once I did a project of removing around 50,000 books from the library system (mostly multiple copies from the 1930’s to the 50’s).  What a bore!  I decided to vary the activity by de-processing from back to front, and then inside out (front, back, front, back, etc.).  The job became more interesting and I found that I increased my speed and accuracy.  Years later when I shelved books in a public library, I developed a routine that cut our shelving time in half.  After awhile that became boring so I reversed it and it became more interesting.  The main library asked me to fill in for some shelvers one Saturday.  I worked from 9am to noon and shelved ten trucks of materials, leaving the last two undone.  The supervisors were aghast.  “What will our afternoon shelvers do?”  I assured them that there would be more books coming from Circulation, and perhaps they could use the shelvers to help the patrons a little more.  They did, and everyone was happy.

Spring fever is a time for reverie usually.  Do you slow down, dream a little more, or just shut down?  I associate spring fever with some reverie, a great deal of reminiscence, and a check on my development in the field.  Where do I need to go from here?  Short future checks!  A get-up and go kick to proceed with life and my professional attitudes.  Do I need to pursue more writing opportunities?  What?  Do I need to exercise my right to more Webinars and workshops?  How many conferences should I attend?  Do I have some interesting information to do presentations?  I am always learning and doing and looking for more meaningful adventures in the profession and life.  In June or July, I should be finished with my first children’s book for 3-10 year olds.  There will be about 15 of them in the Lake Series, and our speed is increasing as the illustrator and I review what we have done.  With my retirement looming, it will create more time to write, read, and produce books for children on family relationships and morals.  This spring has become a fever to get things done and open the doors to more new experiences.  How has your spring been?  Is this something you should consider?  Create your own future by designing more professional development.  It’s exciting!