My main worry had been not knowing what I didn't know. Having done the job for nine years, I was aware that subtle but significant changes can take place along over time. Different procedures, new databases, and branch particulars could influence the things I thought I knew. Then there are the things I've forgotten almost entirely, like trouble-shooting the Internet sign-ups and print jobs.
As it turns out, that wasn't as much a problem as I feared. The books, the library, the customer service are all coming back like riding a bicycle. If the other parts keep me a bit off-balance, then maybe it's like riding a unicycle. But either way, it's not stressful. My co-workers are nice, helpful, and understanding. The patrons have been patient, even when I lead them in the completely wrong direction in the library. (Oops.) There are definitely some things I need to learn or relearn, but I'm getting back in the game quickly.
In fact, I'll do my first book talking session in a week! I had been planning to do this as a volunteer anyway, so I did have some books planned. My Fair County puts together a list of books for the Summer Reading Program that used to consist of new titles, but now pulls from years of great books. The good thing for me is that they are titles I've used before, making the work that much easier. Of course, I never write these things down, so maybe not that much easier.
Since I'm starting with a kindergarten through third grade, my focus is on picture books today. Sharon Creech has written the perfect booktalk title with A Fine, Fine School about a principal who thinks school should go all the time because he's so proud of his students and teachers. Reading about keeping school going all year long is so much fun to do in a room full of kids days before summer break. I'm also looking at Bark, George as a read aloud, because it's first title I ever booktalked. Yup, really. I already have a stuffed rabbit to wear on my head to introduce A Boy and his Bunny, which I'll pitch as a beginning reader as well as a picture book. I'm also looking to the wonderful Steve Jenkins for Prehistoric Actual Size and the new Just a Second. Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't bring the magic of Mo Willems to my booktalk with the Elephant and Piggie series. I'm still pinning down my early chapter book selections, so I'll save them for next week. Stay tuned.
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