Monday, November 7, 2016

Take a break, run away with us for the summer

 For the past three school years (2013-2016), I was the head librarian for private Islamic school run by the Saudi Arabian government. Okay, so I was also the only librarian, but they gave me that job title, so I ran with it.
A most perfect t-shirt from my mother-in-law
Overall, it was an amazing three years. I learned a LOT (being a solo librarian who trains herself on a lot of things is becoming my jam) and had fun doing it. I went on interesting field trips, read many great books (I already enjoy reading middle grade and YA fiction, so to have a large collection at my fingertips that I could then discuss with my students was fantastic), and made some good friends - students and colleagues alike.

I was never planning to be a school librarian, but  this position sort of fell into my lap at just the right time and it turned out to be just what I needed.

For a little while.

When I took the job, I felt pretty quickly like I wouldn't be there forever. I wanted to give it everything I could, but only as long as I needed to. Being a school job, it was going to be natural to leave in between school years, and it turned out that's what I needed to do this year.

Even more conveniently, the school was actually closing and another was opening in its place in a different part of the county. It was the perfect time for me to close the doors and let someone else open the new ones. Several of my colleagues and students were going to the new school, but a lot of us didn't for a lot of reasons, and it was really refreshing to leave on good terms and on my own terms. I had put a lot of work into the last three years and I felt really good about how I had curated the collection (it went to the new school) and what I had been able to teach my students.

So, in June of this year, I became what I am calling a semi-retired librarian. I don't need to work - we've lived on one income our entire marriage and now it's Blake's turn. In fact, my contract ran out in August, just as his started up, so it was a rather seamless financial transition.

I would like to work again at some point, but I've enjoyed the last few months of not having to. I've had other things to work on, least of all preparing to move to Japan and now settling in here. Sometime, probably soon, I'll look for positions locally or online that are either directly, or indirectly, a match for my skills and interests! It will keep me busy and help fund our adventures and paying down of student debt. If you have any ideas or opportunities, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, I'm going on a walking tour of our new city tomorrow while Blake works, because I can!

We made book blizzard - the kids cut snowflakes out of coffee filters and then wrote their favorite book on them

Book Character Day and we both ended up as Professor Trelawney

This book from the 1970s did not make it to the new school

Neither did these books and a whole lot of others; I weeded like crazy.

A DC-local artist made journals out of some of the books I weeded, and I got this one as a gift.

I have a love/hate relationship with book fairs myself, but the kids absolutely loved them.

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