Archive for December, 2009

How to ignite your passion

How to ignite your passion

By Peter Bromberg

Do you want to ignite more passion in one or more areas of your life?  The always insightful Kevin Eikenberry offers six passion-igniting suggestions, in his latest post, Unlocking the Passion Paradox.

If you’re in a situation where you’re feeling less than passionate, try these strategies…

  1. Look for good
  2. Look to serve
  3. Look at the big picture
  4. Look at your attitude
  5. Look in other parts of your life
  6. Look at your choices

Eikenberry fleshes this out a bit and I highly recommend reading his short, excellent post.  I just spent a few minutes applying each of these six suggestions to a collaborative project that I’m involved in that has been starting to drain, rather than ignite, my passion, and let me tell you–it worked!

  1. Look for good: This project will have a direct and positive affect on hundreds of people.  It will actually make a difference in people’s lives in the short term and the long term. YAY!
  2. Look to serveThis project is not about me, it’s bigger than that.  It’s a great honor and privilege that I was given the opportunity –invited, even– to share my time and energy on this project with some truly talented people.
  3. Look at the big picture: Although some things aren’t going in the direction I’d like, as fast as I’d like, the overall impact remains large, and there are still unexplored paths of influence.
  4. Look at your attitude: My attitude was getting whiny and victimy.   Yuck!  Now I’m reframing and looking at this as a creative leadership challenge: What are my choices?  What actions can I engage in that will make it more likely rather than less likely that my desired outcome will emerge?
  5. Look in other parts of your life: Friends, family, health, food in the fridge, a roof over the head.  Books to read, a guitar to play, and a tennis racquet to swing. Check!
  6. Look at your choices: Honestly, I jumped right to looking at my choices when I was looking at my attitude.  But it probably wouldn’t hurt to pick up a pen and actually list out some strategic choices and begin narrowing them down to 3-5 actions that I could do and one or two that I will do.

Ready to re-engage!  I’d be interested in hearing from any readers who have suggestions:  What do you do to reignite your passion when the blahs come to town?

Image by Flickr user jasondirks.  Some rights reserved. CC 2.0

December 8, 2009 at 7:53 am 5 comments

Book Fairs and Bookmobiles inspire the reading spirit

by April Bunn

The tables are cleared, the mini-cash registers are closed and balanced, and the wheelable bookcases are packed and closed. The library looks  a bit empty after our PTO’s Scholastic Book Fair closed last week.

Book Fair picture

Don’t get me wrong, I am always relieved to get my circulation desk (also my personal desk) back and unpack when they leave. It is a challenge to move out of the place and teach my lessons on a cart, but overall Scholastic makes it pretty easy to “wow” the kids. They market with a theme, which this year was Destination Book Fair- reading around the world.

You should see it- the students arrive with books circled in the  flyer, chomping at the bit to get in the library and spend every cent of the money they’ve brought in envelopes and Ziploc baggies. It’s priceless to see the excitement in their eyes when they walk into the wonderland that the PTO members create with these book fairs twice a year.

Library transformed

Despite the economic conditions, the sales were good.  Of course, we quickly sold out of Jeff Kinney’s latest hit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Also, it was great to have a parent purchase and donate the picture book, Dewey: There’s a cat in the Library! which I had on my wish list.

I didn’t have the experience of my library transforming into a Book Fair growing up- the bookmobile came to our school and impressed us. Can you remember visiting the bookmobile? Do you remember the buzz in the school when it arrived?

At my school, in suburban central New Jersey, we’d line up, a few students at a time, old-style bookmobileand head into the bookmobile to spend our money on a brand new book (I don’t remember buying the erasers,  silly pens and pointers, posters, and all the tchotchkes they widely sell now).

Bookmobiles are back in, apparantly, because in 2010, ALA is celebrating bookmobiles and their 100 years of service on National Bookmobile Day, Wednesday, April 14th,  during National Library Week.

Bookmobiles are more commonly used by libraries now, to reach out into the community, but the idea is the same. Drive up, open the doors, and let the excited patrons, young and old, enter the magical kingdom of books.

As librarians, we are lucky to have daily experiences with the joy of connecting people to new books.  I feel extra lucky working with children, because they give us such uninhibited delight when they find the “perfect” book.  Walking into a special place focused on books, whether it be a library, book store, book fair or bookmobile can be all we need to inspire our reading spirit.

Happy Holidays to all of you for keeping that spirit alive.

by April Bunn

December 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm 7 comments

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