Miss Meg’s Top 10 of 2015

I am currently on storytime break, and haven’t really felt the need* to blog about any of my recent storytimes, so things are slow over here on Miss Meg’s Storytime.

*Typically, I try to only blog about storytimes when I have something to add about that theme.

It will probably be a few weeks until I have some new content for you but until then, here are a few of my favorite things! (The Sound of Music is our favorite family holiday movie)

via GIPHY

Top 10 favorite things from Library world

10. Kendra’s Self Care Sundays on her blog, Read Sing Play.  So much of my online and personal life is about the library world, I am in over 10 library facebook groups, when people see me around the community they see “Miss Meg the librarian”, my closest friends here in CT are all librarians or work in libraries, and nearly everyone I follow on twitter is library or book related.  My persona is “Librarian” everywhere.  Sometimes it’s good to just step back and not think about the library, or reading, and do my own thing.  I love that Kendra recognized this and started blogging about the things she does on Sundays to take care of herself, and how by doing this she is really making herself a better librarian anyways.

9. My favorite school age program I did this past year at my library was Spy Academy (1, 2, 3).  This was a lot of fun and both challenging and very rewarding.  I did this program last winter and I still have regular questions on when I will be offering it again.  It required a bit if planning and prep work but I highly recommend doing your own version!

8.  Fictional Talking Bears Storytime.  This was such a fun theme for both me and the kids!  A new unexpected favorite (along with teeth storytime).

7. Canva.com… I’m counting this in “library related things” because I use it mostly for library things like this blog and promotional materials at the library.  I LOVE Canva, it makes creating eye catching posters and social media things really easy and fun.  Here are some of my favorite things I’ve created:

Early Literacy Playgroup Toddler- Dance Party

6. This year I was lucky enough to be chosen for the 2017 Nutmeg Intermediate Book Award Selection Committee.  The Intermediate Nutmeg Book Award is the Connecticut state award for books aimed at children in grades 3-5.  What this meant is that between January and October of this year I read over 100 middle grades books to help decide the top 10 that would be on the nominee list, which a winner will then be voted on by the kids across Connecticut!  It was a lot of work reading all of those books and attending meetings an hour away but it was so rewarding!

5. My first time attending Book Expo America (BEA)!!! It was exhausting, and a whirlwind of things happening BUT SO AMAZING.  It will be in Chicago in 2016 so all you midwest librarians should definitely find a way to attend! It is not expensive as far as conferences go and you get to come home with SO MANY BOOKS!!!! And meet so many authors! Ahhhh I am getting all excited again just thinking about it.

Me with Mac Barnett & Jory John
Me with Mac Barnett & Jory John

BEA Book Haul
BEA Book Haul

4. Maker Morning Roundup.  This is something started by Holly (of Let the Wild Rumpus Start) and I to hopefully shed light on some of the great maker programs happening out there in library world.

3.  I wrote a thing!  This past year Upstart launched their new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten line, and I was asked to write the free startup guide!  This was a super fun project to research and write and I hope it helps many librarians in the future to start their own 1,000 Books program!  There are a couple more things that will be published this coming year that I am excited to share as well.

2. Outreach storytime.  This year marked the first full year of outreach storytime and me being a #librarianonthego.  This was one of my goals for 2015 and I am so excited to report that things are going great so far!  In our small town, I visit a local pre-school, and a handful of at home daycares once a month for storytime.  This was previously a service that the children’s room didn’t provide so there have been a few small obstacles in just getting the word out.  Now, my outreach storytimes are some of my favorite parts of the month.

Storytime at the Farmer's Market
Storytime at the Farmer’s Market

1. A Very Merry Trump-mas; in which Rebecca from Hafuboti trolled the Storytime Underground facebook page to get us to rethink how we do programming around the Holidays.  I sometimes feel like a broken record at this time of year because I am personally against Christmas programming and so half of my comments on facebook in library groups are “hey, watch your privilege, not everyone is Christian”, but I really enjoyed the perspective Rebecca had that made us really think hard about what we do and why we do it.

Okay…okay… I need to do an honorable mention as well because I really couldn’t pick only 10:
Invention Storytime, Storytime Underground Local Chapters, the Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak, Twitter, and every time I let the children use glitter in the library. Oh, and that one time I let the kids “paint” with squirt guns thinking that the paint would come off of the wall but it’s been over 6 months and many rains and it’s still there. oops!

Squirt Gun Painting


Top 10 favorite things not from Library world

10. I shaved half my head!  I had been thinking about it for a long time then I  started reading the graphic novel Nimona (in which the main character and some of her head shaved) and decided then and there that I AM DOING THIS.  I did receive many comments from people with their opinions of my hair (not that I asked) but I am SO HAPPY I did it.  My current hair is short on one side and growing out on the other but I plan to keep it short for a very long time! Follow me on instagram (@theemegnificent) to see more sweet pics of my shaved head ;)

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9. I got a new sewing machine from Mike as an early Christmas present.  I have wanted one for years so I was so excited that we found one at a decent price the weekend after Thanksgiving.  So far, I have just made a couple scarfs, a small stuffed animal, and some bookmarks, but my long term goal is to be able to make my own dresses and skirts.

8. At home paint nights.  As many of you have seen, there are a lot of dedicated places for these “everyone paints the same pictures and drinks wine” type of things.  Which seem really great and someday I’d like to do a real one but until then, Mike and I have made our own at home (and we never get cut off on how much wine we drink!).  We don’t always have a ton of money to do fancy things, but we like to get creative with what we have.

at home paint night

7. I ate a lot of delicious food in 2015 including Oysters in Boston, a new Taco place near us, chicken wings every chance I get, Thai food for my first time, a bunch of goodies when I visited home in November, some fun new homemade meals, and cheese at every opportunity.

6. For both of our first times, Mike and I were able to take part in a CSA box.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and once a week for 22(ish) weeks we picked up a box of mostly vegetables (some fruits) fresh from a local farm!  It was so fun exploring new veggies and recipes.

5. Okay so technically not library related because I read all of these books in my personal time but my favorite books for 2015 were Dumplin’  by Julie Murphy, Ms. MarvelLumberjanes, and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (who I also got to meet at BEA!)

4. I was lucky enough this year to go home for Thanksgiving!  It was my first time home for Thanksgiving since I’ve moved out of the midwest and I was so happy to be there.

3. Visits from friends and family.  In 2015 alone my best friend and her husband visited from Minnesota and we spent the weekend in Boston, my brother visited from Wisconsin (and again spent the weekend drinking beer in Boston), and I joined my other best friend (since Kindergarten!) for a long weekend in NYC. <3 My mom and dad are planning a visit up here for summer of 2016!
Also, along with my friends and family visiting we also had to chance to visit many of Mike’s friends in Boston and NYC and regularly visited his family in MA!

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Boston!

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Best friend since Kindergarten and I on a casual stroll through Central Park

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Brother and I! He visited for my birthday on July 4th.

Mike & I with his little cousin
Mike & I with his little cousin
Though not technically a "visit"... these are our very good friends in CT!
Though not technically a “visit”… these are our very good friends in CT!

2. New kitten! I received Frank on January 1st of 2015 :) He’s a stinker and the very definition of a scardey cat, but he gives the best snuggles (unless it’s 4am then he gives the best finger nibbles). Frank joined Rae (who I received in 2014) and they still don’t quite get along but I love them both oh so much <3

Frank Frank & Rae

1. In February of this year, my boyfriend Mike joined me in Connecticut. Previous to that we had been long distance for 18 months (first from NH -> WI, then from CT -> WI). It is still an adjustment for both of us to go from living alone to constantly having another human near us, but I am oh so thankful that our relationship is no longer comprised of facetime and phone calls.

Mike with (then, a kitten) Frank, his first week living in CT.
Mike with (then, a kitten) Frank, his first week living in CT.

 


2015 was a really great year for me, professionally and personally, so here’s to 2016!  See you then.