Not quite the same as the summer of 69, but then I couldn’t really use that as I wasn’t even born then. 😉
Tomorrow is the first day of summer, and I don’t know about you, but around here in public library land we are really starting to gear up for the school holidays and the holiday season. We received our shirts advertising the reading programme “Dive into Books”, and the rewards came last week. Registrations started, with all the Readplus (for teenagers) spaces taken, and most of the dive into books places also gone. Also the last splurge of pre-holiday bestsellers are arriving and hitting the shelves, although most of the Christmas themed titles seem to have already come. 🙂
It’s a funny season this, as a lot of business’s wind down for the holidays, and people look to take their big break, we in the public library land are building towards the busiest time of year. The summer reading programme is a big deal and takes a lot of co-ordination and work. Everyone who wants to relax on the beach or under a tree in the back yard is in for books, so our figures go up. The bored teens have lots of weeks to come a haunt the library and use the free Internet . I sort of enjoy the buzz you get, but at the same time I thinks “but I want to be on holiday”.
That’s one of the troublesome bits for public libraries. Everyone wants to go on holiday over summer with their family (well lots do), so holiday leave is often rationed. I think though that one of the really annoying bits, is that for nearly every public library, everyone else in the larger organisation is on holiday. The council offices and service centres all close down from Christmas eve until after New Years, but not the library. A lot of councils have Christmas functions that all staff are expected to go to, yet library are also expected to be open. That must give the librarian in charge a headache. I have done relief work for book vouchers to cover such events. I guess it’s a complaint you find in a lot of service industries, and I take comfort that at least we are not like the poor saps in the fast food industry working on the holidays! Heck back in my student days I worked New years eve at a KFC until 2 in the morning, what a nightmare! This year I am getting the week off, which is a happy thing. 🙂
But the bizarre thing for me, is that often this week is the slowest of the year. We can’t be closed as people will want their holiday reading, but they are so busy being on holiday they don’t go to the library! Go figure.
Anyway, for those of you who are heading off on holiday this summer, have a great break! For those working through the long hot summer days, may the air conditioning work and the punters be happy! And remember if visiting your local public library, and finding chaos and bedlam, smile. The poor soul behind the counter could probably need it!