2013 in Review (part 1)

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was writing a review post for 2012. So much has happened this year, but you can’t really tell from my posts! I keep promising to update this more frequently, so maybe it’ll be a New Year’s resolution? Then it’d never happen! Anyway, here’s a look at my year:

In January, my husband and I took a two week trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon! We pretty much spent our time playing tourists on the streets of Waikiki, visiting the beach, hiking up volcanoes, buying expensive skin care products from Israeli street merchants and eating at famous places like the Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump’s. And what’s a trip without a near death experience? On our last full day in Hawaii, we took a wrong turn on a hike on the Manana Trail to see the Waimano Waterfall and ended up going 3 or so miles on a monster of a trail before realizing we were unprepared and out of water. Thankfully we made it back to the bus and then our hotel safely. We never did get to see the waterfall...but it became my favorite tale from the trip though! If you ever find yourself in Hawaii, I recommend the Circle Island Tour, Germaine’s Luau and a trip to the Ala Moana Center, the largest open air shopping mall in the world!

Once back in the states and the frigid weather of Iowa, I quickly put my nose to the grindstone and coordinated a six-month strategic planning process for my library. My only experience with long range planning was in library school, so I based my plan largely on the fictitious one I contributed to for a group project. I formed a Strategic Planning Committee made up of members of the Library Board of Trustees, library staff, Friends of the Library members, City of Oskaloosa council members, the city manager and myself. The committee gathered data and information about the Library’s resources, services and programs; users and non-users of the library; and the communities of Oskaloosa and Mahaska County through the responsibilities of four subcommittees: a Survey Team, Inventory Team, Focus Group Team and an Outreach Team. You can check out the full plan here.

By the time the plan was completed and submitted to the city and the state, the library’s Summer Reading Program was in full swing. For me, this was one of the most exciting times of the year. We offered three programs, Take Back the Summer for adults, Read It ‘n Tweet It for teens and Dig into Reading for children. I had a ton of fun planning programs and events, and it was inspiring to see how many people in the community registered for the programs, participated and got excited about reading – over 700! To go along with the adult theme, I planned Classic Movie Mondays and showed a classic movie from each decade between 1930 and 2000, downtown walking history tours, and invited the curator from the local Nelson Pioneer Farm to do a presentation on historical women’s clothing. For the teens, we started a chess club, a Dungeons and Dragons club, and our Create & Innovate crafting series. The new Youth Librarian had several great programs for the kids, too, including a visit from Snakes Alive, magic shows, and presentations by a local master gardener.

The second half of the year was a little calmer, but I’ll bore you with another post tomorrow....Until then, Happy New Year!