We’re often so wrapped up in the day-to-day, we forget the entire world is out there spinning right along with us. And it’s amazing! Really. Ah-mayyyyzing!
Summer programs are a big thing for me as a children’s librarian. I start thinking about them sometime around February, when the snow and ice are steadfast. It’s difficult to make the switch, to sit bundled up in wool sweaters drinking lattes while dreaming up ideas for days when we’ll be mopping the sweat from our faces. I forget how much fun it will be. I forget we’ll be so busy I won’t have time for a mid-afternoon snack (which is a good thing, really). And most of all, I forget that having a summer student will change our lives…for a few months, at least.
I’m lucky because my summer students return several summers in a row. It’s nice to establish a repor and know that they’ll jump right in and understand what needs to be done. But it’s also wonderful that they bring their own unique personalities and interests to our library, and allow us to share in them for a bit. I know it opens my tiny world up a bit bigger each year.
This year, we decided to start Instagramming at the library, primarily because our summer student lives and breathes Instagram. I’ve been using Instagram for several months (remember my Photojojo course?), but didn’t really see the awesome beauty of it, until now. Sure, I like to take photos and posting them is fun, but so what? Can’t I just post them on Facebook? Or look at them on my phone or computer? Absolutely. It’s just not the same.
Once I took my phone/camera course, I gained a few followers—–fellow students who liked my photos. And I began following them. Now, these people are not likely going to “friend” me on Facebook, nor would I allow them into my pages. But seeing their photos is enough. In fact, it’s mesmerizing! These are little glimpses into the lives of people who live thousands of miles away from me, people who are going to clubs, or live on the ocean, or have silly little animals who like to be photographed. I love waking up in the morning and checking my Instagram feed to see that someone has taken a photo of a glorious sunset in Spain. And someone else spent the evening with friends eating chocolate fondue. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know these people—–they are living their lives and documenting them in a way that hasn’t been done before. I love it. Can’t get enough of it, in fact.
Of course, my summer student takes photos everywhere she goes, and some of them are quite amazing. The life of a twenty-year-old is so different than mine, and her photos are a secret insight into what’s happening with (I hate to say it), the “young people of today”. As someone who writes books for young adults, I’m glad to have this peak inside. Of course, you don’t really have to know someone to figure out what teens are taking pictures of. You can always use the “explore” feature, and find people to follow. There are plenty of options every second of every day. Try it! I’m sure you’ll be amazed at how much time goes by while you’re scrolling through fascinating photos.
Right now, I’m posting a lot of photos of books, for our library 30 Day Instagram Book Challenge (which is more challenging than I ever thought it would be). But if you can stand seeing Nancy Drew books and photos of concerts I’ve been to in the past few weeks, i’d love for you to follow me!
I’ll leave you with a photo my wonderful summer student took last week during one of her awesome children’s programs! She hashtagged it with #ilovemyjob. Says it all.