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At a meeting toward the end of June, I had a discussion about how quickly the summer was going by and that it seemed like it was almost over. The funny part about this discussion is that summer had not actually even started.
Our definition of the seasons is no longer determined by when they actually start, but by when our idea of them starts. Summer might be the most extreme example of this, but they all seem to follow the pattern ingrained in us by the schedule we followed from age 5 to age 18: the school calendar.
So by this standard, fall is quickly approaching. School is starting very soon, and I still feel that little extra charge in the air as that first day of school comes closer. I was a child of the 80s and 90s and the first clue that summer break was coming to an end was the August Back-to-School issue of Seventeen magazine. It was my favorite issue (followed by, a close second, the prom issue). When that magazine arrived in the mail, we would pour over it, trying to decide what great new and trendy outfit we would wear on the first day of school. That outfit could make or break your entire school year.
There was a little extra nervousness if you were going to a new school, like your sixth-grade year or your freshman year. On the other side, that nervousness was replaced by confidence if you were going to rule the school as a fifth or eighth grader.
As a senior, everything seemed to have a different perspective. You appreciated every last milestone you reached throughout the year. The last first day of school was no exception.
That first week or so of school can be fun and exciting, but then reality sets in and you are expected to actually work. It is my goal and hope that the library can serve as an asset to assist our students throughout the school year. Obviously we have research tools available to our patrons both inside and outside of the library. We try to cover all of the reading lists children use throughout the year. Our staff, especially Leslie and Patricia, are very well trained to help students pull relevant books and articles they may need for projects. And our physical space provides Internet access and relatively quiet space to study and work.
Each year we attend Ready Fair, a program for incoming students held this year at Kathryn Winn Primary. This year, we are preparing packets that include a pencil pouch, pencils and other fun trinkets.
The most important thing in there is a form to register your child for a library card. Please fill this out and bring your child down to the library. If you have not visited us in a while, you are missing out on a pretty fantastic experience for children of all ages.
Now that we are winding down summer break, it is time to buckle down and get to work. Please come visit us at the library and let me know if there is anything we can get or do to help you and your students throughout this school year.
Hillary Arney is director of the Carroll County Public Library.