by George Needham
Dear Curious George:
Will this winter never cease? I am mentally exhausted by the endless gray weather that seems to have been hanging around my community since the Eisenhower administration. I fear that I am starting to take out my frustrations on my library’s guests. Just the other day, I spoke sharply to a child whose only offense was to leave a lollipop in a Dr. Seuss book. What can I do to get back my old fervor?
Seasonally Affected in Decatur
I share your pain. I grew up in Buffalo, where, as the saying goes, we had two seasons: winter and six weeks of bad skiing. Now I live in Columbus, where, from October to April, the sun is barely a rumor. As I write this response, the weather out my window looks like the set for a big budget presentation of King Lear, complete with thunder, lightning and floods. The sky is the color of an old mattress cover.
So how do we beat the seasonal blues? Assuming we are not about to fly off for two weeks at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, let us consider our options.
First, the Girl Scout cookies were just delivered, so we could break open a bottle of red wine and devour of box of Thin Mints. This is not recommended. The additional tonnage will carry your depression right into bathing suit season.
Or we could get the entire DVD collections of Lost, The X-Files, and 24 Hours, and just have a paranoia-athon. Again, not recommended. This time of year, you don’t need to feel that the government is as vindictive as Mother Nature is.
No, I am going to suggest that the best way to get over your blues is to get involved. There are so many ways to be active in the library community that it is an embarrassment of riches.
There are any number of library and computer conferences scheduled around the US this winter and spring. If you are attending the PLA Conference in Minneapolis at the end of March, please attend one or more of the programs WebJunction is offering. (If you can’t attend PLA in person, you might try signing up for the virtual conference.) Your correspondent will also be presenting at PLA on Saturday at 8:45 am, with Joan Frye Williams. Our program is titled “It Ain’t Necessarily So: Challenging the Assumptions of Legacy Librarianship,” and will take place in Room M101 at the Convention Center.
The key is to keep your mind busy even while getting enough exercise to prevent your body from slowly morphing into a pale version of Jabba the Hutt. And if that doesn’t work, where did you hide the Thin Mints?