Friday, July 27, 2007

Uh-oh! Brain Spasms

Here we are floating in the luke warm end of summer. The bar exam is either under way or just past for most jurisdictions (check here at National Conference of Bar Examiners to see if -- Oops! You slept through the bar exam!).

Things are mostly pretty quiet. People are trying to finish up the projects that seemed to have plenty of time back in May. Getting repairs and renovations underway, too, in that short window of time where the library is not full of completely stressed-out humans.

This peaceful time of year grows shorter and shorter. Way, way back, there were really 3 months worth of quiet. There may be a few schools that still shut down over the summer. But more and more, schools run summer programs, host conferences and have planning meetings scheduled over the summer months. A few schools already have schedules that run right around the year - quarter systems that never allow a shut-down, or starting 1-Ls every semester, right through the year.

One of the things I always liked about academia was that sort of tidal rhythm, where the tide rolls out every spring and pauses that little bit, over the summer, before rolling back in with students in the fall. It's a pattern, a pacing thing, that I cherish. It harks back to a slower day, when there was time to contemplate and think philosophical thoughts instead of (or in addition to) multi-tasking trainings, meetings, classes and service. I hope we never completely lose that aspect of librarianship. We need time to think. Our faculty and our students need time to think, and space to do it, too.

1 comment:

Marie S. Newman said...

You're right about the summer, Betsy. It gets shorter every year, thanks to the proliferation of summer programs as well as summer school and, of course, the bar exam. I always think I will have time to take a breath, but I never do. Maybe next summer...