Friday, February 18, 2011
I am officially on baby watch.
My first grandchild is due to be born any time between now and early March, and I can’t wait to meet my little grandson. I know it’s a boy, but I don’t know the name yet, so I call him a variety of names…Herkimer, Jedidiah, Tarquin. However, don’t call me Grandma, Granny, Grammy or Grandmother. I will be Glammy and that’s that. No comfortable shoes, glasses perched atop my nose or old-fashioned clothes for me. So no offense to the little darling who I will love with all my heart. I will be more Auntie Mame than Auntie Em.
It’s difficult for those of us who came of age in the 1960’s to even imagine that grandparenthood has arrived. Many of us Baby Boomers enter the aging process kicking and screaming. But we can’t help it. We started the whole “youth obsessed” culture. A mantra of the 1960’s was “Never trust anyone over 30.” And Mick Jagger said, “ If you think that Mick Jagger will still be doing the whole rock star thing at age fifty, well, then, you are sorely, sorely mistaken.” (Sorry, Mick, I guess you were sorely, sorely mistaken. I saw you at the Grammys.)
We children of the 60’s who were supposed to value substance over looks have now succumbed to trying to stay young. How else do you explain Botox (Botox used to be something you got from eating dodgy tomatoes) or the plethora of diet books (“The Cookie Diet,” “The Cabbage Soup Diet” or – this one scares me –“The Slimming Soap Diet”)? And of course hair dyes (I don’t even know if I have gray hair or not), skin creams (seems that the economy hasn’t affected skin care products- the industry continues to grow) and, of course, plastic surgery and SPANX.
My son and his wife are trying to do everything right in preparation for the baby. They have the car seat that looks like it would take the baby into outer space and back, the jogging stroller and the fancy bassinet. And those of us who will be seeing the baby soon after birth are all immunized with our tetanus/whooping cough shots. Ouch.
But mostly my son and his wife are probably wondering how their lives will change.
That’s something a new parent can’t really anticipate until it happens.
Little do they realize what those first few months will be like, especially if the baby wakes them up every night and they have to work the next day. There is a “tired” quotient that doesn’t even register on the ”tired gauge.” But I will tell them what my mother told me, “Every day it will get better.” It did and it will.
But of all the changes a new baby represents, most will be welcome changes – the closeness one feels to one’s spouse, the unconditional love one feels toward the baby, the feeling of being a part of the circle of life…
Here at the library, we are waiting for a “baby” too.
Its name is Polaris.
As you all may know by now, sometime in early April our 20-year-old computer system will be replaced by a newer, better system named Polaris. Right now Polaris is waiting to be born, and we are eager for the birth.
Yes, Polaris is a computer system, but the challenges and changes that will occur when moving over to a new library computer system after working with the same one for 20 years is not unlike getting used to the changes that a new baby brings.
Just like my son and his wife, we are trying to do everything right too.
Sno-Isle staff members have been working behind the scenes for months, from choosing the best system to formulating the needed questions to processing the answers and implications. Training sessions are in place. All of this was done in preparation for not only a better computer system to serve our library customers, but to make this transition as painless as possible for everyone.
There will be many welcome changes.
Polaris will help our customers save time, will be easy to use and leaves our old system in the dust when it comes to efficiency. It also addresses many of the features our customers have been asking for. Customers will be able to suspend holds while on vacation without losing their place in the queue, opt in to a “Reading History” to keep track of books read, get cell phone notifications, save searches, write “Reader Reviews” and more. For those customers who like to use Google, Netflix or Amazon, Polaris will feel familiar.
But as in any big change, such as the arrival of a first baby, there is a learning curve, help and patience may be needed and some training required. There could be some unanticipated changes. And if that happens, I will think of what my mother said once again, “Every day it will get better.”
As we and our customers discover the functionality of Polaris, any discomfort at the outset will change to joy.
So we, your library staff, are currently gearing up for the arrival of our new “baby.”
We look forward to sharing our enthusiasm with you and helping you learn the new system.
And you didn’t even need to buy us a shower gift!