One late winter afternoon, when my son Jacob was five-years-old, I accompanied him to his kindergarten round-up. The gymnasium was filled with nervous and excited preschoolers. The principal called a few little ones up on stage to help with her presentation. She wanted to make a point that for many children, the first day of school can be a very special day and so she asked the children what their favorite day was. Each tiny voice spoke into the microphone with answers such as Christmas, Halloween or their birthday. The principal turned to my son and awaited his answer. With pride in my heart and a bit of butterflies in my stomach I watched as my son leaned into the microphone and very confidently said “Groundhog’s Day!” The gymnasium erupted in laughter and a smile washed across Jacob’s face.
The reason Jacob said his favorite day was Groundhog’s Day was because his favorite book at the time was “Groundhog Gets a Say.” Jacob loved the humor in the story and had memorized all the funny parts. We read that book together so often that the pages were beginning to come out of the book’s binding.
I also share Jacob’s love of reading. Now 10-years-old, Jacob and I have a standing weekly trip to the library to pick out new books. We also purchase books at bookstores and hunt for bargain books at garage sales. Our bookshelves are bursting at the seams as proof of our shared hobby.
In my office at the Society, my bookshelves are filled with the publications that I have helped produced over the past 13 years. Binders full of brochures and magazines that the communications department has worked line the shelves. But my favorite books on my bookcase are our professional development catalog, the re:Source.
Now, the reason the re:Source has a special place in my heart is very different than the reason you enjoy paging through the publication. For me, this publication is the culmination of five months of very hard work and collaboration. I schedule the first planning meeting in January. The communications and member services departments sit down to talk about the content and timeline for the publication. Then the real work begins: over the next two months there are several staff working hard entering classes into a spreadsheet, proofreading copy, designing the layout, and editing the finished product. Then it’s off to the printer and we wait patiently for nearly a month as it is printed, tabbed, perfect bound and mailed to our members.
One of my favorite days is the day that our printer delivers a few samples of our latest re:Source to our office. Once I have the copies, I excitedly take them over to our member services department and they are always so excited to see them. The smiles on their faces reflect the months of hard work they’ve all put into this publication our members are anxiously awaiting. They put their fresh, new copy of the re:Source on their bookshelves knowing that they will pull it off the shelf countless times over the next year as they help our members register for professional development.
My hope is when you receive that shiny new copy of the re:Source each May, you want to pick it up and flip through it. Maybe not with the amount of enthusiasm that we experience at the Society office, but at least with the excitement at the prospect of what you will learn at our classes over the next year that will add to your professional success.
Although, I do share my son’s love of physical books and feeling the pages as I turn them, I do have to admit that I’m becoming a tablet reading convert. For those of you like me, you should check out the digital version of the re:Source. It’s the best one we have produced yet and offers great features like direct links to course registration, links to maps and telephone numbers, and bookmarking capabilities. Check out the tutorial below on how to get a copy of the catalog onto your tablet or mobile device.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask what is your favorite book? Whether it is fiction or business-related (or about groundhogs), share your recommendations in the comments below.