Sunday, October 30, 2005
Teen Spaces, Cool Places
The primary reason I attended last week's NYLA Conference was to participate in a full-day pre-conference workshop entitled "Teen Spaces, Cool Places", which was all about creating cutting-edge, interesting, fun, and welcoming spaces for teens in libraries. The workshop was awesome!! The workshop was lead by Kimberly Bolan, a library consultant and author of "Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover
" (ALA Editions, 2003). Ms. Bolan's been consulting on the design of teen-friendly spaces in libraries for ten years, and she really knows her stuff! Kim explained that public libraries have been warming up to the idea of innovative teen spaces since the late 1990's, however, school libraries are taking longer to embrace the idea. I left the workshop thoroughly energized and committed to helping create an outstanding teen space in the Ossining Public Library's new building that should be completed next year. I also left with a fat packet of valuable resource material covering a bunch of things, ranging from teen advisory boards, graphic novel websites, sources for purchasing teen-friendly furniture and accessories, to a list of core magazines with teen appeal. I can't wait to explore my treasure trove more thoroughly!
2005 NYLA Conference
I returned from attending the 2005 NYLA Conference in Buffalo, New York this past Thursday. Unfortunately, I missed most of the conference, but the part I did catch was wonderful! Conferences and other professional gatherings are valuable opportunities for professional development for all librarians, but perhaps particularly for youth services librarians. Whether we work in schools or public libraries, we are often working alone, or are the only professional focused primarily on the needs of our young patrons. The camraderie that develops in a room full of youth services librarians is just as valuable as the information you take away from the experience.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
YA Librarians Helping Each Other
Just checked my e-mail and read an interesting message. The Somers Central School District has adopted a Jr. High School in Louisiana that was devastated by Katrina, and they're looking for middle-school-level book donations. It just so happens that I'm in the midst of a major weeding of my collection, and I'm more than happy to pass on my discards for a good cause!
More Great Sites for YA Librarians
I came across two more excellent websites geared towards youth services professionals. Hilary S. Crew has compiled a selected bibliography
for Children's and YA librarians. The bibliography is organized into quite a few categories, including: Developmental Psychology & User Characteristics; Literacy Development & Cognitive Development; Family Literacy, Libraries & Networking; Cooperation Between Public & School Libraries; and Organization, Management & Philosophy of Children's & Young Adult Services. The DMOZ Open Directory Project also lists a broad variety of websites of interest to Children's & YA librarians
, displayed alphabetically by the name of the website. I'm really impressed by the quantity and quality of resources that are available to support YA librarians!
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Good Sites for Youth Services Librarians
Discovered this great website with various types of resources (i.e., organizations, journals, Internet resources, etc.) that are particularly helpful to librarians interested in serving young people. Check out Good Sites for Youth Services Librarians
sponsored by the NORWELD Regional Library System in Ohio.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Finding Your Niche As A Youth Services Librarian
I just discovered a great article called "Finding Your Niche As A Youth Services Librarian
" by Sophie R. Brookover! Ms. Brookover states that youth services librarianship covers a range of possibilities, with the main two axes being school and public library settings. The article is both enlightening and encouraging, so I suggest you take a look if you, too, are trying to find your niche in the field.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Serving Young People
It took me a number of years and several careers to figure out that I wanted to be a librarian "when I grew up", and now I'm in the process of finding my niche within the profession. My first insight that I might actually enjoy working with young people occurred when I worked as a part-time librarian at the Mount Vernon Public Library in Westchester County, New York six years ago. I enjoyed the diversity of duties and creativity involved in working with children, and the challenge of making the library fun definitely had its appeal. I currently work as the Young Adult Librarian at the Ossining Public Library in Westchester County, New York, and specialize in serving young people from 12-18 years old.
Working with teens is tough! Teens can be finicky, unreliable, moody and rude. They can also be warm, caring, respectful and helpful. Working with young adults is exciting, exhausting, satisfying, and frustrating by turns; it's never boring! As a YA Librarian working in a public library, my principal duties are to:
- I develop and maintain a collection of materials (mostly books) for teens;
- Create and offer programs;
- Provide content for the teen portion of the website;
- Meet and get to know my constituents and their needs;
- Connect and collaborate with local schools serving teens;
- Participate in local community groups that serve teens;
- Provide library orientations and tours upon request;
- Supervise summer teen volunteers; and
- Recommend books and prepare displays for summer reading.
Oh-- did I mention that I also put in about 15 hours a week at the Adult Reference Desk? Whew! I'm tired just thinking about the many things I do! I will acknowledge, however, that my days go by pretty quickly.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
The Face of a Teen Librarian
I often receive surprised looks from people I meet when they find out that I'm a young adult librarian.