Tag Archives: readers advisory

2013: Time to Go!


Happy New Year all!

I get excited every New Year’s because it’s a fantastic reason to look back at the year, be grateful for what we have, make plans for the future, and let go of what didn’t turn out the way we want.

2013 is the year I’m going to graduate from grad school! I’m excited for this journey to be over and can’t wait for the adventures that are about to begin. I’ve made several NY resolutions (or even better, made NY aims) to strive for in 2013. I aim to finish strong with school, let go of petty problems, push myself to create more programs and build work relationships, and to READ. I’ve enjoyed reading blog posts and Twitter feeds today of librarians resolving to read a certain number, etc. of books for 2013. I don’t have an amount I want to read but I do aim to read widely (not just read within my favorite genres) so that I’m even better prepared to do readers advisory with kids at the library. I also aim to say YES more this year: yes to opportunities, spur of the moment events, whatever comes my way. Soon I could be tied down by more than just a job-I want to make sure that I have no regrets.

Goodbye 2012, hello 2013!


48 Hours of Awesome


It’s hard to believe that it’s Monday and I’m back at work. While on one side I’m inspired and anxious to read, read, read after attending the conference but on the flipside I’m back to catching up on everything that happened this week and the feeling of librarian togetherness just isn’t the same as being surrounded by 500+ librarians who are excited about a lot of the same things that you are.

I saw so many interesting panels, got to talk to several awesome librarians, meet and geek out at some of my favorite authors–this event is like a rock concert for librarians. I think I had only two complaints–and neither had to do with the quality of the symposium. Each panel was unique and different and at the end of the sessions on Saturday and Sunday I was beat because my mind was so excited from everything that was racing around in it.

I’m fairly certain I’ll add in another post about what I went to and links to what was talked about, but I wanted to write about the panel that impacted me the most. Surprisingly, it was the fanfiction/art one. Hearing the panelists speak brought back these memories of me when I was a teen. It was 1997 and the TV show Spy Game was on. No, not the movie but the TV show. I loved this show so much I wrote a letter (actual snail mail) to the network begging them not to cancel the show. Heartless people they were, they canceled in anyways. So I looked for people online who also loved the show and discovered people wrote stories where the two main characters got together. Yes, I was “shipping” even back then, even before I knew what it was.

The panelists talked about how teens seek how fanfiction, write it themselves, or create art because they are not ready for the world they have discovered to end. That was how I felt about Spy Game. And just like teens now, I thought I was the only person in the world who felt this way. I had completely forgotten about this time in my life until the panel brought it back to me and I’m grateful.

Before I leave this post for the day, I just want to mention the other moment that struck me from the symposium. It was in the Fickle Future panel, and two authors (Ellen Hopkins and Beth Fehlbaum) made me tear up as they described the teens who approach them after visits, when everyone else has left to tell them how their stories helped them. The authors mentioned how important it is to have stories like theirs in libraries, and to fight for them to stay, because there are so many teens like this, much more than we realize. That broke my heart a bit.

It was these moments of intense empathy and connections with my inner teen that helped remind me of why I love working with tweens and teens. The symposium reawakened my energy and enthusiasm. I’m excited to read more, create more, and engage the people who come to my library. The next symposium won’t be until 2014 in Austin, Texas. I’ll be there–will you?

This Week’s Challenges–and it’s only Tuesday!


I have to take a look and see if there’s a full moon coming because this week has already thrown me for a loop and it’s only Tuesday!

1. A boy last night was doing a one minute talk and needed research about how carpenters were like in New Jersey during Colonial era and could only use Internet resources. After I found out he could eventually use books and we looked at our “career” books from the Colonial section and while it had information, it didn’t have information about New Jersey and he felt very strongly that he also needed New Jersey carpenter information. This is where I failed as a librarian. I was able to give him books that talked about the middle colonies and books about carpenters, but not the two combined. Did I mention that this was for a very short piece?? When I told him “Wow, this is some very specific information you’re looking for” he very seriously replied that “I have Mrs. So-and-s0 and she is VERY particular.” No kidding. He waved hi to me today and said he was back for more research so I hope the project was going okay.

2. I had a mom with a small baby ask “For the book, I can’t remember the author, called Red Hat Green Hat.” I searched for that book, different variations, asked questions about the plot (was there other clothing involved?)–then grabbed my coworker when she came back to the desk and asked her if it sounds familiar. “Oh that’s the book by So-and-so.” WHAT? She walked to show the lady the section. I didn’t get a chance to follow up with my coworker about what that book exactly was, but you can bet I’m going to do that when I next see her.

3. I had a mom ask me if I thought there were any value to comics. As the person who orders graphic novels I take that section extremely seriously and don’t like when people look down at the collection–and the way she phrased her question indicated what her preconceptions were. Luckily, I had some info to back up my point and showed her some of my favorites. I think she walked away feeling better about the collection. Some of them she was really impressed by the artwork so that was a plus! What could have become a very uncomfortable situation ended up all right in the end–but it was a little uneasy there for a bit.

4. Today was our first Book Blitz program (which I wrote about two weeks ago). Unfortunately, no teens showed up. My coworker, our amazing Teen Librarian, and I sat through and got a chance to practice what we would have done (which was helpful). So time to assess–what went wrong? Weather could have been a factor. It was storming/raining in the afternoon. When I came down to our youth internet computers at 5:20 when it’s normally very busy and noisy there were only 5 kids. Maybe something was happening at school that day keeping kids away? Was it the time? 4-5 might interfere with after school activities. Maybe they didn’t like the theme–horror books aren’t for everyone. The lack of food could have been a factor. We offer food at our other teen programs. I had the idea of turning it to a later program with decaf coffee and deserts but maybe I’ll start small with serving hot chocolate. I know once we get them here they’ll see how awesome it is and keep coming back on their own.

Needless to say, I’m disappointed with the lack of turnout for today. We’ll keep the same schedule for the program next month and hope tweens and teens show. Sigh.

Some weeks are just like this. You feel like a mass of obstacles has been placed in front of you and you have so far to go. Here’s to hoping that the rest of the week goes better, that next month’s program is a hit, and I figure out what carpenters did in New Jersey in colonial times. But first, I think I’m going to have an adult beverage.