Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Librarians Change Lives!

Wow! Two posts in two days. I must be doing well :).

Anyway, I just learned that the fabulous t-shirt I bought at ALA last year, the one with the Unshelved graphic and the tag-line, "Librarians Change Lives" is available for purchase through the ALA online store.

All proceeds to go to benefit Friends of YALSA (FOY). FOY provides funding in five distinct areas:

*Continuous Learning: creating opportunities for all members and library workers to grow through grants, providing scholarships to those in need and offering distance learning and institutes.

*Advocacy: educating members, library workers, the general public and policy makers about the importance of providing excellent library services to teens, and the critical role that library workers and libraries play in helping teens develop key literacy skills and a lifelong appreciation of reading.

*Research: guiding and promoting research in the field of young adult librarianship through grants, publications, and other means to ensure that the field of librarianship has the necessary knowledge to meet the needs of teens.

*Teen Literacy & Young Adult Literature: sponsoring literacy initiatives such as Teen Read Week, YALSA’s booklists and book awards, guaranteeing YALSA's place in the forefront of our nation's adolescent literacy campaigns.

*Planning for the Future: helping to attract new members and retain existing ones, creating public awareness campaigns, planning and carrying out new initiatives to pursue excellence in library service to young adults, and more.

Now, hurry, go buy yours today so you can be as cool as me :Þ.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Career Building

Perhaps I expected this to be easy. I may have had too much book knowledge in my brain for my own good.

Being a librarian, particularly one who works with children of any age, takes time and patience. Gradually, I have developed just a bit more of the latter, and it's done me a world of good.

During my first year as a librarian, these thoughts frequently entered my mind, or, worse, came out of my mouth:

"Yes! A new program! Awesome! Let's book all the computers!"

"Of course more than three people will come."

"What do you mean I can't handle doing teen programs in a month?"

"Desk hours? What desk hours?"

Nearing the end of my second year, I have gone through a few phases.

Do you recognize any of these in yourself?

Phase 1: The over-educated, over-enthusiastic, under-experienced newbie
Phase 2: The exhausted librarian who feels confused and just a tad misled
Phase 3: The newly cynical librarian with a tinge of bitterness towards empty seats
Phase 4: The balanced librarian who does what she can, to the best of her ability, and accepts that every program has its purpose, even to just six kids.

I am building this career one block at a time. In the past almost-two years, I've learned more than I thought I needed to about collection development, program planning, dealing with the public and standing up for myself.

To anyone fresh out of library school who may wander across this, I say from my place two years out of those hallowed halls, have patience...it'll all work out.