Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Librarians Talk 10: You Tell Us


Librarians are all about sharing, so come share your experience and passion with us. Answer any or all of the questions in the comments and join in on the conversation.

1.  How did you become a teen librarian?

2. What is your favorite teen read (book or author)?

3.  What is one thing you wish your co-workers, administrator or community knew?

4.  What is the one thing you wish your teens knew?

5.  What has been your best program to date?

6.  What do you wish there was more of in teen fiction?

7.  What teen fiction trend are you so over?

8.  What is your least favorite (or most challenging) part of being a teen librarian?

9.  What is your favorite part of being a teen librarian?

10. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the future of teen librarianship?

16 comments:

  1. 1. I sort of stumbled into Teen Librarianship. Have always worked with teens and loved their lit., so when I saw an open YA Librarian position I applied. :)
    2. Favorite Teen Read = Impossible to choose!
    3. Wish they acknowledged that Teens are people too and have just as much right to be in the library as anyone else. And are deserving of quality programming.
    4. That the library is a place where ANYTHING is possible.
    5. Scream-In - after-hours program for teens around Halloween.
    6. I wish there were more good novels in verse.
    7. Romances where the fem completely subsumes her existence to the guy.
    8. Dealing with the rest of the public! :)
    9. I LOVE working with teens - running programs, finding books, discussing books & engaging imaginations.
    10. Shrinking budgets - teen programming is often the first to go.

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  2. 1. I was hired to be the children's librarian, expressed an interest in ordering teen materials (had been split by the director and adult librarian), and a few months later, got a title change and absorbed all the teen duties into my "Youth Services Librarian" position.
    2. Of all time: A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle. Recent: anything by John Green
    3. I wish they understood that to do teen services well and actually start attracting teens (when you don't have a base group to begin with) really takes a dedicated staff.
    4. I wish teens knew I love to help them. Our children and teen services are on separate floors and my desk is upstairs (with the kids), so I don't have a chance to interact with them as much as I would like.
    5. Hunger Games
    6. Low level/High interest that looked and felt more like mainstream YA.
    7. Anything vampire/paranormal. I keep buying it to keep up with the trend, but 5 years from now I'm going to have a collection bursting with paranormal no one is reading!
    8. Trying to do it well along with all my other responsibilities.
    9. Having intelligent conversations.
    10. Teens are so busy and so over-scheduled. Figuring out how to make the library relevant in their lives is going to be increasingly hard.

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    Replies
    1. A Wrinkle in Time by L'Engle is one of my all time favorites

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  3. 1. I sort of stumbled into it. I doubled majored in Youth Services and Reference - Youth Services offered me a job first.
    2. Favorite Teen Read - it varies. Right now I am still swooning over the "Girl of Fire and Thorns," by Rae Carson
    3. I wish my fellow staff would not be so quick to assume that all teens are either A) looking for a place to have sex, or B) looking for something to destroy.
    4. I wish the teens know that if they would just SHOW UP, I am willing to run any program their hearts desire (well, within library budget and legalities)
    5. Best program - probably Candy Sushi (but I haven't been in the position that long).
    6. I wish there was more everyday angst novels - no Extreme Bullying, or Horrific Violence, or Weird Supernatural Dilemmas. Just, my friend moved away and I'm sad. Or, how to deal with my first break up. (I'm thinking My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger kind of stuff.)
    7. I'm so over Vampires and Zombies. (I still love a good post-apocalyptic tale though)
    8. Trying to get the teens to see me, acknowledge my existence, interact with me, etc...
    9. I love when I get a program that clicks with the teens (but honestly, I'm considering switching to Reference Services, I'm so frustrated).
    10. I think teen Services is still trying to figure out where it fits. Is it part of Children's? Is it its own department? Maybe it should be part of Adult Services instead.

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    Replies
    1. I so, so feel you on your #3.

      Delete
  4. 1. It was a total accident! I was a certified teacher who moved to a town where they won't hire you to teach if you aren't someone's niece or neighbor and, since I knew no one, I wasn't. I needed a job and stumbled across the fact that our (brand new) library was looking for a teen librarian. It fit b/c I was looking into going back to grad school for library science, so everything just snapped together.

    2. I don't know if I can pick a favorite. I recently read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and was so moved. I'll confess that I did an ugly cry.

    3. There is no reason to be so scared of the teens! The biggest battles I've fought are b/c they are essentially scared of what the teens will do if they are unsupervised. I wouldn't advocate leaving 20 alone in a room together for 2 hours, but me going to lunch for an hour while 5 are browsing the section? They'll be fine.

    4. That we are not lame. Or uncool. Or any of that stuff. We have fun, we are loud, and we can help you if you need help!

    5. We did a week's worth of stuff around the opening of The Hunger Games film and the whole week was packed with kids. We had an archery class, a craft session, a LARP, a survival course, and then we finished it off by renting our local theatre for a private screening of the film. It rocked!

    6. Stand alone novels. I'm so tired of the trilogy. It eats up our collection funds and if we start a series I can't bear not finishing it out.

    7. Paranormal. I refuse to buy anything else that is vampire based unless it is shockingly good or different, in some way.

    8. Getting kids in the door. Once I get them here, they'll generally come back and attend another event. But getting them to view the library as "cool" or fun has been wildly challenging. They assume anything we do here will suck.

    9. I love putting books in their hands and having them come back a week later and say "I LOVED THIS! Do you have anything else like it?"

    10. Money. Our budget will be the first to get slashed, when the slashing starts. We've been operating on the same tax rate since the 1950s, so we really need an increase in general.

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  5. 1. Applied for an opening at the city I was working for as an computer monitor and loved it ever since :)

    2. Books: The Book Thief, Thirteen Reasons Why - Authors: Neal Shusterman and Isabel Allende

    3. Administrators: In order to offer great programming, material, and teens services, there needs to be both staff and financial support - otherwise how do they expect teens to come in and stay in the library.
    Community: Teens DO need their own space - and no, you can't sit there after 2pm.

    4. That we value your opinion and love to have you at the library. Oh, and that the materials we offer are for THEM, and free of charge, no need to steal stuff.

    5. My anime club. We do weekly crafts that are anime related and they are always packed :)

    6. Realistic, gritty stories that captivate teens and send a message (i.e. - Thirteen Reason's Why)

    7. Steampunk - never really got into it though

    8. Getting teens to actually show up to programming - suuuuuure they sign up, but something happens along the way to make them MIA. (a call the day before solves most of the problem - though not all)

    9. YA lit! and knowing that some teens have had awesome experience at the library thanks to one of my programs or book suggestions. Oh and I love their conversations. They're always fun hehe

    10. Mula! Dinero, funding, money. Also, recognition from the community/professionals about the need for teen librarians/spaces.

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  6. 1. I became a teen librarian after working in libraries for several years, usually working with teen volunteers or with teens after school. I really love YA lit and graphic novels, so I love having the chance to talk with teens about books and create programs for them.

    2. Cassandra Clare and John Green are my favorites at the moment. :)

    3. I would love it if people knew how great it is to have teens coming to the library; sure, you can encounter disipline problems from time to time, but the vast majority of teens are respectful and just happy to be able to use library resources.

    4. I wish that teens knew how awesome it is when they come to programs; not only do they usually have a great time, when they attend programs, I get statistics that show teens enjoying the library, which helps me to provide more great programs for teens.

    5. Our two Hunger Games programs this spring have had the best attendance, and though our Iron Chef programs aren't quite as popular, I'm hoping that more kids will come as the summer goes on.

    6. I wish that there were more realistic romances in teen fiction. It seems like teen romances are either riddled with angst or fairy tale perfect; there's very little in between those two extremes, and I think teens would like to see more romances that mirror what they might actually experience in middle and high school.

    7. Probably vampires, though I'm looking forward to "Team Human" by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan, and I have to say that I'm enjoying the graphic novel versions of the Twilight series. :)

    8. Developing programs that kids want to attend and actually do attend is the hardest part of being a young adult librarian. The kids that do attend programs seem to enjoy themselves, but since our library is downtown, I think that some parents aren't comfortable having their kids come here alone, so our attendance numbers aren't as good as I'd like them to be.

    9. My favorite part of being a teen librarian is talking to kids about books and everything else; I'm really happy when I realize that teens look to me for advice (usually just about books, but other stuff too), and I'm especially happy to have the chance to do school visits, where I can talk about books that kids will enjoy. I love being able to say to kids, "Look, reading doesn't have to be boring. Let's try and find you a book that you'll like!"

    10. I think that the biggest challenge for teen librarianship in the future is going to continue to be getting teens to come to the library and realizing that they have a stake in what the library is and does for everyone.

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  7. 1. How did you become a teen librarian? As soon as I knew I wanted to be a librarian (age 17), I wanted to work with teens and children. My foot in the door had me working with retirees and then adults. Occasionally I got snippets with teens. Finally (11 years later) I was able to move over to a Children’s position that served teens as well. And it has been a blast!

    2. What is your favorite teen read (book or author)? Too many to pick a favorite! For current authors I especially enjoy Ally Carter. I’m enjoying most of the Dystopians coming out, too. For past authors I never go wrong with L.M. Montgomery!

    3. What is one thing you wish your co-workers, administrator or community knew? Teens (or more particularly their actions) often don’t make sense. That’s just a part of who they are right now! When you accept that, they are a whole lot easier to understand, tolerate, and/or serve.

    4. What is the one thing you wish your teens knew? I’m not so far from my teen years—I can still remember what it was like. Plus, I have tons of friends who currently are teens. I know more than they think I do about what life is like for them right now.

    5. What has been your best program to date? Oh, that’s tough. Perhaps because it’s still recent, but my Hunger Games program 3 months ago was awesome. Highest teen attendance I’ve had so far and everyone had a blast!

    6. What do you wish there was more of in teen fiction? Time to read it all.

    7. What teen fiction trend are you so over? Paranormal (vampire, werewolf, etc.). Then again, I was never in it.

    8. What is your least favorite (or most challenging) part of being a teen librarian? Getting teens to come to programs. They are so busy with so much. They love hearing about what I’m planning, but then they don’t come.

    9. What is your favorite part of being a teen librarian? The teens. They are so fun to be around. I love talking to them about books. I love hearing about what they’re doing in life. It’s such an awesome age—in both senses of the word.

    10. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the future of teen librarianship? Budget. There are still so many who don’t think we need as much, but teen books are expensive and the awesome programs (bringing in authors and such) are pretty costly, too. I worked previously in a position where I had little to no money for programs. Teens had fun, but weren’t awed and out telling everybody that the library is an awesome place for teens.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 1. How did you become a teen librarian? As soon as I knew I wanted to be a librarian (age 17), I wanted to work with teens and children. My foot in the door had me working with retirees and then adults. Occasionally I got snippets with teens. Finally (11 years later) I was able to move over to a Children’s position that served teens as well. And it has been a blast!

    2. What is your favorite teen read (book or author)? Too many to pick a favorite! For current authors I especially enjoy Ally Carter. I’m enjoying most of the Dystopians coming out, too. For past authors I never go wrong with L.M. Montgomery!

    3. What is one thing you wish your co-workers, administrator or community knew? Teens (or more particularly their actions) often don’t make sense. That’s just a part of who they are right now! When you accept that, they are a whole lot easier to understand, tolerate, and/or serve.

    4. What is the one thing you wish your teens knew? I’m not so far from my teen years—I can still remember what it was like. Plus, I have tons of friends who currently are teens. I know more than they think I do about what life is like for them right now.

    5. What has been your best program to date? Oh, that’s tough. Perhaps because it’s still recent, but my Hunger Games program 3 months ago was awesome. Highest teen attendance I’ve had so far and everyone had a blast!

    6. What do you wish there was more of in teen fiction? Time to read it all.

    7. What teen fiction trend are you so over? Paranormal (vampire, werewolf, etc.). Then again, I was never in it.

    8. What is your least favorite (or most challenging) part of being a teen librarian? Getting teens to come to programs. They are so busy with so much. They love hearing about what I’m planning, but then they don’t come.

    9. What is your favorite part of being a teen librarian? The teens. They are so fun to be around. I love talking to them about books. I love hearing about what they’re doing in life. It’s such an awesome age—in both senses of the word.

    10. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the future of teen librarianship? Budget. There are still so many who don’t think we need as much, but teen books are expensive and the awesome programs (bringing in authors and such) are pretty costly, too. I worked previously in a position where I had little to no money for programs. Teens had fun, but weren’t awed and out telling everybody that the library is an awesome place for teens.

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  9. 1. I was one of the three kids who started the Teen Board for my library. 7 years later and lots of volunteer hours served they offered me a job when I turned 18.

    2. I like long series. My faves include Dragonlance and Mercedes Lackeys Valdemar series

    3. Teens are drawn to the extremes. When they work they tend to go all out and when they are being silly they often go too far. Lots of them only know stopped and full steam. You need to harness their energy and redirect it.

    4. Time and place. Being rather young myself I would never tell them to not do something. I just wish they realized that the library is not the place for some of those things. I swear I have the PDA conversation every couple of months.

    5. Every month we have a Friday Nite Life where we let the teens stay for a couple hours after closing. We order pizza bring out the video game systems and crank up the music. Sometimes we do little themes and the most well received was when someone brought a karaoke machine out. We actually are in the process of buying one just for the library.

    6. I wish there was more depictions of the main character going to an adult for help. A lot of them depict a lone wolf character overcoming their own personal demons or obstacles maybe with the help of a friend the same age or some supernatural being. I would like to see more of someone go to a parent, teacher, or librarian.

    7. Twilight and anything that spawned from it. They were never even good books to begin with. All the recent one-sided, semi-abusive, love at first sight books annoy me to no end.

    8. I am a very charismatic and as such my job is usually to get to know all the teens and keep them coming. I love it and many keep in touch with me and come to me advice years later. It's also the hardest part of my job. Trying to connect with each new member we get month after month. Oh and seeing them make the same mistakes over and over again. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not sigh when I realize what their problem is lol.

    9. Keeping up with all the trends and trying to appeal to such a diverse and fast moving audience.

    10. The biggest obstacle for teen librarnship and libraries in general is breaking away from the preconceived notion that libraries are just for people who like books. For the general library I believe we need to push the idea that we are a community meeting place and offer much more then just paper with words.

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  10. 1. How did you become a teen librarian? I set out to be a reference librarian, but I love to read YA books, so .

    2. What is your favorite teen read (book or author)? I like the teen fantasy books and some of the dystopian stuff. I've been talking up Shadow and Bone recently.

    3. What is one thing you wish your co-workers, administrator or community knew? I'd like them to get to know our great teens. We have an awesome anime group that promotes and runs itself, but sometimes is perceived only by the noise its members produce.

    4. What is the one thing you wish your teens knew? We are here to help -- don't be afraid to ask.

    5. What has been your best program to date? Teen Chef and Hunger Games.

    6. What do you wish there was more of in teen fiction? I've been snapping up lots of thrillers and science fiction recently, because I've had boys and girls ask for those. And I'm on the lookout for more LGBTQ characters, also by request.

    7. What teen fiction trend are you so over? Paranormal romance with love at first sight. It's just so cliche.

    8. What is your least favorite (or most challenging) part of being a teen librarian? Trying to get a dedicated teen space for the library. I've been able to get some teens to talk to me, but it's a challenge too.

    9. What is your favorite part of being a teen librarian? Reading YA books and telling people about them, but I love a lot of things about this job.

    10. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the future of teen librarianship? Shrinking budgets and overscheduled teens. It's tough to get teens to come to programs when there is so much else going on in their lives, and it's tougher when there's not much money to make things happen.

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    Replies
    1. Over scheduled teens is a huge library in my community.

      Delete
  11. 1. How did you become a teen librarian?
    I've wanted to be one since day one, even told my library school profs that and corrected them when they suggested I should be a children's librarian. I've been lucky that my first professional job and my current job allows me to focus so much on teens- a lot of libraries don't have the capabilities to separate out teen services from youth/children's services.

    2. What is your favorite teen read (book or author)?
    Too many to count. I'm in love with Malinda Lo, Veronica Roth, Laurie Halse Anderson, Neil Gaiman, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson, and many others... as can be seen by the bookcases in my house- they're in EVERY room save the bathrooms.

    3. What is one thing you wish your co-workers, administrator or community knew?
    That my teens don't bite, and that my busy and non-shush library is a very good thing, even if it keeps you on your toes, and is not for everyone.

    4. What is the one thing you wish your teens knew?
    That other (new) people are a good thing, and when I'm not there they can talk to other people.

    5. What has been your best program to date?
    For me personally, it's a tie between the Zombie-thon and the Hunger Games, because it was able to include everyone ages 8 and up, and we had a ton of activities. Rewarding, however, is our lock-ins because I tie them into our reading programs, and it's so rewarding to see these teens read to earn the right to stay overnight in the building and just have good experiences.

    6. What do you wish there was more of in teen fiction?
    Positive and realistic characters that are usually marginalized- minorities, GLBTQ, women... so often it's pushed aside but it's really problematic when you only see skinny white girls that are dripping names on covers. I want strong Latino-African-American Bisexual science fiction. LOL

    7. What teen fiction trend are you so over?
    paranormal sparkly vampires. blech

    8. What is your least favorite (or most challenging) part of being a teen librarian?
    Trying to keep from being burned out and trying to keep it fresh every season, and trying to keep on top of new trends

    9. What is your favorite part of being a teen librarian?
    Knowing that I am actually making a difference in their lives- they may not say it, but that text or that hug or a Hey Miss later on lets me know that I'm making a difference

    10. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the future of teen librarianship?
    A toss up between over scheduling, budgets, and grabbing attention from media. I relate teens to having a 5 second attention span- if you can't keep their interest, they may be gone, and if you can't grab them, they may not be back. Programming always takes a huge hit come budget time, and we're having to be more creative with the little funding we get, just as teens have to balance what little free time they have.

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