Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

The Thankful List

Things for which I (Robin) am thankful, in no particular order of importance:

  1. Babies. Babies are the best. I have been supremely blessed by an abundance of babies in my social sphere this year, and for this I am truly thankful.
  2. Middle schoolers. I find them delightful. (Sometimes it surprises me, too.)
  3. Cats. My cats are particularly lovely, but I have to say I’m just thankful for their existence as a species.
  4. Educators. People who, like me, are willing to pour their lives and careers into the seeming abyss that is the current public education system.
  5. Social Media. I live in a region where my social and political views are neither popular nor, frankly, acceptable. It’s nice to not feel so alone.
  6. Books. Where would I be without books? I honestly have no idea.
  7. Authors. See #6.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

What I’m Thankful For…. 2013 Version

This past year has been an extremely hard one for me, personally and professionally. I’ve had a lot of death in my immediate family, and it seems like we’ve had one health crisis after another. I’ve taken charge of professional committees, my library director retired in May after decades with the library, and just a few weeks ago we got a new director and are getting a new library manager. It’s been a year of huge changes for me, and while sometimes it’s hard to see the positive, I remind myself that there are things to be extremely thankful for this year.

My job

It may be a traditional/trite/stereotypical thing to be thankful for, but I am thankful for my job. I have a unique position in that I am the branch manager and in charge of teen and tween programming. While that means that I wear a TON of hats, and can sometimes be stressed to breaking when everyone calls in, I am in charge of what I do, when I do it, and how it gets done. It may change in the future, but for now, I get to call the shots (within reason) and run with anything I can think of. That is something that not a lot of people can say- it gives me an outlet for my creative side, and for my tendency to want things running MY way.

My “kids”

Tied directly into my unique job are my “kids”. I’ve been at my job since December 2007, and I’ve seen these guys above grow up from scrambled middle schools to not so scrambled high schoolers and older. I’m called “Mom” by others, and they share their day. When I’m not at work, they all ask where I am, and get worried when I go on vacation. I’m invited to birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and baptisms of their babies. They are as much “my” kids as they are their parents- I know when they’re skipping, when they’re lying, and when they need help. And while it may be different than other librarians, I know that I’m making a difference in their lives, and that makes me extremely thankful.

My blogger family

TLT has given me an outlet to share things, thoughts, and feels that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to share, and has shown me that my randomness can actually be appreciated by some. I have made a heart sister in Karen, and huge friends in Heather and Robin and Stephanie. It may not seem like it, but I am extremely thankful for having the opportunity to be part of Teen Librarian Toolbox (see got it right, gold star) and that they accept me for who I am.

My heart family

Some people call them friend family, I call them heart family. They are the friends (and extended family) who have found deeper places in my life and would be the family I would call mine if I got a choice. They are the friends who’s children I call my nieces and nephews, who have made me the godparent of their child, who have been with me through all the craziness of my life, through That Guy’s health scares. Through their issues, through mine, I know I can call them up in a heartbeat and they will be there, either listening or at the house. I’ve found them in jobs, in college, in committees and professional organizations, and they are scattered across the country, but they are my rock and support.

That Guy

Finally, I am thankful for That Guy. He has been with me through everything since we met in college. He has held me when my world has broken (many times), and not only put back the pieces but helped me put back the pieces, and watched as I put back the pieces. He’s helped me talk through job moves, and career moves, and professional moves. He’s helped me talk through personal issues, family issues, medical issues- he is my soul mate, and I could not do what I do and be who I am without him.

As a thank you, we are giving away books.  Christie, Heather, Robin and I are each giving away 1 small box of books/ARCs that we have accumulated (probably around 5 books in each box).  So that means we’ll have 4 boxes, so 4 winners.  Do the Rafflecopter thing.  We’ll choose 4 winners and each of us will send a box in the mail.  Sadly, because of the cost of shipping, we are asking for U.S. residents only and I am sorry. We’re taking entries until Friday, December 6th.

We really do appreciate your sharing this journey with us.

10 Things I am thankful for . . .

Today is a day of thanks, and I have plenty to give.

I am thankful for . . .

1) The opportunity to get up every day and do what I love both as a teen services librarian and as a blogger. I know that I am inordinately blessed to have found myself doing exactly the things I am supposed to be doing in life.

2) Stephanie, Christie, Heather – fantastic partners in crime and working hard to make a difference in the lives of teens. Plus, they are totally cool.

3) The sometimes TLTers who share booklists, book recs, book reviews, program ideas and more.  Kearsten, Maria, Karen D and Eric Devine are all honorary TLTers – to name just a few – who help cover topics that us regular TLTers don’t consider our best topics.

4) The authors who write fantastic books and make our jobs so much easier.  I love nothing more than hearing a teen come back and say, “I loved that book you told me to read.”  With your words, you make a difference.

5) The publishers who help make this blog possible by sending ARCs and making sure we know about upcoming titles.  The truth is, blogging has made me a much better teen services librarian because I have grown so much in my knowledge of collection development tools and resources like Edelweiss and Netgalley.  And I have found that ARCs make it so much easier for me to decide whether or not a book title will work in my community.  The publishers I have met are just as passionate about books and stories and the power behind the words as most librarians are.

6) Everyone who does guest blog posts.  It’s nice to get different points of views, hear different stories, and hear about new books.  Also, sometimes it is nice to take a day off of blogging (I never knew how much “work” this would be) and spend time with my kids.  A special thanks to the authors who take time out of very busy promotional schedules to write a guest blog post.  You make me feel like a rock star for a day.

7) Blog readers! You give me a forum to share my passion, get different points of view, and, let’s face it, it’s so much more fun and fulfilling when you are talking with someone.  I talk to myself sometimes, it’s much less fun than talking to you.

8) My teens, of course.  I love getting to be a part of their lives and being invited in. They are smart and witty and they our not only our future, but our here and now.  Library services to teens matter because teens themselves matter.

9) The Mr., who is incredibly supportive and sometimes a participate in all things TLT.  When he picks up a book and reads it, I get his two cents.  And he gives up a lot of time and energy to support me and my passion for TLT.  He has also opened his wallet on occasion to pay for prizes, shipping prizes, and sending me to conferences.  All in all, he is a good egg indeed.

10) My kids.  Man I love them.  And to be honest, they are incredibly patient when they wake up in the morning and come out to the kitchen and see me typing.  They know that when I say give me 5 more minutes I mean 10.  They ask me about the books I read, and sometimes they read them with me.  A special shout out to the Tween who has appeared in a lot of posts around here, giving her opinion, sharing her art work, and just generally being her awesome self.  And oh yeah – they get dragged to a lot of meet the author events.  They have met Lauren Oliver, Michael Scott and Claire Legrand to name just a few.