Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The YA Librarian Image

This is just something I have been thinking on for a while. I figure it probably varies from library to library and librarian to librarian according to your library's dress-code, but does anyone have any thoughts on the YA Librarian's dress-code? I feel that it was somewhat addressed by a librarian at the Lit Symposium when she addressed the issue of promoting a YA Librarian's personality to their YA patrons. She stated that YA Librarians need to decorate their offices/desks/etc. with items/pictures that represent who they are, what they like, and all that jazz. I do not have an office - or even a desk, really. Just an area that has been designated as mine although I share it with the other librarians as well and they use it when I am not there. There is no extra room for stuff except the two or three paper print-outs I have put up.
I ask about dress-code, because I feel that is the best way for me to promote myself to the teens and tweens that come in and out of our library. The problem I face is the older patrons of our library and the fact that, in my area, the stereotypical image of the "Librarian" still exists strongly. I would absolutely love to wear jeans or pants and my Muppets t-shirt or even a sparkly dress (with a cardigan and tights, of course), but I worry that it will reflect negatively and that my Director may ultimately be the one to catch flack for it. I never used to worry about it until I began working in a public library as a teen and was told never to wear shorts above knee level (which does makes sense to me) and now that I am in a leadership position, I feel that it is an even bigger conundrum. I think it would be different if I were just the YA Librarian rather than both the Assistant Director/YA Librarian.

I am not complaining, just trying to obtain your thoughts on how I can best represent my personality to the youth who come into our library. If you have any personal stories pertaining to this subject, please feel free to share in the comment section. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Symposium Update

So, hopefully my computer will cooperate this time. I attended the YALSA Young Adult Lit Symposium in St. Louis, MO the weekend of November 2nd and it was amazing. I have attended a few conferences in my short time as Assistant Director and Young Adult Librarian, and I found this one to be the most fun because I was surrounded by people who were facing the same sorts of issues I was facing. The event was a mishmash of Public and School librarians and even teachers. A few of the authors who attended and spoke on panels were David Levithan, Ilsa Bick, Ellen Hopkins, and Patricia McCormick. All of the authors were so approachable and amazing. The main discussion topic of the entire symposium seemed to be "What's the Next Big Thing?". A few people had their theories - I heard "angels" more than once, along with mermaids and, of course, zombies. I attended one discussion where book trailers were being shown and some of the newest hottest titles were being discussed. This is where I really got interested in Libba Bray's "The Diviners". If you have not seen the trailer, here is the one I was shown. I have been reading this book and I must say it is fantastic. I recommend it to anyone who has lovers of mystery and the occult. It is wonderful. A few other books that sounded great were Ilsa Bick's "Ashes" and David Levithan's "Every Day".

If you have never attended a Lit Symposium for Young Adults (this was my first one) I definitely recommend that you do in the future. You meet so many amazing people and can create so many lasting friendships and connections. The next Symposium will be held in Austin, TX from October 31st - November 2nd. It is definitely worth it! Please let me know of any other great up and coming books/themes/genres in young adult literature you know of or think there will be in the near future.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lit Symposium

This past weekend, I attended the YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium in St. Louis, MO. Such authors in attendance were: David Levithan, Scott Westerfeld, Patricia McCormick, Ellen Hopkins, Ilsa Bick...and many, many more! It was a fantastic experience. I feel that I made some new friends and definitely made connections. All of the authors, speakers, and attendees were amazingly friendly and passionate about Young Adults and the literature that they read (and will read). I definitely want to attend the next one. My computer keeps freezing up so I will post some of the things discussed on my next posts, but here is the badge for the symposium, along with a picture from my hotel - The Hyatt Regency at the Arch.
Here is the badge.

How close we were to the Arch.

Zombie Extravaganza/Creepy Critters Update

My eyes are behaving terribly, so I apologize if anything is mispelled in this post, and I also apologize for my lack of posting the past week and a half or so. I have been very busy with planning and executing the Zombie Extravaganza and the Creep Critters programs within a week of each other (I had the help of my TAB, but they are busy as well and I am the only YA Librarian at my library). The Zombie Extravaganza was in celebration of Teen Read Week and took place on October 19th. We had between 30-40 participants (on Senior Night at the High School which is a BIG deal) so we were very happy with the attendance we had. Everybody was able to get their faces painted (including me) and had an awesome time. Along with the pictures I am sharing, I will share a link to the video of the kids actually walking once I can find the link - of course, they all did an amazing job at being zombies. :)
Above is a photo of me with one of my teens. Creeeeeepy!
Me with most of my main group of awesome teens and tweens.

Another great program we recently hosted at our library was titled, "Creepy Critters". The wonderful animal education group, Animal Tales, out of Paducah, KY came in and put on an amazingly fun, creepy, and educational show for our families and kids. A few of the animals discussed and, um, introduced were: A tarantula, a screaming, hairy, armadillo (that's his name), a Norway rat, and a 12ft. long boa constrictor seen here:
Brave souls. We had over 60 attendees at this event and definitely plan to have Animal Tales back in the future.

So as you can see, we have had a very busy few weeks at my library and will continue to do so - although things will slow a little to focus on the holidays. I know most of my teens and tweens will be busy spending time with their families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, so programs will pick back up in January. I am hosting a Movie Night next week, but after that things should slow down a little bit, at least.

Please let me know what you think of these pictures and if you have any suggestions of fun, low-cost Christmas/New Years activities you have done at your library that we might be able to do at know, just in case we can find the time to do something in that time, haha.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homecoming Parade Update/Teen Read Week Update

Well, the Homecoming Parade was a hit. We ended up having way more candy tossers than we knew what to do with! This is ultimately my mistake as I was worried about the number we would have after many of my MAC members had to be on other floats in the parade and I wasn't sure if we'd have enough to evenly distribute candy and mentioned it to one of my PNG (Project Next Generation) students who then told a few other PNG students who then showed up the day of. Ultimately successful and each person was able to participate - I just hope I don't have to deal with the "Well you didn't ask me" complaints. I didn't ask half the people who participated...but they did and I am grateful and humbled that they would want to be a part of our float and represent the library to our community.

In other news, TAB had their Slime Prep Workshop this past Saturday to help prepare them for showing the young 'uns how to make their own slime the night of the Zombie program. The kids had a blast and the session also turned into an impromptu face-painting workshop as well. I will be posting pictures from the parade and the workshop. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Homecoming Parade

Last week was a very busy week at my library! We had a chamber luncheon where we promoted all of our October activities...most importantly Teen Read Week. We have a Zombie Book Display up by our Circ Desk and have an awesome program planned for the end of the week. Next up this week is the Homecoming Parade for the town. I am in charge of recruiting candy tossers and already have a few very excited YA volunteers. This makes me so happy because they are so ready and willing to help support their local library and have been posting about it on Facebook and talking with me about it. Will post pictures (hopefully) once the event is over.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Teen Read Week Prep

Teen Read Week is coming up on October 14th and lasts until October 20th. Since last month, my Teen Advisory Board and I have been discussing programs we may want to do and host during that time. They have settled on the Zombie theme (since zombies are soooo hot right now) We will set up a Zombie themed book display near the Circ. Desk and hold a slime-making workshop sometime throughout the week. Also, to properly end the week, we will have a Zombie Face-Painting Workshop that Friday and have all those who wish to walk in the "Zombie Walk" around the block of the library. After this, those who are in Middle School and High School will be invited back into the library to watch a "Walking Dead" marathon of the first season. The library may host a temporary lock-in until the first season is completed that night.

The teens seem super excited about this and their excitement is contagious as I can't wait to see how this all turns out. Will continue to post updates!