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A Day in the Life of a Public Library Youth Services Librarian

Posted By Erin Daly On April 16, 2013 @ 8:00 am In Teen Services | 3 Comments

cc licensed photo by David Spender via Flickr

Youth Librarians are wearers of many hats. For a lot of us, I think that is part of the appeal. It certainly is for me. I hate being bored. I recently had a long crazy day. This is not unusual, you've probably had one recently, too. But what struck me at the end of this day was the variety of things I did - the hats I wore, if you will. It reminded me of various blogs'  and initiatives I've seen around the Internet detailing our days in order to show a wider audience what it is that youth librarians do.

I'm saying Youth Librarian as opposed to Teen Librarian because I was promoted earlier this year to Youth Services Coordinator, supervising the whole youth department- services to children and teens- at my library. It has increased the levels of'  metaphorical, and occasionally literal hat wearing in my work life. I have also found, as you'll see later in this post, it has provided some different opportunities to get teens involved.

I'm going to tell you about my day, and perhaps it will inspire you, YALSA bloggers, to share your own long crazy day.

10:30 a.m. - Meeting of regional roundtable group for youth librarians. We talked with a leader of a similar group in another part of our state to get some ideas about how to reinvigorate our group. I promoted the upcoming state library association conference, where we're going to have several interesting programs geared toward youth services. Then we talked about our plans for summer reading. I always enjoy meeting other librarians, and this was a productive sharing of ideas. I left feeling excited to continue working with this group.

1:00 p.m. - Arrived at my library.

1:10 p.m. - Talked with the Assistant Director about some teen behavior issues. There was some vandalism on our Art Wall (a display of hanging sketchbooks where teens are invited to draw)'  and a certain group of teens has been rude to staff members lately. Worked out a plan to follow up with the teens in question directly.

2:00 p.m. - Weeded the manga collection while fielding adult patron questions on a public desk. I'm running out of room on the comics shelf. Had to get rid of some older titles to make room for new ones. The few adult patrons who stopped by wanted to put items on reserve or need help on the computers.

3:00 p.m. - Quick break for soup and to play Dragonvale on my phone.

3:15 p.m. - Arrived at the computer lab. Turned on computers and wrangled save files while early teens filtered in for a Minecraft program. I don't have access to save on the lab computers so I carry around Minecraft save files in a thumb drive on my keys. It's a little clunky, but it works.

3:30-4:45 p.m. - Minecraft in the lab with eight teens. Some were playing an adventure map (Herobrine's Return by Hypixel), some were building together in creative mode on LAN, while some explored a zombie library dungeon in survival mode on a different LAN. When I found the seed for this Minecraft map, I thought " zombie library dungeon" was pretty much the best phrase I'd heard all day. The map itself is fun,too.

5:00 p.m. - Changed into my pirate outfit and helped the rest of the youth services staff set up for a Pirate Adventure program for young children. There could have been a literal hat, but I wore a bandana instead.

5:30 p.m. - Welcomed teen volunteers who came dressed as pirates to help us with the program. Assigned them stations at crafts and games.'  This particular group of teen library regulars has been volunteering at children's programs for awhile now. It's fun for me now that I get to be the one to help them wear an extra hat, and see them in a different light when they are working as volunteers. The younger kids respond well to our teen volunteers.

6:00 p.m. - Pirate Adventure begins. I checked crew members off on the manifest (aka the sign up sheet) and got them settled in front of the staff members who would begin the program with an action story time.

6:10 p.m. - I clapped along, sang as much of the song as I could remember, and did the motions along with the kids during the stories.

6:30-7:30 p.m. - Helped kids color pirate scarves with fabric markers. Tied them on in superhero cape fashion for a few.

7:30 p.m. - Supervised teens as they handed out snack and helped clean up. Talked with the program planners about how things went. (We were pretty happy).

8:00 p.m. - Headed home, about a 45 minute drive during which I listened to City of Glass, part of my shadowhunter audiobook marathon.

So, to recap, my day included, professional development, Teen Space problems, public desk work,'  a teen program, and a children's program.

How was your day?


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URL to article: http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/2013/04/16/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-public-library-youth-services-librarian/