Hanging Out (and networking) with YALSA Librarians

I’ve been blogging for YALSA for almost year. Crazy to think I’m starting my second year of graduate school. Those job descriptions that come into my email box seem a little more real, and a little more attainable.

What makes me so excited about heading into the professional world of librarianship is when I get the chance to interact with other librarians, librarians that have experience and insight, insight that I hope to one day have. While I know they, technically, are my colleagues, I still feel a little out of their league. However, that doesn’t stop me from soaking up as much knowledge from them as I can.

I got an opportunity to meet a handful of other librarians (and YALSA) bloggers last week. Crystle, our blog manager, had arranged some Google Hangouts as a way for us bloggers to meet each other. I logged on Monday night, not quite sure what to expect.

Our hangout also had another purpose than simply seeing each other on our screens — we were discussing The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. It was a report that resonated with me; many of the ideas proposed are ones that are in line with the readings I had done for my community engagement class this spring, along with the work I did with elementary students last year. I have found that if you let the interests and passion of the people you’re working with guide action, then we are setting ourselves up for success.

As we walked through the first few sections of the report, I was content to just listen to the librarians, who spoke about previous experiences with teens. I felt lucky to be a part of a conversation where I heard about the reality of things in library land; while we want to always think that reports and theory are accurate, we know that at the end of the day, real life isn’t as set in stone or black and white. It felt like I was getting a peak into what my job might be like in a year and frankly, it was incredibly inspiring and exciting. I wished we were all sitting around a table at a coffeeshop, where we had more time to share experiences and talk through new ideas.

This hangout reminded me the power of networking. While I didn’t speak much, I was still a part of this conversation. I was learning and processing and thinking about the ways in which these ideas could be put into place in my own practice as a librarian. I look forward to another year of YALSA blogging and navigating my way through teen librarianship.

About Hailley Fargo

Hi, I'm a new professional working as the Student Engagement Librarian at Penn State University, University Park campus. As someone who provides reference to undergraduate students and teach information literacy to primarily freshman, I'm curious about the intersections of the work of YALSA and academic libraries (and how we can collaborate and work together to help our teens). In my spare time, I like to bike, read memoirs, watch TV shows, and consider myself an oatmeal connoisseur.
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