I am a Children's Specialist at the Ruth Enlow Library in Garrett County, Maryland. I work with kids from the ages of 0 to 18 and am also a reference librarian. In addition, I am member of the YALSA Legislative Committee, and the Children's Services Division of the Maryland Library Association.

Getting Back to Basics….

Lately, it seems I have been attending a barrage of meetings and trainings designed specifically to help me become a better librarian, a better teen librarian. ‘ I hear a variety of programs that everyone is conducting/sponsoring/fostering, and I have begun to think about what our core values, our core programs as teen librarians should be, especially now that library service as we know it is being altered by the economy.

Yes we are trying to entice teens to come to our programs. ‘ Yes, we want high attendances, but at what price? Continue reading

Something to get Excited About…

Awww, you can smell it in the air…the smell of books…Inboxes and mailboxes are becoming crowded with invitations and offers, and the things most librarians live for- information and connections. You can hear the whispers of librarians’ on the breeze, as many make plans of their impending journey to Chicago, which for a week will be the temporary home to thousands of librarians, teachers, administrators, and support staff members. All of us brought together by the embracing umbrella of ALA, the American Libraries Association.

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Making Change Happen Now-A Call to Action

Many of you already know or heard of the CPSIA of 2008.’  For those of you who don’t know or haven’t heard, this is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that has been a thorn in librarians’ sides since the emails and bulletins started circulating in early January.’  It was originally meant to regulate lead and phtalates in age 12 and under children’s toys.’  However, it was misinterpreted to include books, which has lead to a paniac amongst all librarians across the U.S.’  At first, it was supposed to take effect this February 10, but a stay was issued until next year.

However, something important has happened! Continue reading

28 Days of Advocacy #20- Creating Clear, Concise Communication

As advocates, we all have important messages that we are dying to present. Give us just 5 minutes of your time and we’ll have you singing the praises of’ our teen’ issues.’  Often times, we are only given 5 mintues’ (or even less than that) to present ourselves.’  When we have only 1-5 minutes to present all of our points on an issue and to convince another person of action, it is absolutely essential to have a clear, concise position to communicate.’  Continue reading

28 Days of Advocacy #19- Overcoming the Fear

Your palms sweat; your throat becomes dry and scratchy.’  Your knees knock together and every time you try to speak, all that comes out is a slow hoarse whisper.

Often this is what happens when you go to speak in front of a group of people or in front of people in powerful positions. Our fears can be very gripping and can prevent us from being the best possible advocates that we can be.’  In order to get our voices heard, though, we must get past our fears of speaking out.’  The following are three central “Fear Issues” that we have all faced at one point in time or another and pointers to help overcome them. Continue reading

28 Days of Advocacy #13 – How To Get Past Discouragement

“No.” It is one of the first words we hear as human beings.’  And, in turn, as I have learned from my one year old and her friends, it is one of the first words we learn to say.

So how do we deal with this heavily loaded word when we hear it as a response to our library advocacy and the issues within it? How do we continue in our pursuit of our goals when this blow is dealt to us? Continue reading