Connect, Create, Collaborate: Teen Librarians Unite! Throw away your picture books.

photo courtesy of flickr user Vancouver Public Library

photo courtesy of flickr user Vancouver Public Library

I’m on the job hunt.’  I have been for some time despite loving my job.’  I’m lucky enough to have found a position fairly quickly after graduating doing pretty much exactly what I want to do, being a teen librarian. ‘ I am also the first teen librarian my library has ever had.’  Yes, they have a separated YA collection (an only slightly more recent addition than me), but they had yet to offer a cohesive teen program let alone have a staff member devoted to the teens and to creating programming for them before I started working there.’  I got to start from scratch; to try out programs I thought would be fun and throw out things I saw didn’t work.’  It’s been a lot of work and while there is so much I would change or do differently and so many things I really want to do with my teens; I think that my first year as a Teen Librarian at a library experiencing their first year with teen centered programming, has been a great success.’  (I reserve the right to take back that statement after I see how our first teen summer reading program goes!)

But remember, I said I’m on the job hunt.’  Not because I don’t love my job, I really do.’  I’m looking for a new position because I am only part-time.

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Connect, Create, Collaborate: Sorry We Couldn’t Hire You: One Perspective on Getting a Youth Services Position

I manage youth services in a large urban public library. Up until last year, we had not hired youth services librarians in almost five years. While we aren’t hiring at the pace we were ten years ago, and we aren’t creating new positions, we’ve opened up a number of youth services positions in the last year or so. It hurts to see how many extremely talented librarians are looking for work – and it’s tough that we can interview such a small percentage – and hire an even smaller segment of those.

I hope we can continue to hire, and I hope other systems can, too. Here are some of the qualities that I see as most desirable in youth services librarians. As a caveat, this is just my perspective. I can’t speak for other hiring managers in my system or others. Continue reading

The lost jobs of Summer

Restaurants, Parks, Beaches and retail used to employ teen in bulk.

I’ took my first job at the age of 14. It wasn’t by choice. I had gotten into enough trouble during the school year that my dad decided it was a good idea to keep me busy.’  I worked as a student aid for the New York City Board of Education. My dad ran summer school every year, for as long as I remember.’  Every morning we would wake up before the sun rose, and we would drive in. We would grab breakfast, and we would talk mostly about the previous day.

That first job is special to me. Not just for the obvious reasons above, but because I still vividly remember my failures, struggles and successes. I remember my mentors who showed me what it meant to lead. I also remember the bad bosses who accomplished everything through verbal abuse.’  Do you remember the first person who talked down to you at work?’ ‘  I learned some of the most important lessons of my life at that job, and at the other summer jobs I held as a teen.’  My summer jobs provided me with the opportunity to make mistakes at work while the stakes were still low. Continue reading

Teen Librarian Job Postings

One of the podcasts I listen to (Buzz Out Loud) started a drinking game that centers around the phrase “In these tough economic times.” Whenever a podcast host uses that phrase, the other hosts yell out “drink.”

While the game is in response to the many press releases and news stories about the faltering economy, it is also a reminder that there are lots of people in the country that are looking for jobs. (That’s a fact that isn’t always so humorous.) Certainly it’s not just those in the technology industry on the job hunt. Librarians are in the job market too.

In order to help those serving teens locate jobs, YALSA put together a new wiki page as a way to provide information and resources on finding jobs and as a place to advertise positions in the field. If you know of a job, you can post information about it on the wiki. If you know of someone else that has a job opening, let that person know about the wiki and how to post information there.’  And, if you know about a good resource for locating teen librarian jobs add it to the list that’s already started on the wiki. Continue reading