I have a librarian friend new to social networking, but she gamely signed up for Facebook, just to see what it was all about. Last week she sent me this note: “Hey Beth– checking out your Facebook page (thanks for friending me 🙂 –btw) and noticed a message on your wall from KM. He was my son’s best friend in high school! I’m trying to guess your connection to him–perhaps comics? Neat guy!”
She was right on the money: comics, indeed. KM was a senior in high school when we met 5 years ago. When I was a YA librarian, he sent me an unsolicited email, asking me to be an advisor on his senior project on comic books — There was no MySpace or Facebook back then — he found me because I’d posted a webpage about my BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant that I used to start a graphic novel collection. I learned as much about comics from him as he did from me. We’ve evolved from a mentor/mentee to peer relationship since, and usually go to a comic book spin-off movie once a year.
A couple of points:
- It’s good to be accessible. I see a LOT of library homepages that don’t include the name or email address of the YA librarian.
- Teens need adults that care about them to act as mentors and role models.
- The YALSA/BWI Collection Development Grant is a great opportunity for materials growth and easy to apply for.
- Applying for grants gets you more than just money.
Along the lines of this age thing, in my Pain in the Brain class, we’ve been having a really interesting discussion about RESPECT. It is assumed, or earned? Are people respected for their age, title, and status, or their experience, expertise, knowledge and skills? Someone mentioned the Internet as a great leveler — you don’t know someone’s age unless they volunteer it (or, you ask). It doesn’t feel strange to me to have friends that range from 24-54 — or to be friends with a mom, and someone who is the age of her child, as well. At ALA, in a session on millennials, I heard “They don’t want us in their space.” Do you agree, or disagree?