I wanted to be a teen librarian so I could empower teens to find themselves and be comfortable with who they are. Recently, a table and computer was set up for me in my library’s teen area so that I could be where the teens are. I assumed that my questions would be mostly about what book to read next, help me with my homework assignment, or something else that pulled on my knowledge of their world.

Its not that way. I spend most of my time listening. I have parents who are worried about the gaming habits of their teens, or twenty somethings that want the opportunity to talk about their favorite comics and hold debates about the different between manga and traditional comics. I have teens who are more excited to recommend a book for me to read than to listen to my recommendations, and I’m amazed that I can serve by just having conversations.

So when you feel overwhelmed by the amount of new books published, or new trends in not only teen culture but library culture, remember that the best thing you can ever do is talk to you patrons and take the time to listen.

About Jami Schwarzwalder

Currently a teen librarian with the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.She is passionate about technology, making, and learning. See what I'm up to at https://about.me/jamischwarzwalder

2 Thoughts on “Life on the other side

  1. Jamie, When I started as Teen Coordinator seven years ago, I really didn’t understand the importance of the relationships you develop with teens. Now I totally get it! Peg

  2. Beth Saxton [Visitor] on September 24, 2007 at 2:11 pm said:

    Great post, I blogged about it 🙂 However, the ALA blog settings apparently hate blogspot and I can put in the url it’s teens-matter at blogspot.com

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