Just as I was about to begin writing my long overdue blog post on the YALSA website you bounded to the circulation desk and challenged me to a duel of wits. “Anything can be linked to Harry Potter” you exclaimed. With such confident swagger and determined stares, how could I NOT take you up on this challenge?

How was I to know that asking’ you about HP’s relationship to formal poetry, chemical engineering and Antarctica would lead to talk of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, and Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness?’  I don’t know how it happens that I’ve never seen the Harry Potter musical on You Tube though you aren’t the first to try to show it to me. And I’m proud of you for returning to the text to find evidence to support your assertions.

Still, how could I predict that two more would ‘ join your forces– adding environmental sustainability and William Golding’s The Princess Bride into the conversation equation? And why did I’ believe showing you this MeowFail was relevant? Was I linking Winston to Crookshanks? How is it that over an hour passed while we talked? Finally looking back at my screen, I see that ‘ I only have’ a partial’ sentence written for my post:

“While this post is arriving part of the way through National Library Week”

and I’m sure that really just won’t do. Didn’t you all come to the library to do some work or something?

Now I’m here, after hours yet again, with piles of work remaining — including trying to write a simple post about advocating for the library during National Library Week and the little ways we celebrate during the week. (I send out daily trivia questions and wear library themed t-shirts, what do you do?) But my heart isn’t in’ that topic’ anymore.

All’ I can think about is how great it is that you’ hold your own in your unwavering’ love for Harry Potter (especially when everyone else is all Twilight all the time) — how you want others to see its greatness. I keep thinking about how lucky I am to have a job where I am expected to talk with students about what you are reading and what interests you.’  I’m glad you trust that I will take you and your enthusiasm seriously. Because I will. Like you, I am invested in books. Like you, I want to make sense of the world and discover how seemingly’ unrelated items are linked together. And like you, I’m up for’ the challenge.

So, thank you for reminding me why it is I work with teenagers. And thank you for giving me another excuse (er, reason) for the tardiness of this post. And thank you for letting me into your magical world, even if only for an hour. Come again soon.

I remain sincerely your,

YA Librarian

p.s. Really, I want to know. How should one celebrate’ National Library Week?

About Kate Covintree

Currently working as an Upper School librarian at an independent school in Rhode Island.

3 Thoughts on “Dear Teens at My Desk,

  1. One thing that we can always do to advocate for libraries is to contact our elected representatives to tell them that libraries matter. I did a blog post about that earlier this week in light of what’s been happening in New Jersey:


    And we can encourage people to fill out the Census, since every person counted in our community means more federal money for libraries and other community organizations.

  2. Sara Ryan on April 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm said:

    I love this post. And I think that spending the time with those teens is, itself, a fine way to celebrate.

  3. Anonymous on June 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm said:

    I am so grateful to have had you as a librarian. Thank you for everything you have done for me and for our school. Just seeing you smile brightened my day every time i went to the library.

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