Sadly enough, I did not celebrate Teen Read Week this year.

I just started a new job as a youth services librarian a few weeks ago. Before I started, I was making all of these plans about things that I wanted to do and what teen services needed a lot of work. My friend, who is also a youth librarian, tried to convince me to not make any plans for at least six months because chances are, I’ wouldn’t’ be able to accomplish any of them. Of course, I’ didn’t’ listen. I was going to hit the ground running. That’s what I did. Tried to do. And now I’m running through molasses.

She was completely right. Almost a month after starting,’ I’ve’ done more work for toddlers than I have for teens. It turns out that the job that I thought was going to be teen-centric is more birth-through-teen-centric. Okay, no big deal. I can work with that. Little kids are adorable, and I love storytime. Plus, I have a middle school anime group that the high school anime group organizes. It’s not a whole lot of work for me, but at least I’m getting face-time.

I still get to plan teen programs, but because the calendar is already set for this year, I can’t add anything, and the only thing coming up is in December.

In a way, it’s nice starting at this time of the year because this time of the year means a brand new budget, and at least I get to order … oh, so I won’t be ordering YA for a while, but I still get graphic novels (I’m thinking I need a crash course in manga), and my graphic novel budget is not terrible, but I’ll have to content myself with nonfiction in the meantime.

On the other hand, starting at this time of the year means I’ve’ missed Banned Books Week and Teen Read Week because I’ wasn’t’ here early enough to plan something and get it advertised. Sure, I could have thrown it together, but I’d rather wait until next year and do it right.

I’m still optimistic, don’t get me wrong. My plans are on hold, but I’ll still make them happen. Luckily, our town council recently voted to expand the library once they can determine how it will be funded, so a dedicated teen space is in my future. Until then, I’ll have to take the “I told you so” on the chin.

2 Thoughts on “My (Lack of) Teen Read Week Experience

  1. Because I came into my position at the start of September, there was not much time to plan events for Banned Books Week and Teen Read Week. The one event planned for TRW received no registrations so we had to cancel it. It’s simply difficult to find your programming and promotion footing so soon after you start a job. But it’s alright – there’s no reason that those good ideas for BBW and TRW can’t be used to their full potential next year. And maybe this is a good time to try out ideas for those weeks with pop-up programs.

  2. Heather,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us readers of the YALSA blog. As a MLS graduate student, I am always somewhat the optimist about what I will step into when I begin working as a youth services librarian (fingers-crossed!). The reality is that we won’t always enter into the most ideal situation when we begin working, and how we handle what we are given is a true test of our skills as librarians. It’s great that you can see the positive within your work with your younger patrons, and the fact that you’re pumped for your December teen program is good! Plus you are going to get your own teen space?! Awesome!!

    I wish you all the best – it sounds like you’re still doing really, really well! Keep your chin up!

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