A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between September 13 and September 19 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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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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ALA is currently looking for its next class of Emerging Leaders. Emerging Leaders (EL) puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism. But why should YALSA members consider applying for the EL program? We decided to ask Amy Fiske, librarian at Winchester High School in Winchester, Massachusetts, active YALSA member, and 2008 Emerging Leader.

Q: Why did you apply for the Emerging Leaders Program?
Amy: I guess because I’m ambitious! At the time I was moving from a branch position to a Library Administration position with system-wide responsibilities. It was a good fit at the time. I was also interested in being involved in ALA and Emerging Leaders seemed like a faster track to do that.

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. Read More →

Caffeine_Molecule “Like a caffeine molecule.” That’s how University of Washington ischool student Lauren Woody said she would visually depict her experience attending the two day summit at Midwinter held by YALSA as part of the National Forum on Libraries and Teens. At the summit discussion centered around the future of teens and libraries. Keep reading to find out more about what Lauren and fellow student Jesse O’Dunne said about their experiences at the summit. Read More →

If so, then please join us Thursday, Jan 10th from 2 – 3pm, EST, for a free, members’ only webinar in utilizing social media to build your career and help you in your job search.’  The focus of the session will be on practical tips that you can implement in your spare time.’  Reserve your spot via this brief online form, because space is limited! If you are unable to participate in the live session, please know that, as a benefit of YALSA membership, all members will receive a link to the recording in the Feb. issue of YALSA E-News. This event will be facilitated by Courtney Young.’  Happy new year!

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. Read More →

I’m the first Teen Services Librarian my library has ever had. When I started, we had a YA fiction collection and a week-long summer knitting camp for middle schoolers, but that was it. No book lists. No staff presence near the YA books. No programs, no TAB, no teen summer reading club. That’s now changed. Over the last two years, I’ve built a lot.

Since YALSA President Jack Martin’s theme for the year is “Connect, Create, Collaborate,” I thought it was a good time to reflect on some of the ups and downs of creating a teen services program (nearly) from scratch. My hope is that it’ll inspire others in similar positions and maybe even give us a way to connect and collaborate to learn from one anothers’ experiences. Read More →

Now that fall has arrived and school has started again, life is returning to normal after a hectic summer. I just reached my two-year anniversary at my library (the longest I’ve ever worked for one organization!), so I’m finding myself in a contemplative mood, reflecting on what I’ve accomplished and where I’d like to go from here. With everyone back in town after summer vacations, it seems like it’s time to connect or reconnect with other youth-serving organizations in my community.

While building these connections can take time, I know that they’re going to help me reach teens who aren’t already using the library — and that’s how I make my program grow! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I just think about it in small steps: I have time for one extra email today. I can make time for a meeting this month. I can work on this project for these fifteen minutes I have before lunch, and if I do that each day this week, I’ll have made significant progress.

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Even if you don’t work in a school media center, I’m guessing your life still tends to run on an academic schedule when you work with teens. So welcome to the new school year! Here’s what I think might be interesting, useful, or intriguing to you and your patrons this month.

  • If your teens are interested in what’s new in the going green movement, have them look more globally to see what’s going on. In coastal Ecuador, young people from farming families are heading up efforts to save, cultivate, and redistribute heirloom seeds to revitalize the environment and help farmers prosper. Part of an organization called FOCCAHL, 20-year-old Cesar Guale Vasquez travels throughout nearby areas collecting seeds from farmers and also hosts swapping events so that farmers can trade seeds with each other in order to have more vibrant and diverse crops. Now take that for inspiration and add to it your own library’s resources on climate change, farming, and nutrition and plan an interesting program that combines science with activism and see what your advisory board wants to do with it. Many libraries now are creating their own seed libraries, and whether they’re for wildflowers or corn, they can be a great way to bring communities together, get young people to work with older people, and freshen up your local environment while doing your small part to keep the world cleaner and greener.
    Matthews, J. (2012). Ecuador’s seed savior. World Ark, May 2012: 10-15. Read More →