Is this what they call the dog days? Not for me! This is my first summer living in Boston instead of Tucson, and I’m soaking up the beautiful high-80s temps they call “hot” around here and spending as much time outside as possible. But I did manage to go inside and find a few interesting tidbits for your personal interest and professional usefulness.

  • Have you ever tried to explain to someone why their offhand comment that “that’s gay” offends you? Or been annoyed when you offer to help carry something heavy and you’re refused because you’re female? Maybe someone made a rude joke about Middle Easterners not knowing you are of Saudi descent? These are called “microaggressions,” and the Microaggressions Project, a collective blog made up of submissions from anyone who wants to share an experience of feeling belittled, ignored, or just frustrated, whether because of their religious beliefs, gender identity, race, victim status, or a variety of other factors. Without resorting to hate speech or angry tirades (and no specific names, locations, or other identifying information is in any of the submissions), this blog would not only be a great resource for teens who feel like their voices aren’t being heard, but you could talk with your advisory group and possibly start your own project, with something as easy as index cards and a locked jar or box. Read More →

Yesterday morning one of my students sidled up to the circulation desk before first bell and asked, “Were you, by any chance, at roller derby this Saturday?”

I was, in fact, and I had a great time–but instead of thinking about what fun I had with my friends, inwardly I started panicking.

Had I been drinking? Was I swearing publicly? Did I wear something I wouldn’t wear to school?

(For the record? The answer is “All of the above,” although we happened to be surrounded by small children so the swearing was probably at a minimum–instead we entertained the other adults in our area by gruffly shouting polite encouragement, like “I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!” and “I LIKE WHAT YOU DID THERE!”)

Running into a teen you serve in your library when you’re both somewhere else can be lovely, weird, or some combination of the two. Whether it’s at the grocery store or a roller derby bout, you’re suddenly off-duty and the dynamic shifts. What if you run into teens while they’re doing something you wouldn’t allow in the library? What if teens run into you while you’re doing something you wouldn’t do in front of your boss?

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