Leaving a job you love

 

Leaving a job that you love can be daunting. How do you say goodbye? How do you move on? I just left my Teen Library job in January and I thought I would share some things that I did to help me move on and to help the teens transition to a new librarian.

Some background: I worked at the library for 3 years. Two of them as the teen librarian. I had gotten pretty attached to the kids and I knew that it would be hard to say goodbye. I had worked hard to build a thriving teen area in our library and our Teen Advisory Board had grown quite a bit since I started. My teens were instrumental in helping me make positive changes in our branch and getting their friends to come to programs. I’m really proud of the TAB members and their dedication to making the library a great hang out spot for their peers. If I had to be happy about leaving, at least I was leaving on an upward trend.

Blogs and sites with great advice: 

I asked for some advice on Teen Services Underground and got some good ideas on how to start my transition. One of my favorite bloggers The Magpie Librarian has a great post about leaving your library. While our reasons for leaving are different (my husband got a job out of state), I still found her advice on point. Check out her post: On Leaving your Library.

One of my favorite points from her entry is to “create an “I’m Leaving” elevator speech. Trust me, you will need this. You will get asked by lost of people including patrons why you are leaving. It can become very exhausting to offer a lengthy explanation each time. My response varied depending on the person.

Patron Response“My husband got a job in another state. It’s a really great opportunity for him and while I’m sad to leave a job that I love, I think it will be a great fresh start for the both of us. Besides, Colorado is beautiful!” 

This response kept things positive and upbeat. I used this on adult patrons and parent’s of the teens I worked with. It summed up the reasons without giving too much away. If they had further questions I could respond or walk away as needed if I was busy.

Co-Worker Response– ” My husband got a job in another state. It’s a really great opportunity for him. I’m really going to miss working here. You have taught me so much (if this was a mentor). I’m thankful I got to work with such a great staff.”  (This is just a short example)

Be sure to thank co-workers who have mentored you. I worked for a huge system so it was hard to get to everyone before I left. Send cards or personal emails. Make a point to visit with staff that you are close with and have those “hey you’re an awesome person and thank you” conversations. I also sent a goodbye email to our branch and to the youth staff. If you want to stay in touch be sure to include your new contact information.

Here is another blog with great career advice and some good words about some of the responses you might need to prepare for when you announce that you’re leaving: Resignation After-Effects

Telling the Teens: Be prepared for the feels… 

So for this part I’m going to tell you what I did and what I wish I had done differently. My husband left for his job the first week of January. We knew in December that this was happening. I thought that it would be a good idea to tell my supervisors that I was leaving as soon as possible so they were prepared. Everyone knew I was leaving for about 2 months. If I had to do this again I would have waited a bit longer. While it was great for transitioning the teens (more later), it sucked having the “oh your leaving” conversation for 2 months straight. It wore me out emotionally and physically.

What worked:

I told my TAB kids in December. I wanted to wait, but one of the kids found out through social media. His sister had aged out of the teen program and we are friends on Facebook. (she’s now in her 20’s) He convinced me that it would be better to tell everyone now than wait until the rumors got started. It turned out to be a good thing.

Let me tell you this was the hardest conversation I have ever had with my teens. They were shocked and I did tear up a bit. I managed to not sob and I was very thankful that my volunteer was with me to help explain things and pass out Kleenex. I let them know that my hubby had gotten a job and we were moving to a new state. I told them that they were wonderful kids and that I would miss them so much. I also told them how proud I was to be their librarian. I listed all the awesome accomplishments we had as a TAB group and then let them ask me questions.

  • Be honest– They can handle things better than you might think.
  • Be prepared for a range of emotions– I was surprised by the sheer amount of tears from my teens. Totally not expected. A few were mad. One had to leave the room. Let them deal with their emotions as long as they are being mature. You might have teen that rages about never coming back to the library. Let them rage. Then remind them that there are other awesome librarians that care about them. You might also get a ton of hugs!
  • Tell them as soon as you can- I’m so glad I gave the kids 2 months to prepare. I had time to transition them to the new librarian. I also had a chance to ask them what they wanted from the new staff. They gave me honest and thoughtful answers and came up with a list of things they liked and didn’t like about the current program. One of my teens even wrote a letter of recommendation for one of the librarians applying for my position. It was adorable and I think it helped her get the job!! I also had time to visit my outreach schools and break the news. I was able to talk to almost all of my kids before I left so there were no surprises. I know that my transition time was pretty unusual and the typical time is a few weeks at best. Go with what works for you.
  • Let them throw a party– You might be shy or uncomfortable with parties. Teens are not. Having a going away party with your teens is a wonderful way to close doors and help them move on. It also lets them do something for you. My teens planned a snack night glitter fest. It was epic! We had a blast and no one left in tears. It was a happy celebration of my time with them and I love every second of it. (even though I’m still finding glitter in odd places)

  • Decide how to keep in contact– My teens knew that once they graduated from High School they could friend me on Facebook. By that time they are “adulty-ish” enough to make their own decisions. They can however, follow me on Twitter or Instagram since most of my posts are library or book related and not very personal. All of my TAB kids have my email and only 2 kids had my cell #.  This is because I helped them out at school functions and speech and debate tournaments. You decide what works for you. I got a ton of messages at first and now I only hear from 2 kids on a regular basis. I’m very thankful that they seem to be moving on. (only a tiny bit sad) Some kids need that connection, but it’s okay to say no or set up a side email if you are not comfortable.

Things I would change and things that surprised me:

  • Time- Honestly, 2 months was good in some respects and sucked in others. If I had to do it over I would have waited another month. There were some teens that were sad every time they came in during that time frame. They cried a lot. It was an emotional ride for everyone. I think it also got exhausting for co-workers. I got sick of having the “why are you leaving” conversation and I know they got tired of hearing it. After about a month I was ready to move on and unable to do so because I was packing my house and I needed the extra paycheck. Thankfully, I have some amazing co-workers who were super supportive during the whole transition.
  • My emotional responses– I was an emotional wreck and exhausted. My hubby was in Denver and I was dealing with the house and closing everything down alone. I barely cried and held it all in. IT’S OK TO BE SAD! Crying is not a weakness. Just pick and choose your moments carefully. Sobbing in the stacks in front of patrons might not be a wise choice. Go for a walk and let some of those bottled up emotions out. Take deep breaths. Get plenty of sleep. Transitions and moves are high on the stress list. Self care is critical.
  • Dealing with angry teens– While one of my kids came around and understood why I had to leave, another never came back. I wish I had stepped away from my group and had a conversation with them right then. I thought they would come back and I would get another chance to chat with them. I was not prepared for how angry some of the teens would feel. If I had thought about it sooner I might have been a bit more prepared for that response. I also realized that in the end I could not take it personally. You never know what it going on in their lives. Just knowing that anger and yelling was a possibility would have helped me prepare a response rather than standing there in shock.
  • Negative patron responses– I was pretty tied to the community through my involvement/creation of LibraryCon. I was not expecting that some of them would take it as a personal affront that I would no longer be involved in this program. In the end I had to let it roll off my back. You can’t make everyone happy.

Ultimately how you say goodbye to a wonderful job is up to you. I wrote this to share some of the things I encountered when leaving. Most of them were good and I only had a few moments of “wow.” Which is pretty much the joy of working with the public! I am thankful that my job was supportive of my long term resignation. I’m also thankful that my teens took it well and helped the library hire an amazing new teen librarian!

Final thoughts- Don’t forget to take care of yourself and let some of those emotions out. Leaving a job is hard even if you are ready to go. I hope this post helps. Is there anything that I missed? Do you have good advice for leaving? Please link me up or add comments below.

 

 

 

 

A Free Range Librarian in Denver

Welcome back friends! I have finally made it to Denver, Colorado after 2 long months of packing and selling our house. It has taken every ounce of brain power to leave one life behind and start another. I haven’t had a chance to blog or much less read. My life has been boxes, packing tape, contractors, and goodbyes. It’s nice to finally be a bit settled.

One of my first stops was the Arapahoe Library’s Castlewood Branch for a new library card. This is a smaller branch that reminds me a lot of the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library in Springfield, Missouri. The layout is open and welcoming with lots of seating for all ages. I am in love with their maker-space and looking forward to using it now that I’m in a tiny one bedroom apartment. It was really easy to find things and all the librarians have been very friendly. Bonus: You get to choose the color of your library card!!

I’m taking a bit of a break from job hunting right now. My hubby joked that I’m a free range librarian. I’m looking at my options and taking my time with the search. It’s hard to imagine having another library job that was as awesome as my last. I’m feeling a bit lost at the moment as I sit here writing this blog at the library. A huge part of me wants to be behind the desk helping patrons find books or planning a new teen program. For now, I think that I need some sleep and a few more weeks to get to know where I live! All good things are worth the wait.

So, what does this mean for Skipping through the stacks? I plan to do more book reviews and to revisit some of my library programs that I haven’t had a chance to blog about. I’m also going to add some book promos for upcoming titles that I think my readers would love. I also might throw in a craft project or two! I am debating on changing the look of the blog again or even going pro. It’s all up in the air, so be prepared for all of the above!

 

Finally here is a short list of books that I’m loving:

Read:

 

 

The Valiant By Lesley Livingston

Epic gladiator book featuring a kick butt female lead. Romance is a tiny bit predictable, but the twists and turns in this book kept me reading. Review to come.  4 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Currently Reading: 

 

Flame in the Mist vy Renee Ahdieh

Isn’t this cover gorgeous?!! I just started this one and I’m already hooked. It’s publish date is May 16, 2017. I’m so stoked that I got an egalley of this book. Thank you times a billion!! I loved Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. Be sure to add this to your list of hot summer titles for fantasy readers.

 

 

 

 

 

TBR Pile:

 

Books make great gifts

The holidays will soon be here and one of the best things to put on your shopping list is books! This past weekend our library had their top 2016 books you can gift to friends and family. I’m tackling the YA list and to be honest, it’s been a bit of a tough year for groundbreaking YA titles. I have seen lots of amazing sequels, prequels, and series finales. But I am still waiting on the next big trend in YA. I know I’m not alone in this feeling. I have talked with quite a few colleagues and they all feel like we are in the dreaded “what’s after Hunger Games” slump. Which is sad because there are some wonderful books getting overlooked while we wait for the next big breakout title.

My goal with this post is to highlight my top 5 picks from my presentation that would be great for Middle and Young Adult Readers. It is by no means exhaustive, since there are tons of great books that I have missed getting to read this year. My TBR pile is massive! I would also love to hear some of your recommendations. If you have a book or books that everyone should read and/or gift please let me know in the comments below.

Historical Fiction for Teens

Salt to the Sea- By Ruta Sepetys

By far this is one of my top 3 favorites for 2016. It is heart wrenching and beautifully written. Told from the perspective of 4 teens who are seeking freedom on the Wilhelm Gustloff during WWII, we learn the heavy price of perceived freedom. The sinking of this ship claimed 9000 lives and is one of the worst little-known disasters of WWII. I had never heard about this ship until I read the book. It’s tragic, raw, and the pace is very fast. This is a good one for teens that love well researched historical fiction.

 

Fantasy Fiction for Teens

 Rebel Of The Sands- By Alwyn Hamilton

This books is a mix of western and fantasy with dash of romance for good measure. It has some familiar elements from Arabic mythology but does a good job of coming up with an original story line with lots of adventure. Amani is a talented sharpshooter with one fatal flaw, she is a girl. Determined to get out of her dusty town she dresses as a boy and enters a shooting contest. When chaos ensues and she is on the verge of being discovered, she takes off into the wild desert sands with a boy who is not who he seems and has the entire army of the Sultan after him. There is lots of action and adventure with a romance that doesn’t take over the whole plot. This is a good one for teens that liked “Girl of Fire and Thorns” and other stories with a strong female lead.

Fantasy Fiction for Middle Grade

The Night Parade- By Kathryn Tanquary

Saki leaves the comforts of Tokyo and her friends for to visit her Grandmother in the Mountains. Her family gathers there to take part in the yearly Obon ceremony to honour their departed ancestors. Bored out of her mind, Saki decides to cause some mischief in the graves with some local “cool” kids. However, all that messing about at the shrine has stirred to life an ancient curse. A curse that will lead Saki on a night time journey through the most fantastical parade on earth, with special  guides who are not quite what they seem. She only has a few days to set things right before she is trapped in the land of the dead forever.

This book would be a good choice for fans of “Spirited Away” and other popular Studio Ghibli films. It has a bit of a slow start, but readers will soon be caught up in the adventure and the magical creatures they meet along the way. 

Fantasy Fiction for Middle Grade

The Inquisitor’s Tale- By Adam Gidwitz

One night in the year 1242, a man hears a story about 3 amazing children and their magical dog. The tale starts in France with a capture, follows them to a castle where they dine with a King, expands as they save a kingdom from a dastardly farting dragon, and ends at Mont Saint-Michel where they will attempt to thwart the burning of ancient texts. Can these children really perform miracles? Did their dog really come back to life?

This book is hilarious and full of adventure. Not only are you reading a story in the text but there is another story happening in the margins of each page. Which tale is really the truth? Gidwitz is a master of gross out humor and dark twists. This was one of my favorite books of the year and a ton of fun to read. Perfect for readers who like snark, blood and guts, good adventure, and lots of laughs. 

Realistic Holiday Fiction for Teens- 

What Light- By Jay Asher

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—and every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. Sierra has always lived two lives and this year she is missing home more than she expected. When she meets a cute local boy with dark past, will she learn about forgiveness or will with rumors end their relationship before it even gets started? 

This was a wonderful book and perfect for the holidays. I so enjoyed reading this and it totally warmed my heart. It’s sweet and has a nice message about the power of forgiveness and trust. A total fluffy romance that is perfect to read during the holiday season.

 

 

Being a Fanbrarian Pt. 2- Geeky Programming

To me, the best part about being a Teen Librarian is programming. I love coming up with ideas that will appeal to a variety of ages. It is personally challenging in a good way and something I look forward to every planning period. Geeky programs can be fun if you are fan yourself or super challenging if you have never watched or read the current craze. In my last post I talked about getting to know your audience. This post is what to do when you have found out what your teens love and how to plan a program without losing your mind. *You may still lose your mind but hopefully not all the way!*

Got my list.. now what?

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You’ve surveyed your teens and they have requested a bunch of geeky programs. Some of them you know and some you have only heard about in passing. Maybe a few on that list are not your cup of tea and the idea of programming around it makes you shudder in horror. First off, I am firm believer of “if you can’t find anything to like about something don’t program it!” I am not a fan of Attack on Titan. It creeps me out on many levels. Naked giants eating people… double nope. I can appreciate the art and why the teens love it but I am not going to do a whole program around it. Plus, if you really are uncomfortable with something and truly cannot handle it on any level then leave it for another librarian. Teens can tell when you dislike something they love. Kinda like they can smell fear and know the exact moment that the cookie package is opened. It will not be fun for anyone involved so skip it.

Next, I suggest sorting out your list. I put the programs that I know at the top and the ones I don’t, but might be willing to learn about at the bottom. If there is anything else on the list that I think I can’t do or is out of my comfort zone I ask a fellow librarian if they want to do it or send the idea to another branch. Many times they have resources that I don’t or one of the librarians there is willing to give it shot or are a fan themselves. Which brings me to my next point: Job sharing and cross programming

Who do you know?

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There are millions of fandoms in this world and knowing them all is impossible. But, someone you know just might! Your co-workers are fabulous resources that we often forget about. I am not a Legend of Zelda fan and did not grow up playing the game. I have a group of tweens that love Zelda and had been begging for a program. Thankfully one of the lovely gals in the Children’s department is a mega fan. She was able to create a wonderful tween program with little to no effort. We often trade ideas and help each other with programming so it was a really good fit.

Another fandom that I am trying to break into but am lacking both time and motivation is Anime and Manga. Honestly, this fandom is very overwhelming to me. There is so much to know that includes thousands of shows and books. Since this is my most requested program I am doing a job share with another branch. One of their teen librarians is coming to my branch to help me with this program. I can do the basics and she can actually talk to the kids about what they love. This program is still in the planning phase so I will let you know how it works out.

If your library is open to it you can bring in outside help. We have several Geek groups in our area and we have invited them to come and help us out with fandom programs. Some of the Geek clubs in the Southwest Missouri area include: Doctor Who, LARPing, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Ghostbusters. We also have a few local cosplay groups that have come and done “DIY parties” with our teens and were very well received. We often don’t think about using other people as resources for programming but coworkers and friends outside of work can be great resources for your teens.

Behold the power of the internet

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Pinterest is my BFF. I have tons of themed boards with ideas for my teen programs. I also share a few boards with other librarians in our system. While Pinterest can be a massive time suck, it can also be an invaluable resource for all things geek. It even has a geek option in the search bar. I used Pinterest when I was binge watching Doctor Who last year to help me get some of the references I missed and to find ideas for crafty things the teens would like. It also schooled me on the lingo for the fandom. If you want to follow me: MsVal313.

A quick and easy way to explore a fandom is to hit up their official page. You can glean a ton of information off BBC Sherlock and Doctor Who. I have also used a few wiki links to learn more information about those obscure Anime Fandoms that many of my teens love. I also skim the tags on Tumblr to find additional information. Proceed with caution on this avenue. If you are not interested in spoilers Tumblr might not be a good choice!

If you have not explored the Facebook group: Teen Services Underground I highly recommend it. It is a gathering of YA Librarians who love to share ideas. I have asked many a question about fandom related things and been directed to blogs and given advice on what to do. They helped me navigate the world of Homestuck without losing my mind and plan a fun program that attracted 13 teens who want me to do this again “like OMG every week.” They also do a monthly feature of programming ideas and YA related posts from bloggers all over the country. They also have a website: Teen Services Underground

Another place I love is Teen Librarian Toolbox. There are tons of program ideas from books to movies and everything in between. When I was a new Librarian this was my #1 resource for all things teen. This blog is full of information about programs, teen issues, and features lots of guest posts.

Finally, If you have a blog or site that you love please post them below and I will create a list on this post for everyone to use. You are also free to steal any of my ideas that I blog about.

Blogs I love:

A format that works for me

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Depending on the time of year and my budget I use different formats for my geek programs. My teens love trivia, scavenger hunts, crafty stuff, and themed snacks. Sometimes I can do all of that and sometimes they have to pretend that the $1 raspberry filled cookies are Jammy Dodgers. It is rare that my programs cost over $20. I am really good at making something from very little. I have found that most of the time they just want to talk about their fandom and hang out together. Here are some ideas for how to format your programs.

Program example #1 – Sherlock BBC

  • Scavenger hunt through the library using clues from the TV show.
  • Cumberbatch Bookmarks– Seriously though… adorbs!
  • Pin the Mustache on John
  • Have some Moriar-tea and make crowns. I have used Burger King crowns and blinged them up with glitter glue and left over rhinestone stickers.
  • The great debate- Is Moriarty really dead? How did Sherlock really fool John into believing he was dead?
  • Origami Lotus– From the episode The Blind Banker

Program example #2- Homestuck

  • Decorate Cupcakes with candy corn (found all year long at Walgreens) and sprinkles
  • Make troll horns with air dry clay
  • Share fanfiction- Make sure to remind them to keep it PG or PG-13 cause it can get a bit eye opening!
  • Make Fandom Buttons with the button maker- If you have one break it out. Teens love buttons
  • Alternate craft if you lack a button maker- make magnets from Printable magnet sheets or bottle cap magnets

Program example #3- The Big Doctor Who program that cost about $40 for 17 kids to participate

  • Doctor who T-shirts using freezer paper and fabric spray paint – Have kids bring their own shirts
  • Doctor Who Jeopardy- Old Who and New Who
    • I made these Jeopardy boards and you are welcome to steal!
  • Snacks: Walgreens “Jammy Dodgers” (raspberry creme cookies), Chips (Cassandra Crisps), Bananas, Sour Patch Kids (Jelly Babies)

Program example #4- Super Smash Bros (video game) Tournament

  • This game has an option for setting up brackets so I let the teens choose names and set everything up. It is super easy!
  • Perler Bead Mario Crafts
  • Extra TV with video game cartoons
  • I have done this program with snacks and without snacks. They get pretty tuned into the game so it kinda doesn’t matter either way.

It’s your turn!

Do you have a format or program that works? Would you like to share? Please comment below. All ideas are welcome and it’s nice to have a variety of things to choose from!

 

Next up- Everyday Fanbrarian

 

 

 

Being a Fanbrarian Part 1- Know your Audience

When you are a Teen Librarian embracing geek culture is part of the job description. Teens geek out over pretty much everything under the sun. Their fandoms change weekly and keeping up with all of them can be a bit overwhelming. In the past year I have binge watched all of reboot Doctor Who, spent an entire weekend sorting out Homestuck, skipped my way through countless anime shows on Netflix, and skimmed the internet for tidbits on fandoms that I have no intention of following but need a basic information about to create programs. It can be exhausting.

So, where do you start if geek culture is not your thing? In the next few posts I am going to highlight my journey into teen fan-culture and personal geekdom.

First of all, here are some handy definitions that will pop up in my posts. These are taken from the Urban Dictionary and Google definitions.

Fandom-

the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something.
“my 17 years of sports fandom”
the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture.
“the Star Wars fandom”

Shipping-

A term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer platonic ones as well. (Just think of “shipping” as short for “relationSHIP”.)

Fan Fiction- 

Fanfiction is when someone takes either the story or characters (or both) of a certain piece of work, whether it be a novel, tv show, movie, etc, and create their own story based on it. Sometimes people will take characters from one movie and put them in another, which is called a cross-over.

Get to know your teen patrons-

There are a ton of fandoms out there and knowing them all is pretty much impossible. When I started as the Teen Librarian a year ago, I had inherited a monthly fandom club and a group of kids that were serious Whovians (Doctor Who fans). I also had a bunch of anime and manga kids and zero personal knowledge of anything they loved. While this was helpful at first, I quickly found out that a monthly fandom group was not a good program. During my first 5 months I did: Sherlock, Star Trek, My Little Pony, Supernatural, and Harry Potter. My average attendance was a whopping 2 teens.  I also pretty much bombed with the Manga/Anime kids when I admitted that I had barely watched or read anything that they liked. An exact teen quote “Then why are you running a program?” The only saving grace was the fact that I gave away a ton of weeded mangas and had pocky. Other than that it was 6 months of fandom fails. 6 months kids.. I felt like the worst geeky teen librarian in the history of geeky teen librarians. This is what I did to fix it and for the most part save face with some of my super geeky teens.

The first thing I recommend is interviewing your teens. Sounds pretty obvious right? Well it can be a bit hard when you have no idea what they are currently obsessed with. It is especially hard if you are new or following in the footsteps of  your predicesor. Teens can be a skeptical and wary bunch. However, I encourage you to suck it up and give it a shot. Sit down with them, chat them up in the stacks about their favorite books and TV shows, comment on their fandom t-shirts or other swag, ask if they have watched any recent movies, and put up some passive prompts that get them talking about what they geek. If you happen to like some of the same things mention it. Talk about a character that you both like or both hated. Predict what you think will happen in the next movie. Just remember NO SPOILERS!

If you are lucky to have a Teen Advisory board do a night of all things geek. Ask them about their fandoms, who they ship, and have them suggest a few programs. Don’t have a teen advisory board? Survey your department. Put out a survey asking about what programs or geeky programs they would want in the library. If you are part of a larger system ask other branches about popular programs and what their teens like. Many teens will travel to different branches for programming and your peers can be a great resource. Another idea is to put out some passive prompts in the department.

A great passive that helped me was a white board covered in paper that encouraged them to share their geeky feels. I cut out a bunch of pictures from TV shows, movies, comic books, anime, manga etc…  I added a glue stick, post-its and some markers and let them go crazy. Here is an example and the link to my original post.

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The top responses were: Harry Potter, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Homestuck, and My Little Pony. Another idea is to have them talk about their favorite comic books or manga.

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There are many things you can do with a whiteboard and a clever question. Teens love to express themselves and debate with each other about what they love. Don’t have a white board? Cover one of the tables in teen with butcher paper and leave out some crayons or colored pencils. You can write some questions on the paper like those above or leave it blank for artistic expression.

The whole point is to get out there and talk to your teens. You won’t know if you don’t ask, and most teens are willing to say a few words about what they love or hate. Finally, be prepared for some answers that might surprise you and maybe a few spoilers along the way. There are fandoms out there that I have no interest in ever watching or being a part of but I know enough about them to at least chat a bit with my teens when they bring it up. At the very least know the bare bones of what they are talking about!

Next up: Fanbrarian- Geeky Programming

 

 

 

Librarian Memes- The good, the bad, and the ugly

Memes.. You just cannot escape them. It seems that there is a meme for everything you could possibly think of and a few you might not want to think about. I was looking for a good library meme for another blog post and came across some that made me do the following:

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It seems that no matter what we do Librarians cannot escape the cliche. Buns, shh, glasses, and cardigans will always be a part of our world. I confess that I do love a good cardigan and if I had the hair it might work its way into a bun. However, shh is just not part of my vocabulary.

There are a few good memes like the always classic Ryan Gosling and his “Hey Girl” quotes:

Cats:

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Summer Reading:

summer-reading-meme-game-of-thrones

 

Adorable kids:

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My favorite, WWII posters turned into library propaganda:

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And the “What they think I do”

 

 

Then there are the stereotype memes that I classify as The bad:

95fff928fda7d20c1df37685b7ab09deca254678087936780de8cf0cfb128fd8I don’t know… maybe you should.. like.. turn your books in!

imagesOMG! Enough with the shushing!!

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Again, have you been to library lately? We are busy and sometimes very loud. Come to story time and hear the littles singing along to “Pete the cat.”  It’s awesome! Having perfect silence can be nice after a busy day.  However, I actually love the chatter. Especially in the teen department when they get into a checker or Apples to Apples battle! Then it’s non stop laughs from teenagers having a great time with their friends in a safe environment. What’s not to love about that?

The Ugly memes: These are the memes that just make me want to scream.

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Think all librarians are old and boring? Check out the Tattooed librarians Calendar. Browse the Librarian Wardrobe Tumblr site. We are a cool and eclectic bunch! Still not convinced? Check out “This is what a librarian looks like.

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This..

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naughty librarian

 No.. just no.. The whole “sexy librarian” thing makes me want to vomit. Just stop. Women and men are more than just a sexy costume.

Finally, this rage inducing meme for those of us that work public libraries:

I get a version of this nearly every week from random patrons. “Gee, you must love getting to read all day!”  Or “I really hate people but I love reading. I am thinking about becoming a librarian.” I cannot tell you the last time I had a chance to just sit and read at work. Maybe on my lunch break but certainly not on the clock. There are too many other things to do in the library besides reading. Customer service is first and foremost. Then I have to make sure the shelves are weeded and straightened, update our upcoming program displays, post things to our teen blog, plan upcoming programs, answer emails, work on training, enter new books into the system, run monthly programs for our teens, do outreach at the local schools… the list could go on.

Also, if you hate people then the public library should not be a career path you should travel.

I confess there are days when I get frustrated with behavior issues, rude comments, chasing adults out of the teen department despite the 20+ signs that say reserved for teens only, or other issues that crop up at the worst possible moment and make me question the state of humanity. It’s the curse of working with the public. However, I do have more days filled with awesome patrons who make up for all the issues that I have ever had to deal with. For example, I have a group of Middle School students that come in every Tuesday for a study group. They are always happy to see me and they ask me to hang out with them so we can chat about fandoms, books, movies, relationships, and well everything under the sun. I also get to help people find information, whether it’s online or book related. That is the best part of my job. Helping others.

Love them or hate them, the memes are here to stay. As with any job there are lots of misconceptions to overcome. No one is immune. The best we can do as librarians is to help our patrons and inspire them to see the library as more than just a warehouse of dusty old books. We have a duty to inspire, empower, and inform the masses. Once that happens… bam: