Youth Services or What I Do at Work

26 Sep

I came across this blog post today and wholeheartedly agree with JustintheLibrarian.  He explains that children’s librarians need to simplify how they create programs and I believe that in doing so, we actually provide even stronger programs.  We’re less stressed, we have the supplies and the resources, and our community has fun.  His second point is to “work to your strengths.”  While this is not always possible in all positions, I am lucky enough to be in a position where I am able to come up with some crazy, insane, fun ideas that my supervisor allows me to run with!  Do they always work, no, but that’s what’s great about working in an environment where there’s always something new going on – you never know what might stick.  And the final point Justin makes is to have fun.  The majority of my time at work is fun – I love planning programs for kids of all ages, I love seeing kids light up when they find the right book and I love seeing kids excited to use the library and be comfortable in it.  I always say, if I’m not having fun during a program, most likely the group isn’t either.

I agree with Justin, librarians needs to be flexible, excited to try new things and are in a great position has a community resource to provide lifelong learning that doesn’t end in a standardized test.  What better way to learn?  Yesterday, we had a butterfly tent in the library and kids (and adults) were able to experience real live monarch butterflies – they could hold them and feed them.  It’s an amazing way to learn about nature – being given a hands-on exploration of it.  The kids learned all about migration, symmetry, camouflage, butterfly gardens, and more!  Was there a test at the end… nope, but the kids faces lit up when they got to see those butterflies up close.  For many, they were able to experience science in a whole new way.  And as for me?  I’m exhausted from the number of people we had in the library yesterday, but I learned so much and I was so excited about the butterflies.  I hope my excitement was contagious and I think one of the best things I can offer kids in my library, is my excitement to learn.

And that’s what I hope our programs offer to kids – the understanding that learning is fun and something that happens for the rest of your life.  And not only children, but as youth services librarians we can’t be afraid to try something new – a STEM storytime, a book club for early elementary students, a program about something you know nothing about!  That’s what makes our job so exciting and fun and what makes our programs perfect for the communities we serve, we’re not afraid to learn!  I’ll be blogging from the Pennsylvania Library Association’s (PaLA) annual conference over the next few days and I can’t wait to learn about new programs to bring back to my library!

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One Response to “Youth Services or What I Do at Work”

  1. Justin Hoenke September 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Thanks for the kind words! It is great to have fun and I really believe that we learn the most when we have fun doing it! Keep on being a great librarian. Keep on sharing. Have a great heart. You are awesome!

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