Being a youth services librarian is wonderful and glorious and truly my dream job. But it can also feel a little isolating, especially in my current position. It is my first professional librarian position and I am a Department Head and I am the only MLS Librarian in our 4-person department. We have an excellent MLS Librarian who is the branch children’s librarian and he is fantastic and I am so lucky to be working with him. But in the day in, day out everyday librarian life of mine, here in my building, it’s just me.
This is why I am so excited this week to see the discussion that started over on Storytime Underground about developing a Personal Learning Network. Anne Clark, one of the founders of Flannel Friday, wrote a fantastic post about her journey finding her PLN through social networking. And it really has me inspired. Gosh, I need to start using this Twitter thing! And hmmm, how can I get more people to read my blog? So when I commented that I felt like a shy lurker sometimes and then the amazing Melissa Depper (who has been a lifesaver when I plan my baby storytimes and had a fantastic webinar recently on the CLEL Bell Awards) wrote a post on her blog directed to all the lurkers like me, it really got me thinking. There is no better time than now to put myself out there and make connections with the people I admire. It is so freaking cool that we have the ability to do that these days. With the internet and twitter and all the social networking tools we have, literally anyone is just a comment or a tweet away.
I just have so many GOALS and so many huge ambitions that sometimes I feel like I can never possibly achieve all the things I want to achieve. So I am taking this opportunity to remind myself that it’s okay. I’ve only been a librarian for what, a whole year and a half! Of course I’m not going to be on the Newbery or Printz committee right away or have twenty articles published in School Library Journal. But if that’s something I really want to do, then I can make that goal and maybe in 10 years or even 5 years these dreams can become reality. Which is why I also totally appreciated Miss Julie’s post on Self Worth and youth librarians. We are an awesome group of people! We shouldn’t let the system get us down! Instead we should be helping each other and bringing each other up and this is totally what I’m seeing online and I’m absolutely loving it!
So today I’m going to have a shoutout to all my librarian heroes and role models and say I really admire what you are doing. You guys are all awesome and you inspire me with your ideas and your enthusiasm and love of what you do everyday. I wouldn’t be half the librarian I am without all your marvelous examples! (And be forewarned, the list is pretty long!)
- Suzanne Walker, our Indiana State Children’s Consultant! On Twitter @suzieecw and with her awesome YouTube channel. We have our AWE Early Literacy Station thanks to Suzanne and just this week she gave us a RockStar Start Up kit with a guitar AND a ukelele so we can learn how to play in our storytimes! She also did a fantastic SRP workshop for us, has lego kits, book club kits, and so, so many more resources for youth librarians in Indiana!
- Abby the Librarian was the first children’s librarian blog I ever discovered and I have been following faithfully since before I was even sure this is what I wanted to do. I love her Day in the Life of a Children’s Librarian posts!
- I have been a fan of Emily Ellis since I heard her speak at CYPD and she won the Library Journal Movers & Shakers award. I love her blog and videos at The Librarian Way with High School librarian Julia. So much good advice on being a teen librarian and lots of fun pop culture and book stuff too!
- With STEM and STEAM the hot topics that they are, I’m so glad to have Amy Koester at The Show Me Librarian to literally show me how to incorporate science into my library programs! Amy is, of course, also one of the founders of Storytime Underground which I still think is one of the best things to happen on the internet, ever.
- Other blogs and resources that have been extremely helpful (plus fun to follow) : Storytime Katie, Teen Librarian Toolbox, Stacked, Someday My Printz Will Come, Heavy Medal, and Everyday Reading. Thanks for all the great ideas!
- And I could not write this post without mentioning my library school class! We had such a great time in our youth literature courses, we just had to continue the fun and keep in touch after graduation! So we started a Mock Printz book club and chat on Google Hangout every couple weeks and it is SO MUCH FUN! Ann, Kelsey, Maggie, Liesl, Eyal, you guys rock!