Hello, book nerds! I’m happy to present a summary of my interview with a YA librarian. It went very well. The librarian and I established a good rapport, and she was happy to answer any follow up questions I asked her.
– Marion, the interviewee, touched on a lot of topics we’ve discussed in class. I appreciated that our topics were relevant to her job, and enjoyed an outsider’s perspective! She emphasized the importance of acknowledging diversity in the library, particularly when it comes to developing programs.
– She also shared her strategy on finding the balance between connecting with her teen patrons, while keeping her personal life and other inappropriate topics out of the discussion. Specifically, she said that she will not “friend” any patrons on social media until after they’ve graduated high school.
– Over the years, Marion has developed a good sense of what works and what doesn’t work when interacting with teens. She takes advantage of her strong communication skills and uses them to connect with teens.
– Marion discussed the importance of considering the physical space of the YA room when trying to attract teens. She said that a room featuring colorful posters and comfortable furniture is much more appealing to teens than, for example, something that more closely resembles a study hall.
– As stated before, Marion’s advice rang true with some of our class discussions. When I think of a term to sum things up, the word “balance” comes to mind. Marion advises that we be friendly with teens, but don’t engage in conversations that are inappropriate. This similar to our discussions in class, where we said that it’s good to communicate with teens, but that trying to “sound cool” by adopting their language is just embarrassing. It’s a balancing act!
I enjoyed the one-on-one time I got to have with Marion. I do want to keep in mind that these are the thoughts of just one librarian. Other librarians may have different opinions, or even the same opinions but different strategies. That being said, I appreciated Marion’s insight, and hope to utilize her advice in the future as an aspiring librarian.