As the semester comes to an end, it’s important to reflect back on what I’ve learned, and to see how this has changed. At the beginning of the semester, I wrote that my goals as a teen librarian were to promote a diverse collection, work with my passions, and listen to teens. I stand by these goals, but I’d also like to expand on them. So, here we go!
1. Be Prepared!
I’ve always been a supporter of intellectual freedom, but our class debate on censorship, and the accompanying challenge letter, made me see how important it is to have a plan of action. I need to be prepared for book challenges, which after enough time will become inevitable in even the most liberal of communities. I need to review what my library’s policy is, what I believe as a librarian, and how to express these points to the challenger.
2. Know Your Genres! (Even the ones you “don’t read”)
In my first post, I said that I thought it was beneficial to start with my passions, such as the fantasy genre, and work from there. I said this because I’ve found that I always do my best work when I’m doing what I love, which I’m sure I’m not alone on. However, the five media challenge and primary materials assignments in this class has reminded me of the importance of broadening my knowledge. Even if I just read a handful of materials from my lesser known genres such as mastery and thriller, then I’ll be more useful to teens who are interested in those genres.
3. Always Promote Diversity, Always Listen
In my previous post, I discussed the importance of making sure that your YA department is centered on teen input, and the needs of your community. This is still important to me, as is a diverse collection. Your library may not serve a very diverse community, but that doesn’t mean the patrons can’t read and understand the experiences of others. There are so many wonderful stories with diverse voices, and it’s important to continue to read these stories and share them with the world.