Friday, November 30, 2012

December Displays

I wasn't lying about trying to post a couple times a month, and with this post, I will have written twice in November!

Here's what we've got on display for December. I love showing off displays because they're an easy way to highlight different aspects of your collection and they take little effort to do. We have a nice trio of display cubes at the entrance to our teen area. It's eye-catching.

Since the end of the world is coming on the 21st, I thought first of throwing together a display of post-apocalyptic titles. Note: not dystopia. The signage in the back just says "December 21 is the end of the world. Are you ready?"

Then in the middle cube, my coworker and I decided to try a staff picks. Since a lot of our staff reads YA, she sent out an email to everyone, collected their results, and sent them my way. Can I just say I know I work in the right place when someone who wasn't me picked Herbach's Stupid Fast as a favorite?

Here's the front of that display:

And here's what I did for the back of it (we had a ton of input which was fabulous):

My coworker did this display in November and I really like it, so I decided I had to snap a photo and include it. Because this kind of display is too easy not to do, honestly.

I don't know if the sign is readable, but it says "I read a book and remember the cover was blue."

I think display creation is one of my favorite things as a librarian. It's creative, and it allows you to really sell up books that might otherwise not get sold easily being spine-out only.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Easy passive programming for teens

I've not forgotten about this blog! I'm making it a goal to try to blog a couple times a month here with either programming ideas or something related to librarianship as a career. What better way to stick to that one that offer up one of my coworker's brilliantly simple and well-received passive programs!

With the election going on this month, we wanted to let the teens have a chance to practice democracy in the library. We talked about options for what the teens could vote on, and since we still have a wildly popular anime and manga collection, why not let the teens vote on what new series to add to the collection? 

The program involved creating a ballot of potential anime and manga titles (with a blank spot for a write-in candidate) and the teens filled it out, then stuffed it in the box. It ran for one week -- election week -- and the response was pretty darn good. Of course, the winners for both would be what's added to the collection.

So what was on the ballot? For the anime side, there was Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Durarara!!, Natsume's Book of Friends, and Shakugan No Shana and for the manga side, there was A Devil and Her Love Song, Durarara!!, Earl and the Fairy, and GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class.

We're lucky to have a really nice display cube right at the entrance of the teen area, so it's easy to catch attention there. 

Aside from this being a very easy to develop teen program and one that runs itself, this kind of voting program really lets teens have a voice in their library. How empowering is it for them to know they got to help choose what materials are in their own collection? Plus, it helps you as a librarian figure out what is and is not popular (which is particularly helpful when neither you nor your coworker find manga/anime your strongest area).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Staying in the game

Now that I'm back in the game, so to speak, I feel like there's a lot worth talking about when it comes to staying current while in a period of unemployment -- either by choice or by luck. How do you stay abreast of the topics being discussed professionally when you're not dealing with them personally? How do you keep yourself one step ahead? And maybe most importantly, how do you take care of yourself when the stress of finding that next job are overwhelming?

Staying Current and Relevant
Let's call this part of the post the things you probably already know.

  • Get on social media. Even if you aren't an active yourself, follow along with the conversation on Twitter or in the library blog world. Follow (and interact with, if you so choose) with people who are doing things that inspire you or that you would like to see yourself doing.
  • Take it a step further: talk with those people. Get in touch with them and ask them how they got where they are. It's not always easy to put yourself out there, but sometimes you have to. Most importantly, though, if those people take the time to get back to you, make sure you thank them. Their time is precious, too, and that they took some to give you insight is worth the minute of thanking them. 
  • Read your professional trade journals, but don't limit yourself to them. I read all of the journals I got as a member of ALA/PLA/YALSA/ALSC, but I also read through ALAN's journals. I made sure to peruse School Library Journal, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and I read VOYA when I could get my hands on it. In addition to those, I made sure to do a lot of reading of teen-centric websites and web magazines. Oh and the breadth of blogs I read -- not just book blogs or library blogs. I read blogs written by teens, pop culture blogs, blogs about publishing, and more. Different audiences, different authors, and different voices broaden and inform your world view. 
  • Try out the new tools and toys. If you have an ereader, give it some good love so you can know how it works when you're faced with questions in a new job. Try out new social media outlets and figure out how you could use them in a work place. 
    • Write for your professional journals. Pull from your experiences and from your current standpoint to write something meaningful for the profession (and ultimately for yourself). The journals are only as valuable as those who contribute to them, so have your voice heard.
    • Find something you're passionate about -- whether within the profession or not -- and devote yourself to it. Blog about it. Partake in it fully. Aside from showing that you can make something worth your time and energy and effort to get to know it inside and out, it allows you to hone your writing and thinking skills.
    • Read. Read. Read. Read inside and outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself to try new things. Stop if you can't get through something. 
    • Don't worry about applying to every job out there. I know it's against a lot of what you'll hear, but I don't think you're doing yourself favors if you apply to any and everything that sounds remotely decent. Hold off and apply only to those jobs which sound like they would be good jobs for you. 
    • Tailor your resume and cover letter for every single job. There is no such thing as one size fits all. If you're taking the advice of the bullet point above and only applying to those jobs that would be good, then taking the time to write specialized applications for each will pay off greatly. 
    These are all no-kidding ideas, right? Anyone can tell you these things about staying current and relevant and preparing yourself for future employment. But how about those things they never tell you about?

    I learned a lot over the last eight months. Some things were good learning and some were not easy learning. But they were learning none the less.

    • Unwanted advice: I got a lot of unwanted advice while I wasn't working! A lot of it happened to suggest I should consider other career paths or other plans because, well, what I wanted to do (whatever it was -- I never quite defined it for myself) was "hard to get into." I think this is really unfortunate and, frankly, sad advice. If you want to do something career-wise, no one should stop you or suggest you apply your skills and knowledge elsewhere. Your decisions are your own. Yes, the field of information science is broad and yes, your skills are applicable in so many different places. But you know what? If you don't want to do those other things, no one should convince you that you should. Stay firm and positive in your own vision for yourself. Know who you can turn to when you DO need advice, and let those who chose to advice you otherwise say their piece but don't let it deter you from what you want. 
    • Seek guidance when you need it: You will likely need advice in the course of things, so know who you can turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on or when you need someone to read your cover letter and resume for the fiftieth time. Use your system to ask questions, to check your head space, to read those job ads for you that you aren't entirely sure about. Know getting it out with someone else can be the best thing, even if it doesn't answer every question. At least for me, it was rarely about the question but about emptying my mind wholly and fully to someone who just would listen. You don't have to be isolated or alone, even if it feels like you can be at times. Cultivate a support system that gives you what you need (and -- as importantly -- give back to that support system in any way you can). Never be too proud to ask for what you need.
    • Budget: This is essential on many levels. First is the financial, of course. When I left my job, I was lucky I had a husband who was still working (though he doesn't bring in the big bucks as a public servant by any means), but not everyone is in that position or they are and realize losing an entire source of income is a huge change. Budget before you find yourself without work. Write down every single expense that comes up per month and make sure you round up (if my mortgage is $1030, I'd round it up to $1100 to be safe). Look at your margin and be reasonable about whether or not you're comfortable living with it. Budgeting for me required making the decision I would be giving up a lot -- my husband and I weren't going to go out for dates on a weekly basis like we had been, I wouldn't be buying anything unless it was an essential, and travel was to be kept to a minimum (that's my biggest spending area). It also meant figuring out how to pay off the big bills we had before they got any bigger. As soon as we sussed that out and made the decision it would work, the key was sticking to that budget. I tracked expenses like a madwoman. I knew what was going out and what was coming in. I squirreled away what I could. But what's important to keep in mind, aside from the financial budgeting side, is the time budgeting aspect. Now that your day is unstructured, you have all the free time in the world. For me, that was terrifying. I forced myself to find routines, to budget my time around things like writing, reading, chores, grocery shopping, and so forth. I made it a routine to get up by 7 am, to get in the shower and get dressed as if I were going to work, make breakfast, then sit at my desk (away from the television) for a set number of hours per day. Budgeting my time like that was a huge stress reliever. It forced me to work, even if I wasn't "working."
    • Make a to-do list and do it: But I don't mean just a list of things you need to do during the week (grocery shop, write a blog post, etc.). I'm talking a list of things you never have had the time to do but have always wanted to. As long as those activities fit within your budget, there really is no better time to pursue them. Aside from keeping you feeling sane when you're stressed out about the job situation, it allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment. Items on my to-do list were to get involved in a YALSA committee (done), propose a session for a conference (accepted), write a book (wrote a 69,000 word manuscript which I've been revising for months), learn to cook a variety of new vegetables (done and bonus -- I taught myself to appreciate new foods and eat well while doing it), working out harder and longer (I may have signed up for a 5K, which is wild). These kinds of things kept me heading forward, even on the days that were incredibly tough. Learn a new skill you've always wanted to learn. I do believe that kind of stuff gives you an edge because it gives you an outlet for whatever stress you have on the job front. 
    • Make a dream list: Similar to the to-do list, but this is a list of those more lofty goals you have, be they personal or professional. Write down the steps for how to achieve those dreams and put one foot in front of the other. I've always had this business idea in my head, and while I'm not entirely sure it's feasible at this point in my life, I took the steps to not only think about it, but outline it, to solicit feedback on it, and to draw up next steps. It's not dead; it's still active. It's still a possibility. Rather than let it continue to be a "dream," it's been made more concrete by being put down on paper and actively pursued (even if it's on a small scale and even if it's at a place I know I can't go after it with my whole heart just yet). One of the hugest benefits of not working is that you can allow yourself to simply dream and think about the things you want to do and achieve. You don't have work or other commitments clouding the incredibly powerful act of dreaming. Write down those dreams. Once they are on paper, they feel more real. More attainable. 
      • Take care of yourself: My biggest weakness is I don't like to take care of myself in the ways I sometimes think I should. The truth is, I don't think most people do. When I first started not working, I found myself wanting to sleep all the time. I'm not a huge sleeper as a rule -- I function best on 4 or 5 hours -- but I wanted to take multiple naps a day. It worried me that that was my method of coping with change. Whether or not that was the case, I finally let myself sleep when I wanted to. Eventually, I found myself not needing those extra naps and I found myself back in a normal sleep pattern. What I had needed in those first few weeks of adjustment was time to decompress and relax. Denying myself that was more harmful than just doing it. Likewise, it is essential to work out, even if it's a 20 minute walk every other day, and it's crucial to eat well. One of my good friends told me when I first was not working that I should make it a habit to wear shoes every day. That that simple act would put my mind in a different place. And you know what? She was right. It was one small step in taking care of myself because it forced me to care just enough about how I felt to keep my mind in the right place. 
      • Take care of yourself, part 2: Best but hardest lesson I learned while not working? That there are very, very tough days. I remember one day I was driving home from grocery shopping and had to pull over because I was just crying. There was nothing particularly different about that day than any other, but something simply set me off. I have always been a denier of my emotions, thinking it was smarter to suck it up than to let into them. A friend said to me that I needed to stop that, and when I woke up to how powerful a change simply letting myself be sad or angry and let out the tears was, I realized how much better it felt to actually get it out. It was sort of a wake up call to how important it was to take care of the emotional aspect of everything, too. Allowing those bad days was just as important as appreciating the good ones -- and maybe it made those good ones better. In other words, there are going to be things that knock you down and taking care of yourself means letting yourself be upset or frustrated, especially because that'll be enough to help you pick yourself back up and try again. 
      • Treat yourself: Celebrate small victories just like they're big ones. Don't hole yourself up entirely. One of the best things I did was have mid-week lunch dates with a friend. No, we didn't spend any cash. She'd come over in the middle of the day, I'd cook us lunch, and we'd veg for a couple hours. It was indulgent without being indulgent, and it was an opportunity for both of us to relax and share our highs and lows. We'd cheer each other one in what we were pursuing and we'd commiserate about those less-than-fantastic setbacks. On a particularly bad day, we'd buy a carton of ice cream, sprinkles, and indulge on it while watching movies. The effect those sorts of things can have on your mood and on your outlook are big. Even if it comes from a place of feeling like you've hit bottom, treating yourself as someone worth being treated helps pull you out. 
      • Be vulnerable: Passion, heart, feelings, and allowing yourself to indulge in yourself put you in a vulnerable position. It's terrifying. But it's also incredibly powerful to embrace that vulnerability and acknowledge it's part of getting through things. Yeah, it'll cause you to cry some days but that's all a part of the game. It'll make the payoff in the end feel that much sweeter. But if you take the first points of this post -- the practical tips -- and marry them with the second points of this post -- the less practical -- you'll find the vulnerability is motivating, not debilitating.

      I can think of a billion other lessons I learned. As much as it sucked, not working gave me so much time to learn about myself and to think about what I want out of my life in a way I never was able to before.

      Do you have any tips -- practical or otherwise -- for those librarians who aren't working? How do you suggest staying in the game? In staying ahead? In taking care of yourself?

        Saturday, July 7, 2012

        Eight Months Later

        Eight months ago, I quit my full-time youth services job. It wasn't easy, and it scared me to think about what would be the next thing. And I wrote just a couple months ago how I didn't know if there would be a next thing at all.

        The day I quit, I called my mom from the car after going out to dinner. I was so scared to tell her because I didn't want to disappoint her. But when I shared the news, what she said to me was something along the lines of you'll figure something out. You've always done a bunch of things at the same time and it's always somehow worked for you.

        I thought that for a while, but nothing really happened. I applied to a few jobs and heard nothing back. I interviewed for a job and did not get it. In that space of time, I spent a lot of time worrying, questioning whether or not I knew what I was doing, stressing about whether too much time had passed and I wouldn't ever find myself a library job again. In that space of time, I did a lot of thinking -- true thinking -- and a lot of reassessment and wondering about what I wanted out of a career. I'd made the firm decision full-time work wasn't for me. I want to do too much and the rigidity of a full-time schedule isn't something that works with me. I'm not the most productive or useful when confined to it.

        In the waiting time, I took up a job as a reader (which sounds vague and I keep vague, but essentially, I get to read potential manuscripts and give feedback on them). I then took a copy editing gig with a university press. I spent a lot of time writing, and I've got a manuscript I've been revising and am really quite proud of. I did a lot of blogging and reading and thinking about them both. I drafted some ideas for a business and it's still something I'm considering putting into motion down the road. I took on work as an admin assistant for YALSA committee and I gave a presentation at ALA. I spent a lot of time learning things and a lot of time just considering what options could be viable. I want my career to be centered around books -- YA books especially -- and I want to work with teens. I want to stay in the library world somehow.

        It's weird when you don't want what's traditional or expected. I don't want to work full-time, and I don't want to limit myself to one work experience. I thrive on variety, and I'm good at multi-tasking and juggling more than one project at a time. But by the same token, it's challenging to explain what it is you do. I do a lot of things.

        Last week, I interviewed for a library job. I'd made the decision that if this one didn't work out, it might be time to consider other options. To pursue something else just a little bit harder.

        I am beyond pleased to report, though, I don't have to.

        I've got a library job again.

        I can't express how excited I am to dive back into the library world and to do so on such a flexible schedule (because this particular position is very flexible). I'm eager to get the chance to talk about books and reading, to find information for people, to work again with teens, both with programming and collection development. Because it's part time, I get the opportunity to keep my feet in the other things I'm doing and I think that it'll allow me to be better at the other things I'm working on.

        I'm not entirely sure what the trajectory is from here. Over the last eight months and a lot of thinking, I've come to accept that what I want out of a career is and will be different from many others in the field. My goals aren't in climbing a ladder but are rather in expanding beyond the ladder. All those things you learn in school and in a career field about how important it is to know what you want and to have a vision for where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years . . . I've really come to think that way of thinking is limiting. At least for me. I want a variety of experiences and challenges, and I've come to learn they aren't all going to come from one place. That what I set out as a goal isn't necessarily going to come out of a traditional career path.

        All of this is to say: this feels right. This feels like the last little piece snapping into place. And I'm thrilled to talk about libraries, teens, and working with both again here very, very soon. 

        Thursday, May 3, 2012

        Job searching and self-reassessment

        This post is kind of long overdue, and I'm not sure how helpful or coherent it'll be, but it's something I've been thinking about and wanted to talk about.

        Before diving in, though, I wanted to send out a huge, huge, HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out my survey. I've gone through the answers and have been absolutely blown away with some of them, both in a good way and in a bad way. I didn't realize there were places that considered 39 hour per week employees not full-time and thus didn't offer them insurance or other benefits. I'll share some of the interesting results (anonymously) in the future, and I have used a lot of what I've gathered to think about what I wanted to talk about in this post, which is job searching. I'm writing this in hopes of offering up some insight, as well as seeking some from anyone who still drops by here to read the archives.

        As you'll remember, I left my job 7 months ago. It's been a real ride, these months, with plenty of highs and plenty of lows, with the majority of the time being right in the middle. When I left, I knew that getting another library job would be a challenge, especially since I'm a bit location bound for the time being (I was one of those people that chose to take part in the government incentive for home buying, thus locking me into my home for at least three years -- doing my part to stimulate the economy while simultaneously taking a huge gamble on what the future could hold during that time period). Fortunately for me, I live within driving distance of the suburban areas of two major metropolitan areas, as well as a few other urban areas.

        Most library school grads know that finding a library job is tough. That's why those who want a job put in the time and effort to get as much field experience as possible through internships, part time work, and volunteering. Back when I was in my last semester of grad school in fall 2008, I worried like crazy about what sort of market I was getting into. I'd worked in libraries for a long time and gained good experience for a fresh grad, and since I was flexible with location, I applied just about everywhere. Before I graduated, I scored a few interviews, including one at a public library that (believe it or not) flew me in and put me up in a hotel on their own dime. It was the only one that did that in my job search, and I spent hundreds of dollars traveling for interviews thereafter. Everyone knows public librarians don't make money. They go into it because it's "a calling" (in quotes because it often seems that's justification for the low pay scale). But you sink in tens of thousands of bucks for the master's level education and then hundreds of bucks for interview attire, for interview travel, and so forth, because it's a field you're passionate about and are willing to put that into for. It's just part of the game.

        I watched a number of people who I respected highly in library school spend months looking for jobs, so I knew my road wouldn't be any easier than theirs. I graduated in December 2008, having had a few rounds of interviews, but ultimately, I didn't have a job offer until May 2009. It seemed that the going rate for a new grad to get their first job was about six months then, and I felt so lucky to get the job I had.

        I moved across the country for a job that paid $15 an hour. I did it for the experience it would bring me, and I cannot say I regret what experience and knowledge I took away. I worked hard and I enjoyed it a lot, though the commute (an hour each way) and the cost of gas began to kill me. I didn't put out an active job search while working there, but I did apply to a couple of places that had neat-sounding opportunities, including my local library. Luck struck when I was offered that job and had the chance to work closer to home, with virtually no commute, for a bit more money. More than that, though, it allowed me greater experience, more flexibility in work, and it gave me much more responsibility (seeing it was second in command, leadership wise). I worked hard -- so hard -- in that job, but I was in a position where I needed to leave.

        I knew leaving would be tough. I knew the market for library jobs was tough. But with a few years of real-world library experience, I thought I'd have a bit of a leg up in the market when opportunities did arise. More specifically, since I'm looking more favorably toward part-time employment, I thought I'd be able to find something in a few months. In my initial search for library jobs back in 2008-2009, I remember feeling overwhelmed with how many part-time jobs there were. Now it seems the opposite is true.

        In the course of these last seven months, I've applied for a grand total of three library jobs.

        With an aim for my happiness and career-satisfaction, of course I've got more limited options in terms of what jobs I'm applying for. Being location bound, of course I've got more limited options. But having spent hours every day looking through job ads, I have to say, this is a much narrower -- scarily narrow -- field than it was even a few years ago. There are far fewer jobs, even at the national level, and there are far greater demands upon applicants, not just in what requirements there are for applying, but also in terms of the sorts of experience they want. Even knowing I have experience, I look at some of the ads and wonder whether I'll ever be good enough for it. Or worse, maybe I have the experience but looking at the list of job functions, it looks overwhelming. I like to have too much to do. I like keeping busy and I like the challenges there in, but many of these jobs combine the functions of three or four full-time jobs into one. It's the new reality with budgets and the need to meet demands.

        I worry that my experience is somehow holding me back in a few ways. First, maybe, I read job advertisements much differently now than I did when I first started out. I have a greater sense of time management and time investment involved with many tasks, and I can easily see when the demands of a job are going to be more overwhelming than challenging. Knowing, too, how many other great and experienced librarians are out there with much more flexibility makes me question myself and my skill set. When I was a fresh grad, I knew I'd be up against challenges, but I wonder now that I'm myself "experienced," if I am more aware of how tough competition really is. I wonder what it is I bring to the table that's different or makes me stand out. I'm passionate about library service, about helping patrons and anticipating their needs, about putting the right book in the right reader's hands. But is that enough to make me stand out?

        Self-doubt has crept in and I can't seem to shake it.

        There are so many things I want to accomplish in my life and in my career, and even though I know this is only a temporary block, it's not an easy one to work around. I have been beyond fortunate enough over these last few months to pick up a couple of freelance, non-library job opportunities that are helping pay the bills. But more importantly, they're also allowing me an opportunity to dabble in some of my other interests in the book world. I'm lucky in that both of these opportunities sort of fell into my lap accidentally. I didn't have to apply for them. I didn't get them through a job advertisement or through an application process. I wasn't competing against anyone but myself.

        I've also been toying around with a small business idea -- one focused on librarianship and library services -- and I've taken some of the initial steps in working on it. It's a combination of all the things I love about librarianship along with meeting a need I think exists, especially now that there are so many demands upon librarians who are working. But much of this sort of dream project exists in my head at this point. I feel like I need more experience and more knowledge to make it happen in the way I want to make it happen.


        There are many days I wake up and I miss working in the library. I miss working with teens and I miss figuring out how to solve a patron's problem. Those are the days I probably spend more time hitting refresh on job boards. Those are days I spend more time looking for new ways to search on aggregated sites for jobs. Those are days I have so much build up inside me I begin self-doubting all the decisions I've made that have led me up to this point and all the self-doubt I had about whether I've killed my career by making the decisions I have up to this point. Those are the days I wonder whether or not I'm meant to be in this field, despite my passion for it. 

        I think maybe what's toughest is knowing I'm the only one holding me back right now. Even with the legitimate limitations I have, it's myself holding me back from putting myself out there. I realize everyone has this happen in their lives and in their careers. It's part of growing up and figuring yourself out and it's not fun. Frankly, it sucks. It's hard -- so hard -- to watch your colleagues talk with excitement over what they're doing and know you're not a part of it right now and know that part of why you're not a part of it is because you're doing it to yourself. It's not that I am not working or thinking or trying or dreaming, but rather, when I feel like I have an idea of what I want, I'm telling myself I'm not good enough for it. So where do you go from that place?

        The right thing is out there, and I know I love having variety in what I do. I love the idea of building a career in libraries that's not all together typical or linear. I love bringing my assortment of passions and experiences into what I'm doing and making it work. I love working because I love working. Not because of a paycheck or the security therein. But when did experience bring such doubt? How do you overcome it and just...take that leap?

        There's that line about wisdom coming with experience, but I fear it's turned into the opposite for me. With experience I've become so cautious and worried. Shouldn't I feel more confidence, especially in a field where you know you're passionate and engaged and able to contribute fully? Is it really the job market that's changed a whole lot or is it me who has?

        Wednesday, February 22, 2012

        Help a librarian out: a survey on teen/ya library services

        It's been quiet here since I talked about leaving my job, and it's not because I haven't been busy. I have been. Over the last few months, I've done a lot of thinking about my career and librarianship and what I want out of both of them. I've also picked up an amazing freelance job that has really pushed me further toward pursuing my passion, I've published an article in VOYA, and I've had a proposal accepted to talk about Contemporary YA lit at this year's YALSA YA Lit Symposium in St. Louis. Honestly, it's been a whirlwind in the best sort of ways.

        In thinking about my dreams and goals in librarianship, I've done a lot of thinking about teen/ya services and how for many libraries, they're a luxury. They're not a priority for any number of reasons (time, staff, and money being the three biggies that encompass about everything) and knowing the value these services have on teens and in communities, I've become real fired up about ways even the smallest libraries can reach this group.  I'm thinking about this beyond the library world, too. I'm thinking about reaching teens through the places they are -- school, clubs and organizations, and so forth. 

        This is the part where I ask for your help. I've developed a survey about library services to teens/young adults, specifically as they relate to reader's advisory and collection management. For those maybe unfamiliar with the term "reader's advisory," it's the fancy wording for helping people find books; "collection management" refers to figuring out what books to buy for the library and which ones to get rid of that are taking up space on a shelf. I want to know how libraries are helping teens find books to read and how librarians are finding the books to buy for their collection.

        If you can give me any insight, I would be so appreciative. Please pass this along to anyone who can weigh in. It's my hope to not only reach libraries where teen services (and reader's advisory) thrive, but I am especially eager to hear from libraries where they do not and where there is a need for these sorts of services. No library is too big or too small, and I'm open to the range of libraries who serve teens/young adults, so I welcome input from school, public, and academic libraries.

        NOTE: There is a scroll bar for the survey on the right-hand side. It'll take you to the other questions and the "submit" button. You do not need to comment on this post to share your answers.

        Friday, January 27, 2012

        Where I've been and where I'm going

        After seeing a really nice blurb written up in December's VOYA about my blog, I started feeling pretty guilty I hadn't updated since my last post (which is still the scariest thing I've ever posted on the internet!).

        But I don't really have a huge update yet, except that you can read an article I co-wrote in THIS month's (February 2012) VOYA about my QR Treasure Hunt program. If you look at the digital edition, it's pages 30-31.

        And thank you to everyone for your amazing support and encouragement on my last post. These last four months have been an adventure -- in every sense of the word! I should be back up soon. I've got a host of things I'm eager to talk about.