Banned Books Week, 2014 Edition

I think one of my favorite displays to make each year for my library is the banned books week one. I have a new theme each time, and love showing people how crazy some of the bans are (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been banned simply because it was thought of as nonsense. Really.). So, one year was focused on classics, one on kids books, one of feeling bad for the characters (please don’t ban me, I love you). Here’s my theme for this year:

2014_banned_flyer

And here are my bookmarks:

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Excited to hear the reaction this year!

(If you’re a librarian or teacher and interested in using my flyers/bookmarks from this year or the previous ones, please email me! I’ll be happy to send them along.)

Banned Books Week

(UPDATE: The images should be working again. Feel free to use them at your library! I’d love to know if you do! I also removed the dates so you can use them every year.)

Not surprisingly, I’m celebrating Banned Books Week at the library. As it happens, most of my favorite books have been banned at one time or another, so of course I want to publicize this week. Because I believe people should read anything they want to read. Sometimes the more “questionable” materials help us in ways we never expected.

Here are bookmarks I made for the library:

bannedbookmarks1-page-001 bannedbookmarks1-page-002

If you’re a librarian, feel free to use them at your library if you’d like. If you’re a parent, please don’t think Junie B Jones is bad. Please.

Life, The Universe, and Nerdfighters

Permit me to be sappy for a second.

The above video was taken last weekend. After planning it for quite a few months, my Nerdfighter Library Meetup* happened, and it couldn’t have gone better. Twenty-one awesome people showed up, 17 of which were teens (which is a very high teen count for our library. Very high.) Everyone was so nice, and so excited. We were all unified by one common interest, and it showed. And, really, by the end, I couldn’t have been happier.

That is, until one of the teens posted the above video and I kind of teared up. Because, you guys, this is my life.

At 28, I’ve had three different careers. Not jobs, careers. I was a high school English teacher. (I quite\ after a year because it was just so hard. I loved some of my students, and I would have continued for them, but there’s just so much pressure, and honestly, I was only 23 at the time. And I sucked at discipline.) I was a copyrighter/magazine editor. (Fine jobs, but I never wanted to write for myself when I was writing all day. I started hating writing because it was forced and assigned, not creative and fun.) And now I’m a librarian. (And, yeah, still a writer, too.) I was so scared to start library school because even though it sounded amazing…what if I didn’t like it? What if it was just another failed career move? I went into the degree knowing I wanted to work with teens again, and I left confident.

And now, a year and a month after I graduated, I have that job. I’m a public librarian working with teens. And for the first time in my career, I can honestly say I love my job. I know how rare it is to hear that. I know how lucky I am. And don’t think it’s all cotton candy and unicorns and happy soundtracks. There are bad days. There are bad patrons. But I get over them because I know there’s also so much more.

There’s a little boy who called me his favorite librarian after I recommended a book he ended up liking. There’s a little girl who visits me weekly, just to say hi. There’s a teen who asked for relationship advice, and other who asked for career/college advice. There are the moments I know I’ve made someone’s day better just by having the one thing they were looking for in stock. And there are teens who make videos of my events and post them to YouTube because they genuinely had a good time.

This is my job. I honestly couldn’t ask for me.

*For librarians interested, I’ll post more on planning this meetup later.

Work Photos

A photographic look into my library life:

Each month my library puts out a magazine featuring our upcoming events. Rather than using stock photos, they use pictures of staff members. So, hey, look, there’s me modeling for a Photoshop class. I’m famous! (Also, apparently I have red highlights.)

This is what I made while on the clock the other day. Clearly I missed my calling as a professional finger-paint artist. (I’m hosting a train-themed program for preschoolers in two weekends, and after storytime we’re finger painting.)

All in all, being a librarian is pretty great. We get crazy patrons, but really amazing ones, too. The biggest downside? Wanting to read everything. Seriously. My TBR pile is ridiculous.

Taken Librarian

In my mind, this is the kind of librarian I am...only minus the gun. (Image via screwydecimal.com)

This has been a huge week. A huge week. I have so much to tell you all…but i’ll start with this: I have a new job!

If you recall, my current position as a Reference Librarian is temporary, so recently I’ve been applying to other jobs. A few weeks back I had an interview for a dream job. I didn’t hold my breath. But then they called me back for a second interview. I was getting excited. Then they called my references. I was panicking. Then they called me in for athird interview. I was confused, but also still totally on board.

So my third interview was today and as you may have guessed…I got the job!

I’m transferring from academic libraries to public libraries (a jump I’ve wanted to make). I’m going to be a Branch Librarian at our local county library, so we’re not moving. It’s a fantastic position at an amazing library. I’ll get to have my hand in a little bit of everything, including children’s programming, which is what I really want to do.

Woo hoo!

It’s bittersweet  because I really do love my co-workers. They’re all so lovely. But still – I’m so excited!

Librarian Up For Grabs

I’m currently in an interesting position with my career. I finished my graduate degree in August and was hired as a Reference Librarian the week I graduated. It was amazing, really, and I was fully aware of how lucky I was. The job, while supreme, was temporary, but that was okay. I felt like it was meant to be.

And it has been. I truly have loved every moment of working as an academic reference librarian. I now know that I was right to get into this field, as I finally feel at home. However, my time with the position is about to end. If I could stay here, I would in a heartbeat, but I can’t. So now comes the big question – what do I do next?

When you hear “librarian,” I’m sure most people just assume they’re the people who check books out. Right? Wrong. There’s so much more to the profession. For instance, as a reference librarian for a college, I teach classes on how to find scholarly information, I create reference guides for majors and minors, I answer research questions, and I work with students to assist them in completing their papers. There’s more, but that’s the basics.

As it turns out, being hired as a librarian (and not simply a library aide or clerk) was a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gave me more experience than I could have dreamed of. A curse because now I want to stay one, with only so much experience. Many libraries hire librarians with years of experience – I have but a handful of months.

So now I’m at a cross roads. I’m about to end this job, and search rapidly for another. I’m not sure what will happen, and that part scares me. But I also know something will come up. Something perfect. Something that screams Lauren! and will help me on my professional adventure.