Reading, Writing, Learning Together
Reading, Writing, Learning Together
In May of 2007, I realized my dream of serving as a community leader in the role of a youth services librarian. The setting was the Perry Public Library in Gilbert, Arizona, where I successfully held a full time position for just over one full year. In keeping with the library’s mission and being consistent with my professional values, I welcomed the diverse population of library users that walked through our building’s sliding doors. I succeeded with an approachable spirit, a commitment to...
In May of 2007, I realized my dream of serving as a community leader in the role of a youth services librarian. The setting was the Perry Public Library in Gilbert, Arizona, where I successfully held a full time position for just over one full year. In keeping with the library’s mission and being consistent with my professional values, I welcomed the diverse population of library users that walked through our building’s sliding doors. I succeeded with an approachable spirit, a commitment to my employer, and a dedication to the profession. It was my aim to have every patron with whom I came into contact with come away feeling a sense of “how neat that someone knows my name here— that someone cares a great deal about my interests and my intended uses of the library.” Central to my work was providing assistance and attending to the inquiries of young patrons as well as teachers, caretakers, and parents. I facilitated student pursuit of just the right library materials for school projects and good reads. In addition to serving youths, I provided reference assistance to library patrons of all ages. During library open hours, I was on my feet continuously, helping an eighth grader decipher the index of a book on natural disasters, or at the computer station showing a scholar how to navigate SIRS Researcher.
One of my great joys is implementing programs that speaks to the needs and interests of youths and teens. Once a week at the Perry Public Library, I presented story times tailored to three different age groups: babies (birth through 18 months), toddlers (18 months through 3 years old), and school-age children (5 through 8 years old). I used choice board books, picture books, songs, dances, and rhymes and had as much fun performing as my audience did participating. Once a month, the library featured Tween Book Club, which catered to youths nine through twelve years of age. Our first book for Tween Book Club was Skinny Bones by Barbara Park, which is a very funny book and will always be one of my all-time favorite reads.
In addition to story times, I also planned and implemented a wide variety of other exciting programs, such as holiday-related arts-and-crafts and a Halloween scavenger hunt. The Butterfly Club was especially popular, which was a program based on the hatching of live monarch butterflies! With the other youth librarians of our district, I co-wrote and performed a puppet show based on the beloved bugs created by Eric Carle. The puppeteer librarians traveled to fourteen libraries during the month of May, encouraging young audience members to participate in the upcoming Summer Reading program. I worked collaboratively with the Perry Public Library’s teen services librarian. Together, the teen services librarian and I presented a baby-sitting program, offering baby-sitting certification to teens and then offering a safe environment where parents of young children could meet potential employees. I also helped execute a stunning program for teen Twilight fans. This Twilight program was held in the evening, and combined a game of trivia with the spirit of an elegant dinner party where teens came dressed to the nines in suits and prom dresses, ready to test their wits as to who knew more about Edward and Bella.
Because being a librarian is my passion, I make sure to keep abreast on the current trends and best resources for my community. My experience with collection development involves documenting information from users’ surveys, and noting new releases as identified in YALSA, School Library Journal, and other professional resources.
Jessica hasn’t set a schedule.