New year, new look (and ALA YMA!)

After several years (long enough that the theme I’d been using, Misty Lake, was retired), I’ve chosen a new WordPress theme to have an updated look. (In real life, I also got a haircut, new glasses frames, and a new job. So. Changes.) Please let me know if something isn’t working the way it should!

As part of my new job, I get to work in Children’s Services, and I am loving it! I am “upstairs” at the adult services desk most of the time, but I work “downstairs” in children’s once a week. Neither desk is as busy as the library where I worked before, which is nice for me as I learn on the job. So far, projects have included cataloguing the storytime collection and organizing and updating booklists by topic/theme/genre and age/grade/reading level. (I’m making booklists “upstairs” too – read-alikes for book group selections.)

There are definitely some different questions in children’s, and some of them are much more serious and emotional than any I encountered working at the adult desk; for example, twice in less than two months I’ve helped people find books to help explain death and grief to their young children. I’m also working hard to familiarize myself with books for younger readers, particularly the chapter books and early middle grade books. A self-assigned project I’m working on is to read all of the 2017/2018 Reading Rocks books, a program for fourth- and fifth-graders in the town. (I made a new tag for it in LibraryThing; I’ve read 5 out of 20 so far.)

Big news in the children’s/YA world today is, of course, the ALA Youth Media Awards (YMA), including the Newbery, the Caldecott, and the Printz. The live stream of the announcement was here, and the award and honor books are listed below the video. As usual after the announcements, I celebrate the titles I read and enjoyed (this year: A Different Pond, Piecing Me Together, The Hate U Give, Saints & Misfits, The Eyes of the World) and start requesting those I haven’t (Wolf in the Snow; Hello, Universe; Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut; Long Way Down; The First Rule of Punk; We Are Okay).

Did you watch the ALA Youth Media Awards? Which winners did you cheer? Are there any books you wish had gotten awards or honors that didn’t? Which books have you added to your to-read list?

Screenshot of old blog theme
Goodbye, Misty Lake theme. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
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3 thoughts on “New year, new look (and ALA YMA!)

  1. The only thing that shocked me during the YMA’s was the Printz winner. I just knew THUG was going to win and although I read We Are Okay, it wasn’t on my Printz radar. I was very happy to see Strange the Dreamer win an honor and I hope fantasy continues to get noticed in the future.

  2. I’ve recently come across your blog after searching for other reference librarians. I’m a recent library graduate that works the reference desk at a public library and have encountered a “reference question” that actually discourages me. So I’m curious about your experience: are there any reference questions youd refuse to answer? A patron continually calls asking for “phone chat lines for dating” and I feel it crosses a boundary, like that’s not an appropriate “reference or library related question”. I don’t think I’d be as bothered by it if the links I click on to get these chat line numbers weren’t laced with half naked, usually sexualized women. I’m embarrassed when others around see me looking at this sort of stuff. What would you do or say with these sort of reference question?

    • Hi, that’s a great question, and I’m sorry for the slow reply! That’s not an unfamiliar dilemma. On one hand, we are in the business of connecting people with information, and providing high-quality, equal service to all. On the other hand, this makes you feel uncomfortable and may make other staff or patrons (anyone who can see your computer screen) uncomfortable as well. As soon as you’ve found the phone number(s) the patron is looking for, you can say something like “I’ve helped you as much as I can for right now” and end the conversation. I’d also recommend speaking with your colleagues, department head, or library director if it’s a small library. (PS – If the patron crosses the line into verbal sexual harassment in any way, exit the conversation or just hang up. Most libraries have a policy protecting staff from such behavior.)

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