|Naomi Bates – I’m celebrating National Library week by combining two things in one. It’s also National Poetry month, so I have created a worktable with old weeded books, markers and pencils so students can create their own blackout poetry, which I’ll share on the library Instagram.
I did attend a workshop hosted by code.org during Teen Teach Week to learn how to start a coding program. I did it to prepare for next year so I can create a coding class during our campus club/tutorial time.
Also, Texas Library Association is having its annual conference during April, and of course I’ll be promoting libraries and librarians to get involved.
|John “Mack” Freeman – I was initially attracted to libraries because of their placement in the community. They are everywhere. It is the one truly ubiquitous nonprofit, and it provides a place that people can come together to share ideas and learn without any barriers. At least, that’s what I hope that libraries are. For me, it’s never been about the books or the storytimes or the summer reading programs or the research help, though all of that stuff is nice enough. Libraries have always been about the community. How libraries build up their towns, engage their publics, teach their new generations, and support their communities has always been what it’s about for me. I feel a little sheepish writing this for our National Library Week post because I don’t necessarily love National Library Week. To me, every week that our libraries do good work across this country is National Library Week. And we do good (great, phenomenal) work every week.
|Joyce Johnston – With a grandbaby about to be born during Library Week, I’m getting ready for our next generation of bibliophiles. First, I’m inventorying the children’s books that have passed down through our family since my own grandparents’ time. With a little cleaning, dusting and gentle repair, they’ll be ready to delight their fifth generation. Then I’m headed to the Notable Children’s Books website to catch up on the last five years of titles for Younger Readers (pre-school to grade 2) recommended by the Association for Library Service to Children. Never let it be said that grandma missed a chance to pass on the best of past and present to little readers-to-be!
|Linsey Milillo – I’m feeling a bit introspective about my journey with libraries and their importance to my life. This year’s theme is “Libraries Transform” and I think that is true and can be interpreted in multiple ways. Certainly, how libraries function within society, as well as, their inner workings in terms of holdings, technology and design has transformed based on user needs, wants and shifts in the resources available to collect and disseminate information.
In retrospect, I think about how libraries have transformed my own life. I went to the local library as a kid but not often. I was a big reader but my parents bought me most of my books at the local book or grocery store. In elementary school I did go through a fascination with mysterious and prehistoric sea creatures. I fondly remember visiting the library and stocking up on these nonfiction books on sharks, whales, and even the Lock Ness monster. I didn’t use the library much until my senior research project on the Bermuda Triangle but this experience did help transform how I viewed libraries as I began my college career.
With a Bachelor’s degree and three subsequent Master’s degrees, much of the next decade of my life was focused around the academic library which had turned into the quiet and nurturing research mecca, an escape from the dorm, roommates and the key to finding the information that would enable me to excel in my classes and my professional career. Still, I hadn’t yet realized the truly transformative quality libraries had yet to bestow on my personal life.
While rewarding, adjuncting at a university will not financially pad your pocket or offer much retirement. Based on a friend’s suggestion, I applied for a part time position at the library and the rest is history. Working across departments, shifting to full time and then earning my MLIS, I knew that I’d finally come home. The library inspired a passion in me to be part of the community and work with patrons to meet their informational needs but also to strive to achieve more. I found my niche in developing, executing and evaluating youth services and can truly say I enjoy my job. I feel a kinship with other library professionals and am proud to work in such an important field.
|Ken Sawdon – For this year’s National Library Week I’m giving myself two resolutions: get back into watching professional webinars and visit at least one library branch I haven’t been to before. I had made it a routine to watch webinars—on any library-related topic—regularly, but that habit has been neglected lately. Also, I really enjoy seeing how libraries use their spaces; every library has those individual touches based on the community served and staff employed. I’d like to spend time discovering and reflecting on some of these individual touches.
|Amy Steinbauer – I love being a librarian, but it can be frustrating to admit that in public. Sometimes when you tell people that, they scoff at you, telling you that the internet and ebooks will be soon replacing your job, it’s not only annoying, but it tells you that they haven’t been to a library in years. They haven’t seen the people waiting at the door, the children and caregivers packed to the gills in storytime rooms, the computers filled with people who don’t have internet and or computers at home, all the thousands of books that come in and go out each day, etc. We know that we rock! However, it’s hard to dodge the question when asked what do you do? When I told my hairstylist what I did, she was dying a large streak of blue in my hair, and instantly, I was rebelling against what I’m sure was the stereotypical librarian in her head (an older woman with a hair in a bun, wearing a cardigan and a grimace). I’m friendly, loud, and fun! I’m glad that I was able to reintroduce the library to her, because Jessica told me that she loved to read and missed doing so. Naturally, I bombarded her with book questions, until she sheepishly admitted that she loved to read, but never really got around to it. She usually ended up boringly checking her phone until she fell asleep. As we got to know each other more, I knew that my ultimate goal would be to get her back into reading (her goal for me was to talk me out of going completely blue). We both succeeded! When I got back from ALA annual last year, I had picked up an ARC of Somewhere There Is Still A Sun by Michael Grunebaum and Todd Hasak-Lowry, for her because she loved Holocaust documentaries. She was floored that I was giving her a book and that is was an advanced copy. She started reading it straightaway, reading during her breaks at work. When I came back a few weeks later, she was almost done, and had a waiting list of friends and colleagues at work who were requesting to borrow it! According to Pew Research Center, 76% of American adults have read ONE book in the last year. Thanks to me, I know Jessica has. And all librarians know that reading one good book is the best kind of drug, she asked me for more recommendations, and I was able to hand her another book. And that is how we transform: one book, one person, and then the world!Ref: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/01/16/a-snapshot-of-reading-in-america-in-2013/