What’s your current job?
I am the new Youth Services Manager at the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana. Previously, I worked 10 years as the Adult Fiction/AV/Teen Services manager at the same library, and received my MLS from SLIS at IUPUI in 2007. Our 2004-6 new building project allowed for a sorely-needed teen space and shelving room - taking the teen books out of the adult collection and into it’s own designated space. My old position - formerly a paraprofessional job - is morphing into Public Services manager, and I am now in a new role as well, managing both the children and teen services.
How do you manage your time?
I’ve been responsible for lots of collection development over the years - adult fiction, audiovisual materials and teen materials. In that time, I could spend all day holed up in the office and doing order entry, reading journals, scheduling staff, emailing. I think it really comes down to making time to be out on the floor and in the collection, talking with kids and promoting reading and our services. Especially if, for instance, I’ve just read Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke and want to share Zita’s latest adventures with someone!
How do you stay current?
I read blogs like John Schumacher’s Watch. Connect. Read. and Joyce Valenza’s NeverEnding Search to keep me focused on new technology and to inspire me, for instance, to take that plunge with a new presentation on Prezi. I also take time to read School Library Journal, The Horn Book, many more blogs, and I follow library associations, authors, journals and librarians on Twitter. I am also grateful for the storytime programming and early literacy practices shared by Abby the Librarian and Mel’s Desk, who are ALSC members and share conference information when I don’t have time to attend.
What’s worth fighting for?
The rights of kids! Bending the rules for a child who needs a printout for a report but who had no pocket change. Advocating for and supporting the teen who just got the evil eye from another employer even though s/he was not breaking rules or disrupting the library.
How do you measure success?
Making connections - I can justify programs with my director and crunch numbers all day, but when a former library Teen Animanga club member stops in on college break to bring me a present from her recent trip to Prague, it’s all worth it. Or, heck, even when a preschooler tells me during storytime that she has new pants.
How do you defy the librarian stereotypes?
I must say that I do rock a bun now and then but I never shush. I tell all the adults who whisper to their kids “shhhh, you’re in a library” that they can most certainly talk above a whisper and - if I’m feeling snarky and the timing is right - that we are not the library of yore.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter - adubinger