A little about me. While I was working on my undergraduate degree in English lit (yay, English majors), I took a career placement test. Librarian was #2. I laughed, believing librarianship to be a dead field. Plus, it was just too nerdy and boring to be anything I’d be interested in. Needless to say, that English major got me a great job in food service! While working in an upscale brunch establishment, I met a few local librarians who began to tell me a little bit about their day-to-day activities. I was intrigued..and then they told me I’d have to get a masters. Well, it answered my question about ‘what do you want to be when you growup’, as professional pancake server hadn’t been on my list as a child. Within six months of meeting these librarians, visiting them at work, and doing some volunteering, I had applied and gotten accepted at the school of information in ann arbor. Starting my masters, I had plans to get into museums or special collections. Something kind of fancy, you know? I applied for the museum studies program and was rejected. The next semester I took a core Public Libraries class, where I learned about the philosophy of a public library as a public university and a community center. This opened my eyes to the breadth of service offered by public libraries, and I definitely saw myself fitting in this world. I began working at the Ann Arbor District Library, first as a general adult reference assistant. I learned about the great wide world of public computing, picky microfilm readers, restrooms as hygiene centers, the awe-inspiring world of library vandalism…and the amazing feeling I’d get from connecting people of all ages with the information they were seeking. Next up was a class in youth services, and a shift in my job to the youth department. There, the final epiphany in my formative library student years arrived: there are special areas for teenagers! I don’t remember much about my public library use as a middle and highschooler, except that I burned through the spinning racks of sweet valley high and RL Stine and quickly moved on to adult fare. Now I was being taught that teens are underserved and need special support from public libraries. I recognized my calling—yes, teens seemed pretty scary in their hyper and aloof states—but hey, I’m young, I’m hip, they’ll love me! (That’s for another speech—why teens don’t care how cool an adult thinks they are). And now, I’m about to enter my fourth year as a professional librarian, the majority of that time as a teen services librarian at Deschutes Public Library. Whippersnapper alert: yes, I’m a relatively new, young librarian. I have not had 25 years of library patrons asking for the bathroom to potentially dim my view of the field. Please don’t write me off as a young idealist, or someone who’s looking to replace books with internet stations. I do want to share my enthusiasm about the field of librarianship, and the theme of your inservice of Educate, Enrich, and Empower, is spot-on as things we can all strive for in our jobs. So, to give some order to my geeky soapbox, I figured I’d be a good teen librarian and take a cue from pop culture: it’s time for a top ten list!
10 Reasons I'm Excited to be a Modern Librarian
Enrich, Educate, and Empower! Keynote presentation Douglas County Libraries Inservice April Witteveen Teen Services Librarian Deschutes Public Library
Top 10 Reasons... … why I’m excited to be a modern librarian!
10. It’s a great time to be a nerd! <ul><li>“ A Hipper Crowd of Shushers” </li></ul><ul><li>New York Times, Fashion & Style, 7/8/07 </li></ul><ul><li>Hi- Fi , Sci-Fi Library </li></ul><ul><li>These guys are cool, right? </li></ul>
… and if you refuse to be a nerd… <ul><li>You can always be a sexy librarian! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Librarian” Halloween costume, 2007. </li></ul>
9. Travel bonuses! <ul><li>Conference and training experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Library tourism </li></ul>
8. Being a librarian is fun at parties! <ul><li>Sneaky library advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Impromptu readers advisory </li></ul><ul><li>Fight stereotypes </li></ul>
7. Work with excellent people! <ul><li>We libraries! </li></ul>Connecticut State Library Staff, ca.1908
6. Change is afoot! <ul><li>How can we better serve our patrons? </li></ul><ul><li>Who else models great service? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Retailing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change in libraries is about evolving services. </li></ul>
5. Books! <ul><li>Youth reading on the rise </li></ul><ul><li>Down economy = increased library use </li></ul><ul><li>New formats and genres </li></ul><ul><li>We continue to uphold the Library Bill of Rights, providing books for everyone </li></ul>
4. Technology supports tradition! <ul><li>Think about all the technology you’ve already incorporated in your library </li></ul>
3. Technology offers new services! <ul><li>Enriched OPACs </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs, wikis, social network pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LoC on Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Books </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Video gaming </li></ul>
2. Outreach <ul><li>The library is more than what’s contained in our walls </li></ul><ul><li>What new partnerships could you identify? </li></ul>
1. Libraries continue to be awesome! <ul><li>Take a stand on intellectual freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Function as community information centers </li></ul><ul><li>Offer something for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Act as agents of change </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire loyalty </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“The Spokane Moms” </li></ul></ul></ul>
Slideshow available through SlideShare: http://tinyurl.com/3rexve . Thank you for having me!