2016 was an eventful year for me professionally. I left my first library job because the system that I worked for was, to put it mildly, fucking dysfunctional and the city where I was living is a complete shithole. I started 2016 as a Teen Services Librarian living in Texas and I’m ending it as a Youth Services Manager living in Northern Virginia. It is a massively positive change.
My second librarian gig has been everything that I hoped being a librarian would be. I get to work with a variety of ages, doing a lot of different programming, and I pretty much get to drive the bus however I want (within reason). Management is supportive and open to new things. Unlike my previous employers, they have some modicum of understanding regarding quality library services. They’re good at their jobs and it makes it a hell of a lot easier to be good at mine.
I’ve done so many new things since I started this position that I never would have been able to do had I stuck around Houston. Among them are:
- Doing school visits for SRP
- Doing weekly storytime programs
- Hosting programs by outside performers and groups
- Managing youth volunteers
- Doing book displays (that people actually look at)
- Doing readers’ advisory
- Answering actual reference questions
- Organizing an author visit
- Hosting a book club
- Working with local preschools for outreach events
- Having lots of new programs (All Hallows Read Party, Family Dance Party, Crafternoon, Noon Years Eve, American Indian Culture Day, Origami, Playdate Café, Legos, and more!)
I also have a desk! And co-workers who consistently act like actual adult human beings! While we have our eccentric patrons, I haven’t had my life threatened over a fine or the cost to print something in nearly the year. That’s a good feeling. I’m actually looking forward to next year and I have no desire to start looking for a new place to work anytime in the next year. I still have a lot to learn and I hope to have a lot of fun doing it.
There will be a post coming in the new year about my work resolutions and goals for 2017. Stay tuned for that!