I've really been in a rut at work lately. As a library director I spend a lot of time at my desk doing paperwork and administrative tasks. I try to spend as much time as I can interacting with the public, talking about books I love and helping with technology questions, but some days that just doesn't happen. Those days of being stuck at my desk have been adding up quickly over the last few months and it's just not fun. I needed something fun.
So I went to a Young Adult Library Services (YALS) meeting. I love reading young adult fiction and I love working with the few teens who come into the library. My goal is to make the library a place that the teens in town feel welcome to come and hang out, do homework and find a book. While I may not have a lot of ideas to contribute to these YALS meetings right now, I know that this is the right group of people to turn to for ideas on getting teens into the library and loving it.
I also went to a meeting for the Flume Award (NH state award for YA lit for 9-12th graders) and for the Isinglass Award (NH state award for YA lit for 7th & 8th graders). The purpose of this meeting was to narrow down a list of recommended books (recommended by teens, librarians and teachers) to a list of 10 books for each award. Then once the committee narrows down the list, teens vote on their favorites and a winner for each award is announced in May.
I went to this meeting having read very few of the books, but having read lots of book reviews. I didn't plan to partake much in the meeting. I wanted to meet people. I wanted to absorb how they talk about books for teens, how they talk about teens, how they provide services for teens. But instead I did participate. And I walked out of the meeting as the committee chair for the Flume Award for 2019.
And suddenly I love my job again. I have a reason to read all the YA books that have been on my "to read" pile. I have new librarian friends that I get to work with. I have a project I'm excited and passionate about. I have new things to talk to my patrons about. I have information to share with the school librarians and a project that will help us build a better relationship between the public library and the school libraries.
This is exactly the fun I needed. I can't wait to get to work!