I Feel Like Rip Van Winkle

rip van winkleYes, I can hardly believe that fourteen months has passed since my last post. Obviously I am now worried that my relevance has passed as well.  In these months, I have gone from being part-time employed to being full-time employed.  What a difference 20 hours makes.  I am working at a public library that services five high schools in a marginalized area of a metropolitan city.  What on earth do I do with my 40 hours?

It began as a fairly innocuous assignment, but quickly became a challenging turf war.  Though seldom fully-staffed, our branch has a high turnover rate because everyone transfers out.  The challenge for continuity of staff disadvantages the establishment in general.  Librarians are the go-to when the Senior Librarian is absent and I can vouch for the fact that at least three of my week days is spent being in charge.

Now, while I am not paid for this, it is the way the system is designed. To compound the responsibility, the full-time librarian is expected to manage outreach, programming, and all manner of mandate that comes from the administration.  But all of that takes a back seat to the daily duties of managing hundreds of after-school teens.

The Teen Advisory Board is the best place to put my defenses.  It is this small group that helps me with small projects, collection-based and program-based.  They pull inactives, weed for condition, shelf-read fiction, sort and organize floppies and media and cut out all manner of display and programming supplies.  They meet almost weekly and manage to make themselves a part of the library in a big way.

Then there is the other contingent, the small dozen or so of trouble-makers, the truants, the teens whose allegiance is to idle trash talk, and idle loitering.  They want to claim my library as their turf.

About admin

Avid reader with interest in literacy as an avenue for social equality and humanitarian public service. Librarians are at the forefront of the new information age, learning to use print and electronic resources with equal ease and teaching 21st century skills to learners of all ages.
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