Building the Ship

Long-time colleagues and readers know that I hate standing still. I have been a children's librarian for all 36 years of my career and have been privileged to serve my communities in that capacity. I have never wished for more or less than what my career has happily been - serving youth and families in libraries.

This is my passion and my calling. So I have pushed hard in my jobs and profession to look for ways to offer the best. Looking for more and adapting to changing needs is what drives me.  I can't stand still when every tide brings a new treasure to the beach of my library. It often drives co-workers and professional colleagues crazy but most of those found treasures that generous colleagues have tossed out on the sea of youth librarianship have made a positive difference in how youth are served at the library.

But I always thought, "Just imagine, if rather than a flotsam of ideas, we could build a ship of them!" Yesterday, something happened that makes me believe that dream might come true in our state.

It was with real pleasure that I attended a pre-conference at my state library's association's fall conference on youth services. It was, of course, a wonderful experience. But more than that it represented a sea change in attitudes, power shifting and conversation from what has been going on in youth services in our state for awhile.Too often individuals looked to an ephemeral "someone else" to lead. Networking was hit-and-miss or concentrated on a few issues without looking at the bigger picture. Colleagues from large and small libraries just weren't linking.

But times have been changing in the state. Rather than popsicle sticks and lamentations, participants yesterday were treated to a power-producing afternoon that demonstrated concretely that our state level children's consultant, our WLA Youth Services Section leaders, our system level consultants and youth librarians were ready to enter a bold world of action, support and innovation. WE are what we make of youth services. I am ready for the ship we are creating - come on board with me!

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