Book Angel

As this blog draws to a close I though I would mention a great program that my local bookstore sponsor’s every year.  Each year they sponsor a holiday charity event called “book angel” where people from the local community come in and buy a book for a child in need. What is great about this program is that these books are locally purchased and given to local kids. The bookstore partners with local school districts and charities to provide books for these children.

Organizations will come into the store with a dollar amount and just buy tons of books for children, along with individuals purchasing just one. Each year, in addition to buying each of her children a book, my mom also donates a book in our name.

What I love about this program is that as I have learned so much about the impact of reading and all the drama that can surround book choices and politics in schools and libraries, the reality is books are still wanted and needed by children. Many of the children who receive these books can’t afford a book of their own, and while they have a library to visit, this program allows them to have one of their own. If a child does not have an adult bring them to a library for something to read, they will have something of their own. They will not be without a book.

I have found that throughout this course I have been wanting to go out and save the world! Make everyone literate and fight every injustice that keeps kids from reading, but the reality is I can’t. However, I can do little things. Like learning all I can to help those who will come to me for advice in a library one day.  A book angel is someone who provides those with a book to read, and while librarians seek to expand outward from services regarding just books, libraries still provide the books and they still need people to give them out, they still need their librarians to act as angels 🙂

Always be there

Post by a fellow blogger about making sure you are a presence in the library and not just a person sitting behind a desk. Always good to be making greater strides in relationships with patrons and helping them!

Check it out!

http://thelibrarymaster4.blogspot.com/2012/11/always-be-there-and-always-impart-some.html?showComment=1352775446252#c7045991752327668528

Website

Well this week for class we had a website due on a topic of our choosing. The website was to be a somewhat instructional website that was made to help librarians make positive changes to their library. For my website, I choose to advocate for children and young adults with visual impairments. My website provides ways in which to make positive changes to better serve these populations through programming, as well as through materials purchased.

This assignment really worked as a sort of culmination of all i’ve learned about this year. In the website I discuss issues of literacy and development along with many other issues. Take a look around and enjoy!

http://blindlibraryservices.weebly.com

Halloween!

Its Halloween and what better way to encourage a love of literature than with a spooky/ creepy book right?

One of the things we have been learning about in our class this semester is that there is no “perfect” book. Going back to the beginning of library services where librarians were trying to move people from the cheap dime novels, up to the classics to now where its sometimes requires a lot of force to make someone believe that a graphic novel is actually a book and not a waste of time.

One of the best ways to promote literacy is through a method called “free voluntary reading” aka ” you actually enjoy reading a book so you will pick up the book and spend time reading it.” To be voluntary, means that a person must engage in an activity willingly, and for kids this coincides with them liking what they are doing. When it comes to reading, this means engaging in literature that they are interested in.

For me, this year involves me reading Goosebumps to a boy. While I HATE scary books and even though I am a grown adult, this book creeps me out and yet I still want to read it. I like that I can engage this boy in a Story for 15 minutes a week with something other than a sub-par cartoon on television. He doesn’t read outside of school, but if I can help him for a little while every week reading something that engages him, I will. I’ll do what I can to develop an enjoyment of reading, because I know that it will only help him in the future.

Customer Service – needed more than in just coffee shops

This week one of our readings from the ever informative book Connecting Young Adults and Libraries (chapter 4) dealt with the issue of customer service for teens. The chapter outlined ways in which librarians and their staff could better serve the needs of teens ranging from helping them to better define their queries to just saying “thanks for coming to the library today.”  The chapter also dealt with what sort of attitude and personality that one working with teens should have and try to convey to the teens to help them feel more comfortable and at home.

Specifically designated teen sections in libraries and librarians for teens are a relatively new phenomenon. This group slowly emerged from being caught between a land of picture books in the children’s section to the at time overwhelming, irrelevant adult section in libraries. With that in mind, it can sometimes be understandable that teens as a specific group needing customer service has been lost in the mix and are still not quite understood. What is unfortunate is that the bad reputation of teens and the bad attitude towards teens just perpetuates the misunderstandings of teens and their needs. What was so refreshing about this chapter was that is basically brought helping teens down to a level that most people can understand: Customer Service. At some point most people have had to deal with a customer service oriented job or task. And the rule was “the customer is always right.”

What’s interesting is that that memo has been lost on teens. Yes they can be obnoxious, loud, and disrespectful in their attitude. But is being disrespectful and patronizing towards them going to help improve their attitude? Most likely not. That’s why bring back providing services to teens as a part of the realm of customer service kind of makes a light bulb go off. Oh yeah, maybe if we treat them nice and earn their respect, then we’ll have some sway.

These teens should be innocent until proven guilty, and even then there is the need for patience with teens. For example, when teens get too loud, its important to remember that especially in many cases, hey are being forced,to patronize libraries where they really don’t have any physical place to call their own. Their still in limbo land between children and adults, where the teen section is almost always an after thought. They often don’t have an adequate  place to meet that has sound proof walls and lots of space. A librarian must take that into account and still maintain that they are patrons and respected users who have a right to the space. They also have a right to respect those around them, which at times does call for reprimanding, but that doesn’t always mean yelling at them and threatening to call the police.

The chapter goes much further into specific ways to help with issues like readers advisory or training staff to relate positively towards teens, but fact is libraries provide a service, and everyone who visits the library deserves that respect and help that comes with good customer service.