(The above image was created by me, for the purpose of this post, via Canva)
Recently I’ve taken on a new position: children’s librarian. When my career as a librarian first started I was an intern in a children’s department. I had the chance to get to know children’s books first hand, learned what it was like to create programming for this age group, and interact with the cutest kids ever.
After my internship ended, I realized that yes, even though I loved children’s books, at the heart my heart still yearned to be a young adult librarian. Afterall, I love YA books so much (as you know). When a position opened at my current place of employ opened, I thankfully got the position, but quickly learned that being a YA librarian wasn’t as easy as I thought. I then transitioned into a position I like to call general librarian, a position which I feel truly has shaped me into the librarian I am today.
In this position, I was the main librarian at our secondary branch. I planned and executed programs for all ages – from birth to senior citizen. I had the chance to familiarize myself with various books across different age ranges and genres. I had the chance to grow and become confident in myself as a librarian.
But the more storytimes I held, the more my heart knew that I wanted to be a children’s librarian. So when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Even though I was nervous at first, I was excited.
I wasn’t nervous about the programming, I had that covered. I wasn’t worried about providing picture book or YA book recommendations. But what I was nervous about was books for that in between age, also known as middle grade books.
In the past I’ve found that, even though I really wanted to read middle grade books, I simply didn’t enjoy the ones I picked up. Panicked about having to talk about these books with actual middle graders just about terrified me. But I decided that I needed to conquer that fear. How so? By jumping in and reading what the kids in my library are reading. With the help of my friend, who just so happened to be the (now former) children’s librarian of my library, I checked out a stack of books and read. But I needed more. More suggestions, so I turned to my go to: Emma (aka Miss Print).
Of course she provided me with some great suggestions, but even better than the books she suggested was the website in which she told me about. A website that I have began to love, and turn to when I’m truly stuck.
This website, who’s tagline is “Helping parents grow lifelong readers” has been a savior in many ways for me. It’s chock full of great articles, and book lists for every reader. The website doesn’t only offer parenting advice, but it offers booklists (looking for some funny books? There’s a list for that! How about mystery books for tween? They got you covered!) There are articles about books and reading, there are suggestions for us “older” readers, and they offer tips that I feel won’t only help parents, but could help me as a librarian as well.
I feel like I could go on and on about this website, telling you the ins and outs. But I think you’ll benefit more if I don’t. Instead, I’ll let you discover it’s greatness on your own. Instead I’ll share with you the articles/lists that I have enjoyed and benefited from.
A part of my new position is that I do weekly school visits. Sometime I’m reading stories to first graders. Other times I’m talking databases with eighth graders. And still, sometimes I’m booktalking to a group of third, fourth, and fifth graders. Through these school visits I’ve learned that the kids I talk to love these three things: graphic novels, scary books, and of course humorous books. If you are like me, and don’t know what constitutes as humorous to this age group. And then I stumbled upon this article, that I have found so helpful: 10 Books Guaranteed to Make 4th, 5th, and 6th Graders Laugh. If you’re looking for scary books, this article has a lot of great suggestions: Spooky, Semi-Scary Books For Middle Grade Readers. (I also found this article about how scary books can help kids with their fears.)
I read a lot of picture books. At least 10 a week between storytimes and school visits. In regards to school visits one of my most favorite picture books to read aloud is B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures. Going into it, all the kids think it’s going to be boring, but by the end I have them rolling around the floor in fits of laughter because of this genius book. Kids love to laugh, especially when adults are doing/saying silly things. They appreciate humor in a way us adults just can’t. Because of that sometimes I feel finding a picture book that is funny for both the adult and the child is often hard work. If you feel that way too, check out: 10 Legitimately Funny Books to Read Aloud With Your Kids.
Do dictionaries still matter? I can’t remember the last time I picked up a physical dictionary. In today’s world it’s much more simpler to Google the meaning of a word. I mean seriously, through Google, the world it at our fingertips. Even so, dictionaries are still functional, still important I think. What made me think about this, about dictionaries of all things? Well, an article I stumbled upon a few weeks back: Why Dictionaries Still Matter for Kids Today. It’s an interesting article with many valid points. And since reading it, a small smile appears on my face each and every time a young patron asks me for a dictionary.
Who remembers Little Golden Books? I used to love them. And today, there seems to be even more Little Gold Books for readers! There’s A Little Gold Book for That…
Are you a bookworm like me? If so, here are 12 Things All Bookworms Have Said At One Point or Another. I know I said one (or all of these things at some point or another in my bookish life).
To say the least, I love this website. And I think you will too! Check it out!