I woke up shocked to discover I was envying the teen public librarians. I have never wanted to trade my job for theirs until a dream provided an answer to a problem I’ve been stewing about. We have only 3.5 days of school left and our library will be closed for most of those to frantically get everything done. I suddenly realized that I won’t be seeing those 8th graders ever again after Thursday and I don’t like that idea. I will miss them.
I have watched 4th graders leave for 19 years and have been sad the last day of school, but the intensity of my feelings this year surprised me. I have worked really hard to build relationships of respect and collaboration with all of the students, but for some reason, more 8th graders have been free to leave their classroom to work/ research/ study/ hang out/ and checkout books in the library than any other grade level. They’ve received special instruction on participatory culture, reading & writing teen reviews, and in creating a vibrant atmosphere. Now they are going to be leaving.
In my dream I was discussing this face to face with you, reader, and you said to me, "If you were working at the public library, you’d never have to tell them goodbye."
Now I wonder, what are the other advantages to being a teen public librarian?