I am so lucky.

Today, I got to watch the ALA Youth Media Awards webcast. I have never done this before, but I will clear my schedule for it every year from now until the day I die. IT WAS SO AMAZING.

Hearing the cheers of the people in attendance was shockingly emotional. I actually teared up on two separate occasions. I cheered with them in my office at work. I clapped and giggled to myself. I had no idea I’d care so much. As a bonus, the award committees seemed to really be celebrating diversity this year. All three of the Newbery books feature¬†diverse characters. They also recognized several graphic novels for awards that normally don’t tend to award graphics. It made me so happy.

Books are probably the biggest reason that I became a librarian. I didn’t know it at the time, when I made the decision to go to library school, but now that i’m in it and doing it, I know that I would have missed my calling if I hadn’t made this choice. And today reminded me just exactly how much I truly, honestly, love what I do.

I know that there are a lot of other things that librarians do and that we often look down our noses at those people who are librarians because they “love books.” But let’s be honest for a second;¬†if you’re a school or public librarian, you have to love books. There are a lot of other things you have to be good at too, but you have to love books. You have to be able to talk about them, share them without judging anyone else’s reading choices. But seriously, how lucky are we? I love my job so much right now. What a fantastic natural high!

#ALAyma is now officially my favorite day of the year.


Spinster Librarians

“You’re a librarian? But you’re young! You’re pretty! You haven’t told me to be quiet yet! And you’re out here having fun…”

I can’t tell you the number of times those words have been said to me. My favorite was in Florence, Italy, where I was speaking with a young English couple, who ended that tirade of shock with “You’re literally blowing my mind right now. I will never look at librarians the same.”


Here’s a really interesting article from NPR about the portrayal of librarians in popular media. My personal favorite stereotype is the librarian doomed to spend eternity alone in the library, as if this is the worst possible fate. Librarians are portrayed as introverted white women with few friends except the books they consider their friends. They wear glasses, put their hair in buns, and struggle to suggest anything besides a Jane Austen novel to a reader.

But here’s the trick: being a librarian is not the only thing we do or what makes us who we are. Does your chosen career adequately reflect everything there is to know about you?

This is a huge topic of conversation among librarians. There is a changing dynamic and face to librarianship; most of the people I got my MSLS with were younger than me. It’s not exactly a goal of ours to bust through these stereotypes – I mean I’m still a white woman, and that’s a huge librarian stereotype – but we recognize them, and recognize that we don’t all fit into them.