What I’ve been obsessed with recently

I’ve been inspired to resurrect this blog by my youth librarian, Liz, who’s recently started a second blog, Library Lore. It’s been a while, so I thought I’d update with a few things I’ve been obsessed with recently:

Library Conferences

My ALA book haul!

In June/July, I had the opportunity to attend my first ALA annual conference in Chicago! Meeting librarians from all over the country, attending sessions, visiting the exhibits – the entire experience was thrilling. I have to admit, I think I spent half my time wandering around the exhibit hall, but getting to meet authors and learning what’s on the literary horizon was just as valuable to me as attending the sessions. My favorite part of the trip, though, was the “Set Phasers to Internet” tumblarian meet up – I got to hang out with some great tumblarians!

I also attended my first Iowa Library Association conference in October. A much smaller scale conference, it provided just as much information and opportunity as the national one. It’s always great to be surrounded by people who share common interests and passions. I’m looking forward to attending more and working with the wonderful people in this profession.

Teen Programming
When I hired my new youth librarian, I pretty much decided I wanted to partner with her in teen programming. As she’s the only staff responsible for youth services – collection development, programming, outreach, etc. – I felt that she would be a little over burdened with programming for 0 to 18-year-olds. I personally feel that services for teens are among the most important when it comes to developing life-long library users. If we’re able to get them in the library and see that there’s something there for them, it’s easier, I imagine, to encourage them to visit as they grow through adulthood.

In the past, teen programming was a monthly advisory board meeting and a few holiday parties. Starting this past summer, we really raised the bar on teen programming. We offered chess club, Dungeons & Dragons, crafting programs and the obvious reading program. We decided to continue a few of these programs into the fall, and I have personally been amazed at how strong a following the programs have developed – specifically D&D. We’ve got a great group of teen regulars and I enjoy working with them.

October saw the annual Halloween party. Typically we have 10 to 15 teens at our programs. So that’s what we planned for. Snacks, music, a few games – nothing too fancy. We must have had 40 kids show up! The food was gone in 15 minutes, and it was pandemonium! We also tried out a Zombie Clinic & Crawl, but with bad scheduling on our part, it was kind of a flop…but the two teens who showed up said they had a good time. I’m looking forward to finishing out the year, and planning for next!

Rainbow Rowell
I JUST finished reading Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl – an adorable coming-of-age story about a fanfiction writing college freshman trying to adjust to her first year at the University of Nebraska. Rainbow has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Ever since I read that she was disinvited by a Minnesota high school and library from speaking to teens about her first YA novel, Eleanor & Park (which I adored too!), I’ve kind of wanted to invite her to my library. Not for the controversy. But because it just reinforced, to me, how great an author she is and I want to share her with my community. However, when I emailed her, it turned out she was booked through the end of the year. Boo. She did say, though, that she’d be happy to once things clear up for her.

American Horror Story

Thanks to our Internet TV services, my husband and I devoured the first and second seasons of American Horror Story, and now we’re anxiously awaiting each episode of Coven. As a child, I had an “unnatural” obsession with witches. I’m pretty sure I demanded to be one every Halloween between the ages of 5 and 10. Needless to say, I’m obsessed with this season. Asylum proved to me that Jessica Lange is brilliant, and now she rules as the supreme. And Kathy Bates! I adore her. Like Misery adore. Well, more like Fried Green Tomatoes adore. I appreciate the mix of history with the imaginative terror of the series, and look forward to much more!

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