Youth Services Meeting and Last Day Blues

Hey all, sorry for being so tardy on posts. This end of the semester is kicking my behind! I promise to get up information about some awesome kids cookbooks I have found, but they may not be individual entries like before.

So just wanted to blog quickly about a great experience Jen and Kori exposed me to today; they invited me to sit in on the county-wide (I think) Youth Services meeting. It was a very interesting experience.

Kori and Jen presented on the Every Child Ready to Read program/system that they have invested in and done some “workshops” with parents on. I’ve known about this program since they received it at the end of the Summer, I’ve kind of “lived” it with them, but I didn’t really know that much about its history nor about its overall use to the OCPL system. I just thought this was something new they were trying out. It was awesome to be able to see them present to their peers, hear the questions asked of them, their responses, etc.

I then was fortunate to hear the entire group discuss the OCPL Five year Plan of Service that is about to be instituted in the county. Some of the points the group talked about, I thought, were not overly important (felt like it was nit-picky), other points however were extremely interesting. I won’t go into detail here (yet), because this plan of service hasn’t been approved yet, and issues discussed may be moot once the State gets its hands on the plan. However, the group dynamic is what really stood out to me.

There appeared to be a “click” of people with extremely positive attitude, those that were willing to be flexible and to look ahead. Then there were those that were extremely negative. Their body language alone spoke of their resistance to this plan and its was of measuring outcomes. Everytime someone spoke I would either overhear them or they would speak out something negative about an idea. Yes, we are all aware that there is no budget, yes we are aware that the state/county is asking a lot out of you. But does it kill you to try to find solutions to the problems? If the state is asking for outrageous demands wouldn’t it be better to show them that you are trying instead of sitting back on your heels and saying “nothing I can do?”

To be able to sit in a room of “professional” children’s librarians/youth services librarians and hear them discuss points and argue over ways of going about doing things was so fantastic! I would’ve never thought being in a meeting could be so enthralling. It’s how I know I’ve chosen the right profession, when I get excited to just be in a room full of people like that.

Tomorrow is, technically, my last day of internship. I still have some stuff to work on for my project that I’m going to do from home, but my hours are up. I am so sad to be “leaving” the children’s circulation desk. But, I’m so honored to have had this experience. It has been fantastic working with Kori and Jen and everyone here at the Manlius Library. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have taught me and all the opportunities they have given me. I’ve done a storytime, created a cultural pathfinder, worked on genre labels, gone on a school visit, participated in meetings, and have loved every minute of it. I will continue on with my paging duties so I will at least be continuing with an aspect of the library, but I will miss interacting with these kids on an almost daily basis. I’m hoping that the New Year will bring some great news, but I know that the library can’t just create money out of nowhere. Until then, at least I get to come a couple of days a week to this fantastic and awesome place!

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