Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries and for the outstanding Librarians serving Children and Young Adults in Schools and Public Libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest Adriana, Teen Librarian in California’s Alhambra Civic Center Library
Adriana is one of the recipients of the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color Scholarship in 2006. Adriana traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend the first JCLC Conference, which brought together all five ethnic caucuses of ALA. Let’s hear from Adriana.
I’ve been a teen librarian for two and a half years. Working in libraries inspired me to become a librarian. I love reading (always have) and I love the idea of a place where anyone can come to explore all there is inside the endless amounts of literary material. The thing I love the most about my work is the moment when someone’s eyes light up after you find a book they have been waiting to read. I totally get what that feels like and it never gets old.
Truth be told, when I was a young girl myself I used to pretend that my kitchen table was a library counter and I would put due date slips in all of my own books and check them out to my brother and sister. I don’t think I got all of my books back and I could probably collect a pretty hefty library fine from them now.
Our Teen Area
Okay, I don’t know if this is funny or gross or both. When I was working in Circulation a few years back at a university library I found a stale, old hamburger patty left inside the pages of one of the library books. I showed all of my co-workers my find and we were just left speechless and baffled. The best we could come up with was that they brought in their tasty lunch to eat in the library and when they feared they would get caught, they stuck the patty haphazardly in the book?? But we were left wondering, what happened to the bun?
A Lion’s Pride of Programs:
I would love more teens to know about our super-duper summer reading program (this is the second year we are doing it). We are straying from the “making waves” theme and doing our own “making a difference” theme. Our focus is on exploring different areas of community involvement, social awareness, and of course reading! Each week teens are eligible to read for prizes, as well as attend free events. If they complete all four weeks of reading and reporting, teens are eligible to enter in our grand prize raffles, which boast prizes such as an Apple iPod, a digital camera, FEED Hunger Project bags and bracelets, and a multitude of signed books donated by numerous (very generous) YA authors.
Some of our events will be making blankets to donate to Project Linus (an organization that donates blankets to hospitalized children), and putting together care packages to send overseas. The program starts June 28th and more information can be found on our MySpace and Facebook pages, which will be updated with photographs from all of our events and programs as the summer progresses (myspace.com/alhambrateens & facebook.com/alhambrateens).
AIDS Awareness Clothesline
I try to reach our readers by promoting our programs as much as possible. We also use our MySpace and Facebook pages quite a bit. I’m also constantly reading YA books (last year I read 71). I try to keep our teen collection as up to date as possible, with as many in-demand titles on our shelves as I can. Many times teens approach the reference desk with suggestions of their own, and in our library Manga and vampire or supernatural and fantasy reads are the most popular. I love when we get new books in and as soon as I put them out they get borrowed. Our teens are definitely avid readers and I’m so happy to be able to provide a plethora of books for them to devour.
~“Woot if you LOVE James Patterson! It’s soooo cool! I love it! I wish I had all of James Patterson’s books in my house! Oh yea! 100% yea! Oh my gosh yes!” Lily, Grade 8
~Review of Skip Beat v.1 by Yoshiki Nakamura “I liked that the main character, Kyoko, is so independent and is brave enough to go into showbiz and acting.” Macy, Grade 9
~Review of Night World (Daughters of Darkness) by L.J. Smith “I like how they solve what they needed to solve and it felt very real, like you’re in the book with them. I also like how it’s romantic and sweet.” Jenny, Grade 8
~“What I like about the library are the endless possibilities of subjects to read and study.” Roxanne, Grade 12
Book Brag: What three books are hot this year. Why?
~ House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. I think they are popular because of the vampire phenomenon going on in books and media, and also because the books themselves are great at portraying a vampire world within a school academy, while at the same time characterizing teen angst and a coming of age tale.
~Any book by Nicholas Sparks. With all the movies coming out based on his books (The Notebook, Dear John, and The Last Song, to name a few), readers of all ages have been asking for these titles, but especially teenage girls.
~The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. With the second Sex and the City movie coming out this year, this look at Carrie Bradshaw before she came to the big city is pretty popular. Its popularity will continue if they decide to make a movie out of it, which is pretty much the prerequisite to being a hot item at our library.
The best author visit is when they engage teen readers and get across the message that anything is possible, regardless of what you are doing, be it writing or any other career. We had a great author visit from Lisa Yee this past March and by the end of her visit the teens were clamoring to speak with her and asking when the next author visit would be. I also think having a great sense of humor and being down to earth really comes across and is appealing to teen audiences, so that would be essential for the perfect author visit as well.
Library Lion’s Roar
I’m just so happy to be a part of “library land”. I think these days’ people are inundated with the media, news, and the internet, but it’s so nice to be in a career where you can get a little bit of everything. At the library you can read about current events, but you can also escape into faraway lands and talk to other people about books, community events, and life in general. In essence I’m so happy to be a part of a profession that truly wants to improve people’s lives, and there is such a feeling of family and community in that. I love it!
Thank you Adriana for your terrific interview!
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