Skokie has been one of the most enjoyable and eye opening experiences I’ve had so far. I haven’t done much sharing on this blog but better late than never! Skokie is my first experience working in a public library. After visiting different libraries and talking to librarians working in different cities, I know it’s a very unique space. At first, I was very much out of my element. One of the way I learned to interact the new environment is by observing the new Learning Experiences librarian, Laurel. Working at the same time as
Laurel gave me the opportunity to see how a new YA librarian can interact with teens and become a part of their support system. Laurel started a week after me but instantly became a part of the space. Her connection with the teens was not limited to the fact that she was present at the library more often and had more direct contact with them. One way that she gained their trust was through challenging them to the video game of the day when she knew how to play those games. Another way was engaging them in a book discussion on required books in their school curriculum, which was masterfully moved to Harry Potter and The Fifth Wave. Her confidence and charisma has been an inspiration. My supervisor has also been a great inspiration in her interaction with the teens and tweens in the library. I’ve attempted to test my limits and build my experiences through more than one venue.
One of the most enjoyable one so far has been working with the Anime-Manga club. Reading Manga has been a hobby of mine since high school, getting to share that love with others in a learning environment is a major plus. So far we’ve had established a new voting system where they can suggest Anime for the monthly meeting/screening. The new system of selection for the anime of the month gave the teens more power in the selection process. The teens could now suggest all Animes they want to preview during the monthly meeting. As the club adviser, I would preview the Animes and choose a top three list would be chosen and the teens would vote on the next month choice. Some things that we may work on in the future is getting the group involved in the Anime and Manga collection development. Here’s more information about the club.
Makerspace is such an amazing concept that I had to become involved in it. The Skokie Library Makerspace is called the BoomBox. This space is unique because it dedicates specific time to different audiences with teen mentors as well as adult mentors. I worked in this space once a week during the time dedicated to youth (grades 3-12), sometimes alone and other times with another mentor in the space. The rules of engagement are simple in the space. Participants are free to explore and experiment with mentors there for the purpose of troubleshooting and provoking thought and discussion through open-ended questions. The new semester came with a new rotation of Earth Science and the Challenge Accepted Programs. The program has been loads of fun and I’m eager to see what the changes mean to the space.