New decade

The beginning of a new decade! Looking back at the past 10 years, it is amazing how all the different choices I’ve made have lead me here to Skokie. 10 years ago I was still in middle school, with absolutely no clue about what I wanted to do when I grew up. Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do until about 3 years ago. Two moments stand out as being life changing. One, was moving to Chicago a little over 5 years ago. The second, strangely, was watching A Grand Night In The Story of Aardman 3 years ago. Laying on the couch with my family during the holidays, I remember watching this documentary and having something click in my head. They touched on fire that happened in one of their archival libraries, which resulted in them losing loads of original footage. I wanted to learn more about libraries and all that they do. After doing a deep dive into learning about everything libraries, I came out knowing that I wanted to be a librarian. And I haven’t looked back since.

And here I am! In my last semester at Dominican, applying for jobs. Time went by so quickly it’s hard to keep up. I am excited about the ways in which the classes I am taking (collection management and digital humanities) will intersect with the work I do here. I imagine that the collection management class will have more relevance to my work here, but time will tell about whether or not the digital humanities class has any bearing on my work here. I have found my fig, and with it I will plant a new tree that will open up even more wonderful and interesting paths for me to take.

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Love from the Rockies

For Thanksgiving I went back home to Denver, where I revisited some of my favorite libraries and bookstores. Walking into the Central Library downtown, I realized that I was seeing the library with new eyes. I stood there, under a giant chicken skeleton, in awe of my home library buzzing with questions.

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Colorado Public Radio (CPR) News, German artist Andreas Greiner’s “Monument for the 308” at the Denver Central Library

Curiosity about the inner workings of the library filled my head as I walked around the children’s area, “Do they have a closet full of puppets hidden away somewhere like Skokie? How does a library system with multiple branches differ from one with only one branch? How do they plan their programs and displays? etc…” It’s amazing how much my time here at Skokie has shaped how I look at libraries; how it has strengthened my passion for all things library. I found that my desire to help and give back to my communities ran even deeper than I had thought.

The highlight of my visit to the library was when someone mistook me for a librarian and asked for book recommendations for their daughter. From what I learned here at Skokie and at Dominican, I was actually able to help her! This happened again later at a local bookstore; it made me reflect on what it was about me that made people think that I was a librarian/bookseller. At first I chalked it up to appearance (glasses, cardigan, hair in a bun), but it felt like it had to be more than that. Perhaps all the things I have learned at Dominican and Skokie shined through me like a beacon, drawing people to me. Or maybe they heard me recommend books to my brother and assumed that I worked at the respective locations as a result. Who can say! Either way, I’m thankful for everything I have learned so far at Skokie and Dominican and I am so grateful that I can put my new skills to practice even outside the library.

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First Preschool Visit

How exhilarating to read, sing, and dance with such an engaged audience! Any nervousness that I felt before going to the British Infants school melted away once I actually began my storytime. Having seem some of the staff here at Skokie do their storytimes–all of whom did it so naturally and passionately–I knew I had a lot to live up to when I did my own storytime. Each person’s personality shines through their storytimes. I hope that with more practice that storytime will come as naturally to me as our Skokie staff; and then I can shine too. The children a the school were all excited to tell me about their day, about all the bird facts that they knew (since birds was the topic of our storytime), and anything else that popped into their heads. Admittedly, I was not the best at getting them to calm down and listen to the story. I was just as excited as them and wanted to listen to everything they had to say to me. After storytime, some of the children cam up to me and shyly asked if they could hug me and my puppets. That moment reaffirmed my desire to become a Youth Services librarian.

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End of the 2nd of Orientation

Looking around the Youth Services department I see beautiful, messy desks that proudly shows the passion that each person here has for what they do. And I am so honored to be among them. I am excited to dive into their world head first and immerse myself in all things Youth Services. Next to my computer is a stack of picture books. Already I looked through the stack to see if I recognize any of the titles; I do not, so I have some reading to do later when I find the time. Looking at the calendar of events, I get excited about the knitting and crocheting events on Tuesdays, the Harry Potter day, the Gentle Plays. I’m excited not just at the prospect of participating in them, but also at the idea that I could one day help plan such an event from the ground up. There is so much to do, and I am thrilled by the prospect of being able to do it all. Perhaps I want more than I can handle, but only time will tell.

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