I am still reeling from the excitement & energy of the ALA Youth Media Awards this week. As part of this year’s Caldecott Committee, I spent the majority of my Midwinter Conference in book discussions with fourteen other committee members participating in the book discussion of a lifetime. It was an incredible thing and I absolutely adore my fellow committee members-I learned so much from them and I felt we all created an incredible bond that can only happen with such an experience.
As I reflect on my committee experience, I feel as though I am not only a better librarian and feel more equipped to understand the awards process, but I also feel as though I am coming away from this experience as a better librarian.
During our discussions, the power of active listening really demonstrated itself. Listening fully to what others had to say without interrupting or coming to your own conclusions is a powerful and incredible thing. I felt appreciated and respected. It was an incredible experience and made me love the people I was with.
It also made me think how I can practice active listening more as a Youth Services Manager with my staff and my patrons. I want to listen to my staff and hear their concerns and questions as well as their praise. I want to remember to stop, pause, and think about what they have said before I respond. I want to show them respect and really listen to what they have to say.
I am so thankful for this experience and I am so grateful to the committee for making it so wonderful. Thank you for demonstrating a wonderful tool that I can take back and use as a manager. I know it’s an experience I will never forget.