Slice of Life

Thankful to be a Children’s Librarian! Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving fellow children’s librarians.  Hope that when you stuff yourself with turkey, surrounded by family and friends, you’ll reflect on all that you do for kids and their families.  You may not always get the feedback you deserve, but they will remember you.  One bright and sunny day in autumn, you’re paid a visit from a family you once served at another location (like I experienced this month), bearing gifts and the child you helped with reading–grown several inches taller.  It’s especially rewarding to know that they talk about you when they wake up in the morning, eat breakfast or lunch, and get ready for bed, as if you’re part of their lives.  You’re not only the story time lady, but you are their teacher and their guide to life.  Through your lens, they see the world with wonder…

We all deserve a pat on our backs for all that we do.  This poem especially resonates our qualities as children’s librarians.  (Unfortunately, the authorship is still a mystery–linking to writings of Emerson, Stanley and Stevenson).

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
    whether by a healthy child,
    a garden patch
    or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
    because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

So this Thanksgiving, I toast to you children’s librarians.  Thank you for all you do.  And I am a success too because I have “earned the respect of intelligent people” and I have won the “affection of children” by making reading fun.  I say this more to remind myself because recent events–my father’s terminal cancer, and not having goals go the direction I want them to go–almost dragged me down.  Then I asked myself, “How can I be a failure when when I have “earned the respect of intelligent people” like the Federation of American Scientists and when I’ve “won the affection of children?”  My chubby toddlers always want to fly into my arms everytime I do “One, two, three, four, five–I caught a fish alive” during story time.  As children’s librarians we often don’t give ourselves enough credit.  So thank you Children’s Librarians.  And thank you God for my blessed life.  I am so thankful and grateful to be a children’s librarian. 

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