Blogger Lisa Nowlain

Asking for help

I planned a jampacked Summer Reading program on my own in my new library system. I really went for it, since we had gotten the ALSC Baker and Taylor grant , I’m an overachiever, and we were hiring another youth librarian.

 innovative tracking, 1000000 programs, free books for every registration

However…we never found anyone who was qualified! It’s tough to hire in a rural area (we will be opening up the list soon, though, and I love this area so keep an eye out!). So here I am, the only Youth Librarian this side of a big mountain pass in my county, doing Summer Reading alone. But am I really alone?

rockstar coworker putting on 2 programs a week, coworker in charge of tech keeping her schedule clear to support YS, branch manager at another branch covering my kick-off when I couldn't make it

Who have you asked for help? What non-Youth Services people are your heroes this summer?


Lisa Nowlain is a Youth Librarian in the Nevada County Community Library system in California. She’s also an artist type and you can see her work at


  1. Chantal Emerson

    Hi, Lisa. I’m also the only youth services librarian at our small, one-facility library system (and I only work 20 hrs/week). I am lucky to have wonderful teen volunteers to help me with so many things. Not only do they help out during programs, including running stations for some or our in-house events, but also working behind the scenes to create signage, program descriptions for our online and paper calendars, and so on. We are also lucky to have a free, online summer reading program site, “Bookpoints,” that is offered through the Library of Virginia. This is the second year we’ve been using it, and it makes connecting to the public so much easier, and helps expand the activities that we can offer. Does your state offer anything like this? Good luck this summer. I applied for one of those grants and didn’t receive one, but I’ll be trying again next year and into the future.

    1. Lisa Nowlain

      Hi Chantal! I’m feeling some solidarity with you! I have some great teen volunteers too, but have trouble keeping them over the summer. I don’t think we have a site like that for the summer – I wish I did! The grant has been wonderful because it has pushed me to follow through on some wild ideas. Here’s hoping it works out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *