It was awesome. Twenty-four kids who met 45 minutes earlier, were all cheering for each other as they took turns throwing underwear into a cardboard toilet. Their shouts of victory when the lid closed on the toilet with each slam dunk shot is legendary. The joy the library brought to these kids that day and to this librarian was immense.
Working in a library has those moments. There are spots of joy and success that stick with us as we venture through the years. The Captain Underpants program with the milk-crate toilet was held over sixteen years ago and it has stuck with me. I also often recall the outreach event at which I watched a colleague bravely sing camp songs to a packed room of kids and parents. She held everyone’s attention. It was amazing! We ran out of flyers at our library’s information table that night. These memories come up periodically along with a dozen or so other moments in conversation with colleagues and while training new staff.
Why do these moments stick out in my memory? I think they illustrate the reason I work in a public library. These memories show the connections and the humor that can be shared among people who have just met. It demonstrates how the library as a community center or school hub can bring people together to learn, share, and find connections. Recently, I have attended several webinars that encourage us to be mindful of our mental wellness and foster the wellness of our colleagues. Remembering and sharing these stories can do that. I encourage you to take a moment and think of those joyful moments that you have had. When were connections made between your library and the kids in your community? Remember the successes and the days that demonstrated why you are working at your library. Share one of your “I remember when” moments below!
Today’s blog post was written by Christy Kepler, Head of Youth Services at the Oswego Public Library District in Illinois, on behalf of the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com. This post addresses competency VII. Professionalism and Professional Development -1.