August 21, 2009

A Library's Approach to Books that Offend

In case you haven't seen it already, NYTimes wrote an article about BPL's locked vault containing TinTin au Congo.

I have nothing new to say about this, except to share my favorite comment that has been posted thus far:

I am Czech. The citizens of my country, and many more people in nearby countries, have suffered for generations under various dictatorships and autocracies that, among other things, enjoyed telling them what they could or could not think, say, read, or listen to.

The sight of a locked vault full of banned books has problematic associations with the years of occupation. It makes me very uncomfortable. Therefore, I submit to you that the vault is racially and culturally offensive to Czechs and the entire room should be locked up inside yet another bulletproof vault.
— Marenka

August 18, 2009

Courses Complete!

I am proud to announce that I have completed all my requirements for my Masters of Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Although I don't get my physical diploma until October, I am done! Yay!

It's been a crazy year and a half juggling work and school (and fun) all together. I started at Pratt in January 2008 while working as a part time circulation clerk at my childhood library. When we had a Pratt Grad come to visit my Information Professions class in February to speak about working at Brooklyn Public Library, I decided to apply.

I became a Young Adult Librarian Trainee and now understand what the phrase 'trial by fire' is all about. My first summer at BPL, I took a Young Adult Lit class with Jack Martin which introduced me to so many wonderful YA authors (some in real life) and got me revved up for working with this never-a-dull-moment age demographic. I was able to instantly implement theory into my work.

A little over three months ago, I took my current position at West Orange Library as their Teen Services Librarian. It's an incredibly busy library with a lot of town support. Now that I don't have to leave early to attend class, I am working 3 late night shifts (1-9) so I can be here when the teens will be here as well.

It's great to be done, but there is a little worry in the back of my mind that without Pratt's academic atmosphere of sharing and questioning elements of libraryland, I'm slowly going to become removed from the beat of modern libraries. I know this is not going to happen, because I don't want it to happen.

My plan:

- Keep up with this blog (haven't been so good as of late)
- Keep up with other library blogs.
Although many seem to exist in order to get free materials and some even to propel the bloggers into the center stage, there a bunch that always hit up their users with sage advice, important news, and big questions. Library Garden and In the Library With the Lead Pipe are the two that come to mind immediately.
- Get involved with NJLA
I'm most looking forward to meeting once every two months to help decide the Garden State Book Awards for 2010. Meeting with librarians in different situations will no doubt keep me current with what's happening elsewhere
-Keep doing my job.
Especially the part where I listen to what the teens in my community need and want their library to do for them.