Librarian for a Day

Today I am hosting my first two teens for my first ever Librarian for a Day program! I am so excited. Right now they’re over in the Children’s Department getting a tour and learning about children’s programming, and I’m a little nervous for them! I’m sure they’re fine :)

This is a program designed to foster interest in library-related careers among local youth, to provide a day of volunteer and job shadowing experience, and to create a path for library staff to positively engage with local teens.

Program Schedule:

We started out with a basic introduction to the different kinds of libraries and library staff, then talked a bit more about library school and librarian as a career. Then we did a detailed tour of the library, learned about the different collection areas and how they get managed, and got an intro to what kinds of issues the Circulation Manager has to deal with. I showed them the behind-the-scenes of the library catalog, and they got a taste of what we do at the Reference Desk. Now they’re over in the children’s department observing a weekly Play-Art program.

Next we’re planning a lunch round-table session, where several department managers and librarians will share their history with libraries and how they got where they are today. After that we’ll spend another couple of hours at the Reference Desk, then talking about the intricacies of Adult and Young Adult programming. After that we’ll do an end of the day wrap-up, Q & A, summary session and then they’ll be done!

Important notes about this program:

*Make sure you have backup plans for scheduled activities or meetings. If someone is out sick, or too busy, or talks for 5 minutes instead of 15 you have to be prepared to improvise and shift things around.

*Have activities for the teens to do throughout the day. I had them redo a monthly display, help me weed the non-fiction, and review a list of anime I was thinking about ordering.

*Emphasize the practical tasks, and show more often than you tell. Show them how you put things on hold, or request an ILL, or do a purchase order. Show them your spreadsheets, lists, and plans.

*Get them involved, and get their input. Make the teens feel included and important. Get their ideas on whatever you’re working on, ask them questions, get them to share their thoughts with you about anything and everything.

Feedback from my Teens about their day:

They said they actually had fun. Which is pretty awesome, considering they were basically job shadowing and that usually is not fun at all. They enjoyed it, they learned a lot of things, and they now have knowledge about what and who it takes to run a public library. They liked having the day off school, they liked learning new things, they liked helping out, and they had fun!!

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