Sunday Reflections: Making Promises To Our Teens
I promise to add books to the library collection that make me uncomfortable, if I think you might like them.
I promise to add books to the library collection that I love, if I think you might like them.
I promise to add books to the library collection that I know you want now, even if I know no one will in a couple years.
I promise to smile at you, even when I’m having a bad day. I promise to keep my bad day to myself when I’m out on the floor.
I promise to smile at you, even when I had to kick you out last time you were here. I won’t hold grudges, even if you do. Every day is a new day here and I won’t take your bad mood personally.
I promise that if you mess up really badly, I will enforce the library policy, even if that means you can’t use the library for a while. It’s because I care about you and the other teens here that I need to keep this place as safe and welcoming as possible.
I promise to keep the collection in good shape because I know you don’t want crappy looking books and when the shelves are overloaded it’s harder to find what you want.
I promise to keep the teen space in good shape because I respect you enough to keep your space at least as fresh and tidy and inviting as the other areas of the library.
I promise to look at you and ask you questions, even when it’s your mom standing next to you telling me what you want.
I promise to take you seriously, even when I don’t know about the topic you’re so interested in, even when the musician is not my type, even when I’m not a fan of the genre, even if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. You and your information needs & interests are important to me and that’s what matters.
I promise to listen if you want to talk and help if I can. I promise I’ll find someone who can help if I can’t.
I promise to be myself, because I want to show you that being yourself is the best thing you can be.
I promise to keep trying until I get it right.
I promise I don’t know it all, but I’m willing to keep learning.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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