Celebrating 3 Years of TLT, with a Giveaway
Three years ago today, I wrote my first Teen Librarian Toolbox post. Today, in celebration, I thought I would share with you what TLT means to me – and give stuff away. We’re giving away 1 box of books to 5 people. And some other fun giveaways.
1. Turning Loss into Something Positive
TLT was born out of desperation. We were moving because of my husband’s job and I was fully aware of the job market. So I began blogging. Being a librarian – being a YA librarian – is in my bones. This blog not only allowed me to keep doing that in a time of difficult transition, but it allowed me to participate in a bigger way. I’ve met other amazing librarians, I’ve learned and clarified my thoughts, I’ve shared. It allows me to be creative. But the other thing it has done and it has allowed me to teach my girls, who mean everything to me, that even in the face of adversity you can work hard, build something, and rise up. My girls have watched me struggle with loss and change and stress, and they have seen me start this blog from scratch and it has become something kind of awesome (at least to me). With a little bit of pride in my pocket I can look at my girls and say yes, this was hard and we lost a lot, but look what we did. We made this thing, this blog, and I am proud of it.
2. Connecting People with Books and Authors
I have had some amazing moments thanks to this blog. I got to introduce a then teenage boy to his writing hero when I introduced Cuyler to Jonathan Maberry. I got to provide my goddaughter books from her favorite author Lisa Schroeder. I got to meet A. S. King and Judy Blume! And this week, my Tween received hand written notes from Natalie Lloyd and Jennifer Ziegler. These moments are all so important to meet because they provided someone I love and care about with a moment that would not have been possible without this blog. It is an amazing feeling to be able to provide someone with a moment that matters to them. I am humbled and honored and grateful that these moments happened. Plus, I get to talk about books. How cool is that? Very.
For years as a YA librarian I have heard teens share their stories with me about the things that have happened in their lives and felt powerless to do anything. I’m not a social worker, I’m not a psychologist, I have no real power or knowledge or skills. I just have a heart for teens. And when I wrote my first blog about consent, I began to realize that my voice is all I have. It may not be much, it’s definitely not enough, but it is better than nothing. So the #SVYALit Project was born as a way to keep talking about these issues that matter. I am incredibly grateful to Christa Desir, Carrie Mesrobian and Trish Doller for helping me give voice to an issue that matters. For 20 years I have watched my teens struggle with the effects of sexual violence in their lives and believe me, it matters.
So, thank you all for this past 3 years. They wouldn’t have happened without you to share this journey with. And thank you to Stephanie Wilkes and Christie Gibrich and Heather Booth and Robin Willis and everyone who has every written a post. I hope this 3 year celebration is like any other birthday, just another one on the way to growing old and wise. So, let’s give away some books – shall we?
So here is how the giveaways will happen. The four of us here at TLT have been saving up ARCs and books that we have picked up and bought along the way. Enter the Rafflecopters below and we’re going to give away a few boxes of books. Yes, boxes. I will literally take and stuff books into a few small boxes until I can’t fit anymore. I’m going to give away 5 random boxes (that’s 1 box each to 5 people). And then we will have another set of signed books from the Rainbow Project from Christie where she has served for the last three years. Because of the cost of shipping, we ask that all entries be from the U.S. You can enter until Sunday at Midnight. Also, the 3 from Merit Press giveaway has a few more days left for you to enter.
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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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