Middle Grade Monday – BEST LIBRARIAN EVER!
I’ve been blessed this year with a crowd of readers in my 6th grade class. Real readers. Dedicated readers. Readers who, to the small of mind, might be described as ‘fan-girls’. My county is so large that they redistribute students on a yearly basis to make sure that new schools are filled (yes, we open multiple new schools every year) and that magnet options are open to ‘all’ students. Ask me personally if you want to know why ‘all’ is in quotes.
Anyway, I have a large number of dedicated readers in my 6th grade group – more than usual, and more enthusiastic about reading than I am used to. They also understand how the library works better than the students I have become accustomed to over the past few years. To whit, they know how to put books on hold.
So, this last week, one of my favorite new 6th graders came to put the next book she needed in the Infernal Devices series on hold – Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. In the process of trying to put it on hold, I realized that both of our copies have been lost, so I began to explain how to go about getting a copy from the public library (unnecessary in the extreme…) Once we covered that, She asked if I’ve read the series and insisted that I ‘spoil’ her on who Tessa ends up with. “You really want to know?” “Yes,”she said “you have to tell me!” So I did. Then I hinted around about some other stuff (no spoilers here.) “Oh,” she said, “Oh! OH!” “Can I tell you about Tessa at the end of Mortal Instruments?” “Yes,” I said. So she did. So adorable. I knew I had her full attention, so I launched in to a detailed retelling of the night I met Cassandra Clare at a book signing at my local book store, which ended only when we both realized she was 10 minutes late to her next class.
Later that afternoon, I got an email from her very thoughtful mother, letting me know that the first thing her daughter said when she got in the car at carpool was ” Mom! I have the BEST LIBRARIAN EVER!” It’s the small moments that we need to hold on to. I knew my obsessive fandom would pay off at some point. (Hee.)
On a somewhat quieter note, a student brought Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs to the desk last week and said it was her favorite book EVER, and she was going to reread it. I got excited and showed her one of the copies of The Real Boy I had in the back thst still needed to be processed, and told her it would be ready when she got back from break. I am an extreme devotee of Anne Ursu’s books as the best of Middle Grade, and our collection contains multiple copies. Unfortunately, her books tend to be what I secribe as ‘quiet books,’ and they don’t get as much notice as I think they deserve. But perhaps that tide is turning? Let’s hope so.
What are some moments tht make all of the frustrations of your job worthwhile? Chime in through the comments.
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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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