Sunday Reflections: Tell Me Something Good, Teens and the 2016 Election
In my focus on what’s been happening post election 2016, I have shared with you a lot of negative stories about the racism and bigotry that has been affecting my teens. Today I want to tell you something good.
On Monday of last week, a regular teen came into the Teen MakerSpace and was talking about GLBTQA+ rights, particularly how she was afraid of what is happening to them. She then said she wished the school had an ally group. I didn’t realize they didn’t, and told her that she could start one. She thought about it for a second, and asked me how. So I pulled out my librarian skills and researched it for her and with her. It turns out the Gay Straight Alliance network has a really extensive support site which includes a beginning of the year start up guide that you can download. So I downloaded the packet for her and ran into my office where I knew there sat an empty three-ring binder. We printed the entire thing out and organized it.
On Tuesday she went and spoke to the local school guidance counselor and got a fairly positive response. They did ask for a proposal, which she came back and I helped her write. We also submitted a cover letter.
As we sat there in that final day writing the proposal and cover letter, she looked at me and said, “maybe I can do something positive. At least it feels like I’m trying to do something good.” This young lady is 13. I am awed and inspired every day by teens, their compassion, their knowledge, and their desire to do good things.
Her fear led her to action. And just the possibility of doing something positive, just the fact that she was trying to do something – anything – encouraged and empowered her. Sometimes, being a teen librarian is spectacularly awesome.
More on the Aftermath of the 2016 Election and Teens
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
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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