What Teen Librarian Toolbox Means to Me, by Cindy Shutts
The next two weeks are holiday weeks in a variety of ways for a variety of people, so we’re doing something a bit different. As the new year approaches, many people get reflective and we’re reflecting on what TLT means to us. Today, YA librarian Cindy Shutts shares what TLT means to her. Cindy writes our Cindy Crushes Programming column where she shares the awesome program she does with her teens. We are so honored to share Cindy’s programs here and to have her as a part of our team.
I love my job but being the only teen librarian in my building is sometimes lonely. I am lucky to have supportive co-workers and supervisors. I plan all my programs and do the collection work by myself.
I see the best and the worst of life. Teens will come to me with horrible problems such as abuse or bullying. We deal with violence in our community and the loss of patrons who have committed suicide.
I have learned so much about being a teen librarian through Teen Librarian Toolbox. I used a series of articles on dyslexia to defend the use of large print books for teens. I have used SVYALit to better to explain issues of consent with the teens and learned how to shut down rape jokes quickly and effectively. At Teen Librarian Toolbox, we have discussed the hard conversations that affect teens and are truly needed. We talk about the development of the teenage brain and how it affects their behavior.
Karen Jensen is a person I deeply admire and look up to. I am honored to be a part of the Teen Librarian Toolbox community. I read all the articles and constantly learn from others. I share what I learn with my coworkers.
The most helpful thing Teen Librarian Toolbox has taught me is that I am not alone. Every teen librarian is going through a lot of the same issues that I am and we are all working to be the best teen librarians we can be.
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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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