July 24th, 2009
For today’s Friday Spotlight, I’m delighted to bring you the very first You 2.0 Librarian Spotlight! This is a feature I’m super excited about because it gives us a chance to get to know some really fab teen librarians (and teachers too!) who are as passionate about YA and middle grades fiction as we are. To kick off this feature, I’m delighted to welcome…
As always, Friday guests will be sharing their You 2.0 stories about pursuing their dreams, changing their world, gratitude, and paying it forward. Then they’ll be talking about why they love the YA and middle grades genres and why they love being an author, librarian, or teacher. And good news… Three Truths and a Lie is alive and well on Fridays too!
SPECIAL GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
To celebrate the first spotlight of a participating Great Scavenger Hunt Contest librarian, I’m giving away a prize pack to one lucky commenter that includes:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
You don’t even have to guess her lie correctly to be eligible. Stellar, right?
So without further ado, please join me in welcoming the wonderful Eleanor!
Decatur Public Library
I’m a reference librarian as well as being the young adult librarian at DPL. I’m still the new kid on the block here, and patrons still come in and know I must be Eleanor because I’m the only face they don’t know yet. I love being a librarian, but started out in another direction entirely. I grew up in New Mexico and studied theatre and anthropology in college. If I ever go back to school, I hope to earn a degree in Forensic Anthropology. (I’ll still be a librarian though!)
A Bit About the Library:
Our library is renovated from a Sears store and is about a block long = big and beautiful! We serve a community of approximately 81,000 people. The library is a member of the Rolling Plains Library System. We’re in the middle of our summer reading programs, which we have for adults, teens, and children so everyone can partake of reading fun.
The You 2.0 blog is about becoming everything you’re meant to be. It’s about pursuing your dreams, changing your world, showing gratitude, and paying it forward. Here’s a chance for our Spotlight guests to share what You 2.0 means to them.
1. PURSUING YOUR DREAMS: Everyone has the ability to be extraordinary, they just have to embrace what makes them unique and special and pursue their dreams with passion and confidence! Tell us a little about a dream you’ve achieved or are pursuing right now. If you’ve achieved it already, how does it feel to know you’ve made your dream a reality?
I have always loved movies. When I finished college I moved to Hollywood to be a makeup artist in the film industry. I only stayed for a few years, worked on a couple movies, countless short films, commercials, and photo shoots (no, I don’t know anyone famous), but I was there. I did it. Sometimes when you reach the stars you’re shooting for… you don’t like it as much as you thought, so you find a new star to shoot for… there are millions after all. Achieving the dream isn’t the end, just a new start.
2. CHANGING YOUR WORLD: Changing the world doesn’t have to mean finding a cure for cancer or creating lasting world peace (though it definitely can!). It just means finding a way that you can make the world a little better off for having lived here, whether it’s making a difference to one person or a million, to the earth, to animals… whatever is important to you. What is one way you would personally like to make the world a better place?
Being polite. Gandhi is quoted as saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s a small thing, but I try to be polite to everyone – which can be challenging in a library with very upset patrons. Someone may be having a terrible day, and the only thing they remember as being good is that someone was kind and polite.
3. GRATITUDE: Gratitude is a huge part of the You 2.0 life. Taking a moment to count our blessings is the best way to remember what’s truly important (especially when life is hectic and crazy!). What are you grateful for?
My family and my job. I love my job, and with the current economy I realize how blessed I am with this library position. Many of our patrons are homeless or live in shelters, so many times I make it home at the end of the day and realize how lucky I am to have a roof over my head. My family is great. I can always be myself with them; my sister is my role model – and vice versa. She’s actually working as a YA librarian as well.
4. PAYING IT FORWARD: If everyone took a moment to pay it forward, even just once, the world would be changed in ways we can’t even imagine. What is one thing you’ve done (or plan to do) to “pay it forward” in some way?
I’m not sure if I’ve already done this, but I will continue to do what was done for me: listen and respect the speaker. When I was a teen, my teachers and my guidance counselor listened to what I had to say. They never shrugged off my comments as coming from a kid, they heard me out and considered my arguments. It’s very empowering to know that your voice can and does make a difference. This counts for adults too – patrons will come in who are just lonely and want to talk to someone. They aren’t wasting my time, I’m still helping them by listening.
5. Why did you decide to participate in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest?
I think it’s a great way for our younger patrons to put their love of books and book trivia to use. And it’s fun.
6. Do you think you would’ve participated in the contest as a teen/tween?
You bet! Any time I could enter to win prizes for reading I was there – I figured if I was going to spend all my time reading, I might as well try to win prizes for it!
Least: the public speaking aspect! (I’m still a work-in-progress there…)
7. Tell us about some cool teen programming your library has hosted. We love to hear new ideas!
For Teen Read Week a few years back we arranged with a small independent movie theatre in town to show a special scary movie just for teens who participated in TRW; and teens could also enter a drawing to win concession packs (purchased by our Friends of the Library).
We also held a very successful video game tournament – our first was in April and we’re hoping to have these bi-annually.
This month we’re having a Henna workshop as well as various Harry Potter things (movies and book talks) for the new movie coming out.
8. Why did you choose a book-related career?
I’ve always loved to read and always loved libraries. Anywhere I went, I knew a library would be there. It’s like finding something familiar when you’re away from home. So I decided since I like them so much and always volunteered in them, why not make that my career?
9. What do you love most (and least) about being a librarian?
Most: Helping people. When someone has a question or can’t find a book, I love being able to help them. It seems like a small thing, but it’s positive all around.
Least: Having to ask people to leave the library for not following our policies.
10. What books inspired you as a teen/tween?
I missed out on most literature as a tween/teen because I obsessively read R.L. Stine’s Fear Streets and a lot of Shakespeare. I remember several books I read a little bit younger: Number the Stars, Letters from Rifka, A Walk in Wolf Wood, and The Hobbit. I love different cultures and fantasy worlds.
11. What do you love most about the YA and middle grades genres?
Best fantasy books. The fantasy novels in adult (at least the ones I pick up) get bogged down in describing the minutia of their fictional world. YA and tween books live in the world without worrying about setting up and explaining all the whats and whys. And there’s rarely mention of taxes.
12. Are you also a writer yourself? If so, what do you like to write?
I’m not a writer. I have this crazy imagination that is always going 100%, but nothing in my imagination stays the same long enough to put it on paper. Mostly I just write emails and snail mail (with fountain pens and bottles of ink) to family and friends.
13. If you could go back in time and give your teen/tween self one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself not to do something I felt I was supposed to do to make my parents and teachers happy because everyone expected me to, which I didn’t want to do. A family friend asked if I really wanted to go… I didn’t, but my mother was listening so I said I wanted to go. Biggest mistake of my life. Listening to your heart is more important than pride and a mistaken feeling of duty. And never worry about disappointing your parents.
14. I love the game Three Truths and a Lie because there are so many unexpected and interesting things about people that we never get a chance to learn about them. What are three truths and a lie that our blog readers can guess about you?
– When I was 14, I rode a runaway horse along back roads of the rolling Montana landscape. (I was so scared!! But I stayed on!)
(Readers: Your guess gets you an entry into the You 2.0 monthly contest for an ARC of The Cinderella Society or a prize dive in the awesome You 2.0 Prize Basket. Guess correctly and you get a bonus entry for the monthly contest AND today’s special giveaway! I’ll update the post on Monday to spill the big lie and announce the special giveaway winner, so get guessing and have fun!)
Thanks to Eleanor for a terrific interview!
23 Responses | Comments RSS