We’re starting a new monthly feature called Meet the TSU Agent. We realize you guys have been reading the blog for a couple of years now, but may not really know us. This will also be a way to get to know new agents as the come onboard. Without further ado, let’s meet this month’s Agent: Emma.
- What’s your favorite type of library program?
I really love craft or maker programs. Some of my favorites are duct tape crafts, blackout poetry, and button making.
- Why do you enjoy working with teens?
I like that teens are old enough that they are really their own people with their own personalities. It lets me have a more even exchange with them about programs, books, or just what’s going on in the world. I also love being able to see teens who come to the library a lot get more comfortable using the space and talking to all of the librarians. And, of course, YA Lit is in my favorite too so that’s a plus.
- What kinds of things do you do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work I can be found working on my book blog Miss Print. I also walk around the city and visit museums (and play Pokemon Go). I like to bake and I am always trying to get the hang of new cooking recipes too.
- Craziest thing you’ve done as a teen librarian?
I haven’t done anything too crazy. The weirdest thing was telling fortunes for the Harry Potter birthday party my coworker organized last summer. I made a deck of Major Arcana tarot cards to use as props and everything.
- If you suddenly had extra money in your budget to buy one thing you’ve always wanted for your teens/library, what would it be?
Although I work in a big youth department, our dedicated teen space is pretty small. I’d love to be able to buy some new furniture and installation pieces to make the space more inviting. Failing that a lot more video games to get my teens to stop playing Smash Bros every single week.
- What is something you struggle with the most?
It’s hard to remind myself that I don’t have to take all of my professional development home with me. Specifically I don’t have to spend all of my free time reading books with an eye toward reader’s advisory or collection development or professional reviewing. Sometimes it’s refreshing to be able to turn those things off.
- If you could build your dream teen area what would it look like?
I would love to have more walls in my teen area! We have lovely big windows but it means that I have almost no display space except for one free-standing table. I’d also like to have a more approachable and practical reference desk (the current one in our teen space is an enormous monster that is not utilized well).
- If you have a desk do you decorate/what does it look like?
I have a metal desk with a hutch and drawers. I have a lot of magnets and paper artwork on the hutch along with things like my monthly work/program calendar and volunteer schedules. I also have a lot of figurines on top of my desk including some Disney Funkos from friends and a Katniss Everdeen funko too. Next to those I have a pretty sweet collection of Tokidoki unicorn figurines and My Little Ponies from mystery boxes. My actual desk has a pencils cup, 3D printed rhino, and a couple of small stuff toys (a dragon and a Pikachu).
- Tips/Tricks that help you manage it all?
Remember it’s not rocket science, it’s library science! While a lot of things in this profession have pressing deadlines and a lot of moving parts, almost nothing in day-to-day library stuff is life or death. Just take everything one step at a time and do you best along the way.
- If you had to work in a department other than teen, what would it be and why?
This is a tough question! I would have to go back to grad school for it, but I would love to work in a museum library if I wasn’t in teen services. More realistically I’d probably just shift to children since I always have a good time when I get to do story times or other programs for the younger kids.
- What was the first YA book you remember reading?
It was probably one of those books that can cross over between middle grade and YA. Maybe Sabriel by Garth Nix, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, or The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (three of my favorite books to this day!).
- If you could have a fictional pet/fantasy animal, what would it be?
I want to say unicorn but I feel like they would just take up way too much space and not be happy in a small city apartment. Maybe a miniature dragon?
- What’s your Oreo preference?
- Your dream vacation?
Disney World. I’m not a big traveler and don’t have an ounce of wanderlust in my being. But my Mom and I love Disney World and I’d love to go back.
- Cat or dog?
Dogs. Always dogs.