Inspiring People - Your librarian or media center specialist

Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog?


Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen or young adult in your life last week? Ask them if they have been to the library either your local one or the one at school. If they have, ask them about what they like to do there. It could lead to an outing you could do with them.


September is Back to School Month

Are you ready for it? It is that time again!

School is back in session for teens and young adults. I remember being excited to be back to school. Seeing my friends, checking out my new schedule, and being back in the routine. I know that not all of my classmates were of the same opinion as me though.


We want to help teens young adults become involved in school. It will not only give them a sense of belonging, it will also help them engage in what is happening there. If your teen isn't a fan, check in with them and see what would make them more excited to be at school and see if you can make the experience more enjoyable for them.


This month's remaining blog topics for back to school will be


9/26 - Teen Resource - Eye Health and its affect on the mental health of teens


Follow this link to take a look at my mentor page and find out how I am working with the back to school theme. Selma's Mentor Page


What do you know about your library?

The library has always been a fun place for me. I remember going there with my dad when I was growing up. In the kids book area, they had a big yellow climbing truck that we could climb all over and find places to sit and read the books we picked out.


There are multiple locations for you and your teen to find books to take out on loan. One of them is your local branch where you and your teen could obtain books to read and the other is your teen's media center at their school, where they would be able to obtain books for themselves.


Your Local Branch

Do you have a library nearby? It seems every city and town has at least one. Not only will you find books there, but they offer many other services and events like book clubs, book sales, guest speakers and free use of computers.

Next time you see this sign, why don't you stop in at your local library and see what they have to offer. Sign up for a library card and check out that book you have been wanting to read. If you do that, remember to bring it back. Or use it to get eBooks or audiobooks online through Libby.


One found in every school

And every school has its own library or sometimes they are known as media centers.


Why were they called media centers? Because they house multiple kinds of media. From books, to videos, to all of the equipment needed to view the media. It is set up for physical interaction of the people who are using it and has a quiet place for students to study.


Do you or did you spend a lot of time at your library at school? Some people do and some people don't, but like your local library, it offers a place where there are many services offered to help you with learning for school and to provide information for those things you have always been curious about.


Who is your librarian?

One of the unsung heroes at the library is the librarian or media center specialist. A librarian is a person, typically with a degree in library science, who administers or assists in a library. A media center specialist is a librarian found in a school media center who helps the faculty with curriculum development.

Photo by Alexei Maridashvili via Unspalsh

If you are a frequent visitor to your library, you may even know this person. However, with everything being done more through the internet, you may not have a chance to meet this person.


Recommends books to people who are looking for specific ones or need ideas for what to read.


They are also the ones you need to talk to if you feel your library doesn't have a diverse enough collection or there is a specific book that you would like to see in their collection.


As nice and convenient Libby is, I still like going to the library in person.


How can your librarian be inspirational?

For most of us, we couldn't pick out who the librarian even is, much less be able to have a meaningful relationship with them. There is a poem that was written about one such relationship between a librarian and a young Black girl. It is called A Poem For My Librarian, Mrs. Long by Nikki Giovanni. It is about how a librarian introduces a young Black girl to the magical world that can be found in literature.


The poem is biographical in nature about Giovanni's childhood visiting her grandparents in Tennessee in the 1950s. A time when segregation and racism were the way things were for Black Americans.


The poem itself gives the reader clues about her background and where she grew up.


Mrs. Long is the librarian from the local library which was close to her grandparents home, Carnegie Library, which was the one designated for the black community. Here is what she shares about Mrs. Long


"Giovanni pinpoints what it was about Mrs. Long that was so special: not only did she make everyone feel special and welcome, but she introduced the patrons of the library, particularly the children, to the wonderful world of books. She was always, regardless of how busy she was, willing to stop and help the patrons of her library."


Not only is Giovanni's story inspiring, it also is a story about how prejudice can be an issue, even when all we want to help others experience the magic of reading. When Mrs. Long went uptown to request some of the books Giovanni requested, she was taking a chance on being humiliated by the whites who ran the uptown library, since she was also black. Even though she had to face that humiliation, Mrs. Long would always come back with the books Giovanni requested. And Giovanni would take the books back to her Grandmother's porch to read.


Then the poem ends with the final stanza


"But there was a world

Somewhere

Out there

And Mrs. Long opened that wardrobe

But no lions or witches scared me

I went through

Knowing there would be

Spring"


Because of Mrs. Long, Giovanni was able to experience the magic found in being swept away by literature. It also helped that young girl escape how the world was treating her and her family for being Black.


Being able to do that for their patrons is how librarians and media center specialists can be inspiring people for all of us.


Additional notes

According to Wikipedia, Nikki Giovanni is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. She is one of the world's most well-known African-American poets.


If you would like to learn more about her and her poetry, check out her website Nikki Giovanni


The Way Series can be found in a library

Did you know that The Way Series can be found in the library system?

The Hard Way in the paperback format can be found in the East Central Regional Library system in Central Minnesota. I donated a copy to the local library in the city near our cabin. It went through a review process before it was added to their collection.

And Shawn's Way in ebook format is available on BiblioBoard. What is BiblioBoard? It is an online library available to readers and libraries. MN Writes, MN Reads is a program that helps to connect local authors with local readers which works with Biblioboard. Shawn's Way was selected to be included in Biblioboard through the Indie Author Project to help indie authors get their books seen by public libraries. Check with your local library and see if they have access to Biblioboard.


If you don't see a copy at your library, be sure to let your librarian know you would love to have it added to their collection.


It's almost time for the Deep Valley Book Festival!


It's that time again... the Deep Valley Book Festival is just around the corner!

This FREE family event brings people together to celebrate our vibrant literary culture. There are hundreds of books genres, face painting for the kids, book bingo and SO MUCH MORE!!


Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 1st. It is an in person event, but if you are unable to be there, head over to deepvalleybookfestival.com to check out Selma's author page and the pages of many other Minnesota authors who are also participating.

Both of Selma's books, The Hard Way and Shawn's Way, will be available for purchase at the event.


Have a great week!


Please note:

The information for the How can your librarian be inspirational section was found in the following location.


Jenson, Jamie. "A Poem For My Librarian, Mrs. Long by Nikki Giovanni". Poem Analysis, https://poemanalysis.com/nikki-giovanni/a-poem-for-my-librarian-mrs-long/. Accessed 18 September 2022.