I would really love to work as a K-12 librarian (I think! I need to do more research!!) but I wasn’t able to find a K-12 job position announcement (perhaps because August is a few months away yet, or perhaps because I was looking in the wrong place. This is something I will need to investigate and research as I get closer to deciding whether I want to pursues the school library media endorsement).
I was able to find several job announcements for positions as children’s, youth or teen librarians. I enjoy youth of all ages from 0 to 18 and so I would love to find a position that is not strictly a “children’s librarian” or a “teen librarian”. The job announcement for “Librarian for Youth Services” in Middlebury Vermont seems to be just that. I would love to have this job because of several factors – some of which I will examine in depth below. Briefly, what appeals to me in this position is the location (I went to graduate school in southern Vermont and loved the setting. Middlebury would be similar, plus it is a college town, which I love.), the fact that this position has some supervisory duties and reports to the Library Director and especially that it is a position that encompasses both the children and young adult areas.
In this position I would be responsible for directing and managing all aspects of the library services for children and young adults. There are many responsibilities to this position but the three that excite me the most are collection development, programming and outreach.
In my library visit interviews, both children’s librarians that I interviewed (from two different library systems) said that collection development had either been removed from their job descriptions or was in the process of being removed. Both were extremely disappointed by this as they counted collections development as one of their favorite responsibilities in their positions. I was surprised and dismayed by this. I am excited about learning the principles of collection development and actually being able to implement those principles. I do not want a job that does not include collection development in the list of responsibilities. So I was excited to see that at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, collection development was listed as a primary responsibility of the youth librarian.
The second part of the job that looks great to me is creating and presenting programs for toddlers through young adults in order to bring youth into the library. I was able to observe a story time at our local library a few weeks ago and it was awesome! It combined teaching (which I love) with playtime. It was so rewarding to see children engaged with books and having fun. I think this is something I would really like to do in my job.
The third responsibility that I am interested in doing is community outreach. This job position includes several types of outreach such as visiting day cares and schools, presenting workshops for teachers and talking to parental organizations about guiding their child’s reading. I think libraries are vital parts of their communities and outreach is the best way to make the community see that. The more you can do outside of the library for the community, the better. I like interacting with people and would enjoy showing them the ways the library can help them as well as ways to increase information access and reading.
I’m not sure where this job might lead me. I feel like there would be a lot of room to grow and improve within the position as it is described. Perhaps if I was capable, motivated and displayed initiative and leadership qualities, it would lead to a position as library director. I don’t know if that is the route I would want to go though as I want to enjoy just being a librarian for a while!