Thursday, March 19, 2009

Loving and losing

If it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, then I am becoming an expert on love.

BCCLS, my employer since February, 2006, is changing the role that consultants play in the larger operation of the system. It's sort of confusing, but the way BCCLS works, in short, is that there are 75 libraries and a group of 13 librarians and IT specialists who work in an office. The librarians serve as consultants on various aspects of frontline library services, and the IT specialists do magic. More and more, libraries are demanding technology training for their staff, training on the cataloging program we use, and IT support. What are they demanding a lot less of? Support for young adult services. Combined with budget cuts, this brings me to some very bad news:

I will not have a job as of July 1, 2009. BCCLS is eliminating the YA Services Librarian position.

When I got the news, I cried in front of everyone in the office because I was so upset and you know, I'm not really ashamed that I did that. What every one of you know (I hope), and what everyone I work with knows, is that I love this job and care deeply about doing it well. It was the job I'd hoped to land since I got accepted to library school. Does it drive me crazy from time to time? Sure. All of our jobs drive us crazy from time to time. Despite the crazy, it was the opportunity for me to do what I always wanted, which was serving librarians who serve teens. Teen librarians almost always work alone in their buildings and are often misunderstood by staff who don't see much value in teen services. If I could be someone who could make them stronger in their careers, then I would accomplish something. I like to think that in my time here I have accomplished more than I ever thought I would on the day I accepted the position.

As of right now, I don't have another full-time or part-time library job to go to. I still love YA literature, so I will continue with my Printz Award committee duties and writing for Kirkus, VOYA, and School Library Journal. I'm also turning an article in to YALS this weekend, working on a book for ALA Editions, kicking around a proposal for another YA lit book, and offering my services to libraries as a consultant, assuming no one opens a YA or adult services position anytime soon. As for the future...I have a few ideas, but nothing is definite yet.

This blog isn't going anywhere, so please feel free to keep reading if you like it here. Just be forewarned that in addition to my musings on literature, you may be subjected to the occasional Confessions of an Unemployed YA Librarian.

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