I’m back and some background

I’m back to blogging! Hopefully this blogging business will stick this time… back in Louisiana, I had so much going on figuring out my first professional role, a new school system and a new state! Now that I’m established in my current position, I think I’ll have more time to blog about my library experiences. That, and I find library blogs incredibly helpful when looking for program and storytime ideas. Hopefully I’ll be able to help others as well!

But first, a little background, and then I’ll dive right into the catch up posts.

I went to college in Milwaukee, WI at Marquette University and majored in Journalism and Writing Intensive English, with a minor in History. I had dreams of becoming the next Carrie Bradshaw, then one summer I started an internship at a local library. The job posting described the internship as a communications position, where I’d help advertise library programs, instead, I worked as a typical library volunteer– shelving, holds lists, shelf reading etc– and I loved it! Especially when I worked in the children’s area. Once I went back to college (actually, I went to England for my semester abroad), I began researching library programs and graduate schools, which led me to Boston, three weeks after finishing undergrad.

While at Simmons College in Boston, I earned my Masters degree in Library Science with a focus in Youth Services. While in school I worked part time at a local high school, where I implemented skills and best practices I learned in school. Unfortunately I did not find a job in the area once I finished my Masters degree in August 2011, so I moved back home to Minnesota for a few months and worked at Pottery Barn. While Pottery Barn is not exactly related to Libraries I did learn a lot about customer service and working with the public… and I scored some awesome furniture…

Anyway, shortly after moving to Minnesota, I was offered, and accepted a school librarian position in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So off I went, to basically build a library in a small, private, trilingual school. This position offered all sorts of new and exciting challenges, being new (no policy, no budget), and trilingual. Over the course of my time there I weeded and then expanded the collection in French, Spanish, Chinese and English, and created programming for students in preschool through 12th grade. I learned so much about storytimes and programming in this position, and while I loved my students, I’m a northerner to my core and I could no longer handle the heat and humidity, so back to Minnesota I went.

Back in Minnesota I served as a Reading Tutor for Minnesota ReadingCorps, a statewide AmeriCorps program. I served in a charter school where the student population was mostly Hmong and Karen immigrants, and approximately 90% of student received free or reduced lunch. Watching these students was both heartbreaking (some were homeless) and inspiring (they were so excited about school and learning!). After my year of service, I started a position as Branch Librarian in a smallish library in eastern Minnesota, about 15 miles from Wisconsin. As Branch Librarian I do a bit of everything, programming, reference, maintenance, and relationship building with the community. I love that I get to do a bit of everything in this position. Catching up on my adult reading has been so much fun!

Now that we’re all up to date, I have a series of posts highlighting my favorite programs, books and events from past positions.