All things Winnie

Location: New Castle, Indiana

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Am I just a little girl?

I went to a meeting today of librarians from around the state. My library systems supervisor who is in his early 20s went with me. We sat down and a lady sitting in front of us turned around and said "what are you young people doing here?" That comment really offended me. As if someone my age doesn't belong in a leadership position. She was completely clueless that she had said something inappropriate. So, I just nicely explained to her that I very much belonged in the meeting and that I do indeed have a leadership position in my library.

People usually say that I look much younger than my age. They are often surprised to find out how old I am. But, to automatically assume that because I'm younger than most people that I shouldn't have any responsibility is offensive to me. Age does not necessarily mean that a person is capable of doing their job or being a contributing member to the library profession.

We heard a good speaker from OCLC talk about their recent report on the perceptions of libraries. One interesting comment from his talk was that today often convenience trumps quality [information] and it is the job of libraries to make quality convenient. So, after lunch we were sitting waiting for the next speaker and the same woman turns around and asked me if I understood anything of what he had talked about. I paused and said "well, yes I understood everything he talked about." She made some comment about having taken lots of notes because she didn't know about a lot of the things he spoke about. So, I proceeded to explain quite a few things to her that she didn't understand from his speech. Hmm. Maybe the little girl who's too young to be in this meeting knows something after all.

I really don't like the term Generation X and all the connotations that go with it. That's not me and I don't like to classify people based solely on the year they were born. So, often when I read the NextGen articles in Library Journal, I cringe. I've never had the professional experience of being looked down upon because I'm young. I have always had incredible support from my supervisors who have been librarians much longer than I have. My director now has always been encouraging and supportive of my ideas. In a way, I've always thought the NextGen people just like to whine about their terrible jobs with terrible pay and no respect. But, I suppose there really are librarians out there who think that young librarians should be seen and not heard. Boy, I'm glad I don't run across that kind very often.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I just got back yesterday afternoon from the ILF Annual Conference. As usual, we find time in the evenings to do some fun stuff. Angela and I went to a movie on Wednesday night. As we were waiting for the show to start, they showed the trailer for the Da Vinci Code movie. I'm sure a lot of people will see it - people who just like Tom Hanks or have heard all the hype. A lot of people probably don't know the heresy of it. I didn't when I first read the Da Vinci Code. You know how they always flash words on the screen. They did that with this one. The last screen was dark. Then you see the words "Seek the truth." I thought "yes, seek the truth!" Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Librarians dancing on tables?

Evidently Angela and I shattered the stuffy, bun-wearing librarian stereotype at my library last week. A coworker just stopped by my office to inform me that it is going around the library that we were dancing on the table in the Teen Room on Friday. I had to tell her that it is partially true - we were dancing in the Teen Room - just not on the tables. I'm not sure if people are really saying that we were dancing on the tables, but it obviously is getting around that we were dancing and having fun.

The Friends of the Library generously donated money to purchase 2 DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) dancepads for Angela's teen programs. And, of course we had to test them to be sure they were working properly. We ended up drawing a little bit of a crowd.

Later that afternoon, she sent me a message saying that if I wanted to see something cool I should come up. She had restless teens in the library and had turned it on so they could play. There was this one kid who was incredible. I'm amazed at how quickly their minds can process seeing the arrows and getting their feet in the right place. Needless to say, he put us thirty-something librarians to shame.