Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, July 31, 2006

Posted by me

to the PUBYAC (Public Library Services to Young Adults and Children) list:

I thought I'd turn to the experts for this one. I'm assuming most librarians who work with children like to do so or have a good rapport with children. Although I deal well with children in theory (literature, ideas for stories, etc.) I find that I feel somewhat overwhelmed when it comes to putting things into practice.

I'm a librarian in a children's hospital primarily responsible for the professional resources. But I run an early literacy project, although in that case I mostly deal with the books and those providers who give out the books. Lately, though, I've been asked to take a library cart around to the rooms, which I do pretty well, and read to the children in the lobby, which feels me with overwhelming anxiety. I find I try to rush through things rather than really building a rapport, so slowing down obviously would help. What other suggestions would you have for a newbie to all this in terms of her performance anxiety? Do I just need more exposure to kids? The thing is, I really love kids and children's lit and the whole idea of services to children. But it's kind of like horses--I love horses but they're kind of big and scary when I'm up close to them (never mind my allergies). Do children's librarians have to be born, or can they be made?

Any suggestions? I'll welcome any wisdom you might have. Thanks in advance.

I know, it sounds a little pathetic, but it's true. If any of you have suggestions, I'd welcome them, too. I think it's about performance anxiety coupled with just not being that conversant with children. What do you think?

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