03 February 2012

Books, Steampunk and Bonding with Students

I don't usually blog about what I do every day in the library because non-library people would probably find it pretty boring.  I read*.  Books, book reviews, magazine articles about books, books about books, etc.  And I talk about books - with teachers, students, and other library geeks.  I do book talks, genre walks, book recommendations, etc.  At least once a day I go gaga crazy over a book.  Usually, it's when a student comes in looking for a book and I get to help them find one that's AMAZING and that they cannot possibly live without reading it!!!  And yes, most of the students and staff here think I'm a little off my rocker.  They're probably right, but I'm charming and cute, so they let it go.
The teacher part of me has not died in becoming a librarian.  One of the biggest perks of being a teacher is watching young minds grow, change and develop into thinking (albeit hormonal, slightly imbalanced, but darn funny) minds.  The thing I miss the most about being in the classroom is the opportunity to get to know students - their lives, their strengths, their struggles, and their passions.  As a classroom teacher I really got to know the kids in my classes, but I never really learned much about the students who didn't take German.  As a librarian, I learn lots of names but I don't have as much of an opportunity to get to know kids on an individual basis.  Except for two types of kids:  the book lovers and the punks.  I know the punks because I have to talk to them every time they come into the library about one of the following things:  drawing on the desks/walls/bookshelves, horseplay, trying to check their facebook status, swearing, or being punks.  I had to deal with the punks as a classroom teacher as well, so it's par for the course.  And usually, I can find one or two redeeming qualities to the punks, so they aren't that bad.
However, it's the book lovers that make my job a joy each and every day.
Take, for instance, the three girls who come in and have lunch with me every day.  They love books just about as much as I do and we banter about books constantly.  If I read a book that I know one of them will enjoy, I give it to them.  One of them constantly tries to convince me that there is literary value to Nicholas Sparks novels (professionally, I know she's right, but personally...gag me). Another devours every book i give her within 24 hours and always give an honest opinion about books (last week: "Only babies would like that book Miss C...what were you thinking?").  Those girls make my day each and every day - even on days when they're hyper and loud.
This morning I visited some 6th grade classes and talked about different book awards, the awards process, and the award winners we have in the library.  As I was getting ready to leave, a boy caught my attention: "Miss C...look!!" I turned, and in his hands he held the perfect Steampunk tophat and goggles.  I melted.  This kid knows I LOVE Steampunk (if you don't know what Steampunk is, think Will Smith's Wild Wild West.  It's technology + historical fiction = pure awesomeness), and now we're permanently bonded through the love of a genre.
I don't know where life will take him, who he'll turn out to be, or what books he'll love as an adult, but I do know that we've bonded because of books.
Some people are super stoked for this weekend because of the Super Bowl, and that's great for them.  I am super stoked because sweet Abram brought his rockin' cool hat and goggles in to show them to ME today.  That?  Makes me pretty freakin' cool.

*Update: I also spend quite a bit of my day focused on technology - fixing it, teaching it, figuring it out.  I'm as much tech-guru as book-guru.  Beloved library friends, please stop the influx of emails about "don't you work with technology?" and "gosh, I wish I had time for books - I'm too busy with technology".  Books are just the focus today.  For the record, I heart tech too.


  1. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Hi this is Abram, I just wanted to say I apreciate your post

  2. Anonymous2:36 PM

    This is Abrams mom, I LOVE your blog. Abram is a pretty awesome kid and I love to read too, I look forward to talking to you sometime. Thank you, Holly.

  3. Abram Edger12:23 PM

    Hey, this is Abram. Im currently going to Redlands and i have not forgotten you. I want to send you a picture of my steampunk cosplay. Keep in touch.

  4. Abram - I haven't forgotten you either! As you can see I've been away from blogging for almost a year now. Not on purpose - just had lots going on! Hope all is well in your world! Are you ready for 8th grade?!?


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