We were chatting at our local Farmers Market. When I mentioned that I was preparing to go back to work, she said, “You’re wasting your talents.”
The librarian side of my brain did a jaw-drop. The writer side did, too.
I’ve always had this professional split-personality situation. Even when I’m writing, part of me thinks like a librarian. When I’m working as a librarian, I’m also thinking – and using my abilities -- as a writer.
I consider both professions to be honorable and high callings with plenty of room for overlap. In my work as a school librarian, I get to read new books as well as classics in a variety of genres and formats. I also get to hear unvarnished reactions to these books, straight from the mouths of their young readers. Together we read stories, write stories, tell stories, share poetry, and seek out interesting (and reliable) information.
Am I wasting my talents? Come on in to my library when the kids are there. Observe them absorbed in a story we’re reading aloud. Witness their excitement at finding a new book by an author they love or about a subject they can’t get enough of. Listen to students insist that their friends Look at this! Watch them drag a buddy by the shirtsleeve to recommend a great book they’ve discovered. (Occasionally it’s even one of mine.)
These moments don’t just happen. I facilitate the serendipity by choosing good books, promoting them, and matching them with my students’ interests. I don’t make kids read; I make them want to read. (Okay, I do make them learn the Dewey Decimal System.)
|Raven, Little Red, and Pinocchio enjoy|
a good book.
In my book (any of them), sharing my love for reading, literature, and learning is never a waste of my time and talents. It’s a joy.