Today is one of my favorite days of the year--when I get to visit the elementary school next door and do a little bit of show-and-tell about junior high libraries with their sixth graders. Their fresh enthusiasm is such a wonderful shift in gears after a week filled with fines and inventory!
In the audience I see those who brought books with them--hoping to sneak in just one more chapter before they have to pay attention (or someone gets after them.) I lovingly refer to them as my lunch bunch, because I know they'll be the ones to come every day, without fail, as soon as they can scarf down their corn dogs and tater tots.
We talk ereaders and audiobooks. I show them photos of our crazy events--me as Medusa during Percy Jackson week, and my "girl on fire" outfit from Hunger Games week. I show them how to find our website, our Facebook page, our Twitter feed. I toss out buttons to those who are quick to participate--and explain that we make them for all occasions, and give them to students who check out library books and don't have fines. Some will not end up at my school, so I talk up a neighboring librarian's amazing graphic novels collection, another's awesome events.
When I open it up to questions, I find that they aren't asking about the library so much as they're asking about me. "Have you read Ender's Game?" (Not yet, much to the frustration of my brother--but it's on my summer reading marathon list.) "What movie made from a book have you liked the best?" (Flipped--but The Scarlet Pimpernel is a close second.) "What's your favorite book?" (I offer to tell them about a recent favorite discovery, Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. I smile when I see some of them writing it down.) "What book would you recommend for me?" (Email me, I say, and tell me five things you like--then I'll be able to match you with a book better.)
They are testing me, I realize. They're making sure I'm worthy to be their new librarian. I hope that I always worry that I might not be--it keeps me working harder.