What’s in Your Toolkit?


Hula Kahiko by Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, Kailua-Kona Airport (commissioned 1997).

2013 was a good year for young people and their families at our library. We offered lots of exciting programs, provided a safe, inviting place for teens and soon-to-be teens, and added a fabulous variety of materials to the collection.

For me personally, the year was a busy one! I proudly completed my MLIS, became my library’s first ever youth services librarian, and connected with a fabulous array of librarians around the country.

While on vacation, I’ve been thinking a lot about what made the past year work and what needs to be done differently. The Hawaiian sun has offered me some fabulous contemplation time!

When I return to work in a couple of days, I will begin the year with gusto and the time to try new things. My position as youth services librarian will become full-time, thanks in part to the tremendous response to our programs, extensive use of the children’s library, advocacy on the part of the community, and the support of the city’s council and administration.

As I dream up new ideas and evaluate the tried and true, I have been taking inventory of my toolkit. What should a young people’s librarian have in a toolkit, physical or virtual?

Here’s a look at some of what’s in my toolkit. What’s in yours? (Sorry for the stream of consciousness.)

  • ALA membership (including ALSC, YALSA, and PLA memberships)
  • AkLA membership (state organization)
  • professional networks like Little eLit, Nationwide Teen Lock-in, ALA Think Tank, etc.
  • my blog roll
  • an iPad (and apps for all ages)
  • portable speakers
  • a personal collection of pop up books
  • puppets (my newest is the great white shark I had to buy at the a Kona Stories bookstore in HI)
  • a feltboard and lots of felt
  • Every Child Ready to Read resources
  • my sense of wonder, compassion, innovation, and optimism
  • tape, glue, and crayons, markers, paint, and playdough
  • patient and supportive coworkers
  • a great Friends organization
  • time to volunteer at my kids’ school where kids see me wearing a different “hat”
  • a hobby
  • a personal relationship with the local baristas

2 thoughts on “What’s in Your Toolkit?

  1. Congratulations on all your wonderful accomplishments! It sounds like you had a good year of working hard.

    A few of my favorite things from my toolkit:

    – A great collection of easy non-fiction to include in every storytime
    – My “I Spy” game for letter sounds
    – Social media that allows me to keep up with what parents/caregivers want (Pinterest and Macaroni Kid)

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