While we were in the exhibit hall waiting in line to meet Lauren Myracle, I had a very surreal experience. A wonderful young librarian tapped me on the shoulder and apologized for "bothering" me but said she had wanted to introduce herself to me for a while but never had the chance because I was always so busy and surrounded by people (this entourage is news to me!). She said that she's seen me present at California Library Association conferences and at Serra Library Cooperative workshops over the years and that I have inspired her with my creative tween and teen programming ideas. She made me feel like such a rock star despite my insistence that I'm "just a YA librarian from Escondido, CA". The best part, though, was after the effusive praise of my prowess as a librarian she said "and I also love your personal style!". We exchanged cards and have since collaborated on various professional issues. She truly made my day, and I now consider her both a colleague and friend.
I encourage those of you out there reading this to get your teens involved at a professional level whenever the opportunity arises and share your praise for one another. We are our strongest supporters and need all the encouragement we can get from each other and our patrons. These are the reasons I do what I do...to educate, to influence, and to inspire, and it's moments like these that remind me why I love what I do.
Happy Valentine's Day!