Well, my bookshelves are empty so I must be moving.
I am really quite excited to be moving back to Vancouver to take up the reins as the Head of Youth Services at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. It is a truly amazing place and one I have always had my eye on for employment. It is tremendously well-supported by the community, known for innovation/general tech awesomeness and has an entire floor and reference desk for the youth department. It is also a one-branch system, which I think are the best: you can really get to know an entire community, be adventurous in your collection development and pilot new and exciting things without having to get the A-OK from the folks six levels and many buildings away.
I have spent the last year covering for a maternity leave position as the Head of Youth Services at the Port Moody Public Library and absolutely adoring it. Like a complete lunatic, I cried twice during my final days last week – once at my going away party and once when one of our circ staff presented me with this personalized quilt:
Comparing where I was about a year ago is really quite odd now. When I finished school in May 2010 with too many graduate degrees (my MLIS and MA in Children’s Literature) I was really wrestling with the thought of trying to make it “out east.” I have always had a deep obsession with all the amazing children’s literature stuff that happens out in the New York/Bostonish area so I applied for the position of Librarian/Educator at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. By some miracle I was shortlisted for the position and had a phone interview where I spent most of the time getting too excited about James Marshall. As I was waiting to hear back from the Carle for their final decision, I interviewed at Port Moody and was offered the job.
Now I was in a pickle: do I take the Port Moody job, an amazing position that will give me tons of valuable management experience, pays well and is close to home? Or do I turn it down in the hope that I might get the dream job of a lifetime at the Carle? I obviously went with the former and withdrew from the Carle competition, but not before shaking my fist at myself and saying “You better have made the right decision, lady!”
I know that I did. And the last year has been really swell: In addition to leading the youth department at Port Moody, I have sat on two awards juries (BC Book Prize and CCBC’s Best Books for Kids and Teens Committee), continued reviewing for Quill & Quire including two feature reviews, recently started reviewing apps for School Library Journal and had some amazing public speaking opportunities thanks to the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable. I have also been able to stay within driving distance of the other half of my black little heart, which is always a plus when navigating the world of employment.
Hmmm…I realize that I have used the word “amazing” a lot in this post, but I think I’m going to leave it that way.
So, although you didn’t ask – that’s what’s shakin’ in the life of Shan. Apologies for the self-indulgent post that will likely only be of interest to my mom and some European spammers asking for my bank account information.