Sharon Rawlins

Youth Services Specialist
New Jersey State Library
Areas of Expertise
  • Youth Services
  • Children’s Program & Services
  • consulting
  • Young Adult Program & Services
  • Young Adult Collection Development & Management
  • Children's Collections
Types of Libraries I have worked in
  • Public
About Me

I've been working as the youth services specialist at the NJ State Library for the past 8 years. Before that I was the head of youth services at the NJ State Library's Talking Book and Braille Center for two years.

Although I've been working in the area of children's and teen services for many years, I started out working as an adult reference librarian after receiving my MLS in 1991. My first job in libraries before I received my MLS degree was doing adult programming in a public library in the mid-1980s. It wasn't until 1994 that I started to focus more on service to teens.

Now that I'm working at the State Library as a consultant for librarians and staff who work with children and teens, I realize just how much I miss working directly with the children and teens. I try to stay current with what they are interested in and jump at the chance to go into school libraries and booktalk about the latest books for them.

I love reading and discussing books, particularly YA. I love going to book festivals and meeting authors, and I think a few of them are convinced that I'm stalking them. I review children's books for Booklist and teen books for School Library Journal. I'm very active in a number of divisions of the American Library Association, including YALSA, ALSC, ASCLA (Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies) and I'm currently ASCLA liaison to ALA’s Literacy Committee. I chaired the 2015 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee and served on YALSA’s Michael Printz, Margaret Edwards, Best Books for Young Adults selection committee and ALSC’s 2011 Robert Sibert Award Committee. A very long time ago (in 1994) I was the President of NJLA’s YA Services Section.

I'm on Twitter (@bklover) and Facebook but I admit I don't post as much as I should. My new year's resolution every year is to be more active on social media but I haven't managed to keep that promise yet. I'm always hopeful though!

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