I have been a Youth Services Librarian with the Ocean County Library for 23 years, including 11 years managing large branch Youth Services departments. I have worked at five different branches of varying sizes which gives me a good perspective on providing library services to children and their caregivers within different communities. Serving individual community needs is important to providing excellent customer service.
I have been involved in working with some aspect of Youth Services collections throughout this time. When I started, children's librarians selected all the materials for their location. We then moved to centralized selection. I was a system selector of children's AV materials and then moved to selecting children's fiction and specialized children's materials for all the large and medium size branches. I am experienced with all aspects of collection management.
Serving a diverse population has always been important to me. From the start I conducted programs, prepared displays and sought out materials that would support a diverse population. I joined the system Diversity Committee shortly after it formed. I also served on the Diversity Committee's Collection subcommittee that started with our first initiative: Libros y Mas. We worked with system selectors to take over the selection of diverse materials for subsequent diversity initiatives. Along with another staff member, I also worked with members of the Lakewood Orthodox Jewish community to select materials that were acceptable for children of this community.
I have mentored many people over the years and truly enjoy helping new youth services staff.