i am a youth librarian. this is a good thing.

I am so excited about my new position! As I mentioned, I am now a librarian in the Mississauga Central Library's "Readers' Den" department. It is a full-time position, and lasts until July of this year. Right now it feels like my ideal job; I only wish it were permanent.

My main areas of responsibility involve youth services. I'll be planning and delivering youth programming during school holidays, after school, and Saturdays, and I'll facilitate the teen book club that meets monthly. I'll be responsible for the library's youth book displays, and will share responsibilities for purchasing (and weeding) youth fiction.

For the department generally, I'll be writing a newsletter to connect school librarians with the Central Library, answering (along with two other librarians) "Ask A Librarian" emails, and of course, answering questions - especially readers' advisory - at the service desk.

I'll also have a lot of freedom to try new things. The manager and senior librarian are both creative and energetic, and will be supportive of projects and ideas. (At the moment, I feel like I'll never have another new idea again. I always feel this way when I start something new, so I've learned not to pay too much attention to that particular inner voice.)

Librarianship is definitely a "the job is what you make it" kind of field. Once you have a position you like, you can stick to your well-worn niche, do it well and enjoy it, and not venture too far out of your comfort zone, if that's what you prefer. But if you seek out new challenges and opportunities, there's plenty of room to grow. I get bored easily (in the big-picture sense) and need to constantly challenge myself. That's yet another aspect of this profession that suits me.

The only professional downside is that the position is temporary. This means that if a full-time, permanent librarian position posts elsewhere in the Mississauga system - even if it's less interesting to me, even if I've barely scratched the surface of my current job - I will apply and compete for it. I have no choice, as I don't want to return to a much lower level of responsibility and pay, as well as to part-time work. Fortunately, this is no secret.

The other downside, and perhaps the greatest challenge, is the personal one. The transition from part-time, freelance, or contract work - from a life filled with a variety of paid and unpaid activities and a lot of flexibility - to full-time work is no small task. That part I'm just figuring out day by day, week by week.

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