“You’re a children’s librarian? So whatta you do, read stories to kids all day?” the woman on the other side of the front desk asked me. Honestly, it’s the first time I’ve ever had anyone ask–and I’m embarrassed to say it caught me off guard.

In my defense, I had just spent the entire morning with the staff of an afterschool program we have here in town for kids whose parents are in our area’s homeless prevention program. One of their staff members had died a couple days before in a biking accident. Our whole community is reeling.

All of us can only imagine how these kids, who are already so vulnerable and have so few resources materially and emotionally, are going to deal with this death.

Yeah, I’m “just” a children’s librarian. But I’m also the person who sees these kids each month for storytime. I’m the person who talks to their parents about literacy. I’m the person who brings them cool books–and they are surprised every month that “cool” and “book” can go together. I’m the person they run up to in Walmart to give me a hug.

I know them. They know me. And I know their staff. They stop at the desk and they talk to me as well about the needs of the kids. I work hard to find resources to help and support them.

So I offered what I could to help. I know child development, I know books, and the non-library bonus, I know grieving. We talked about what children under 7 need to grieve and what over 7’s need–and how they are both different in some significant ways from adults in their grieving. We talked about what helps with grieving and what doesn’t.

And then we read and talked about books that might help the kids over time.

Not your typical “day in the life of a children’s librarian.” But I don’t think it’s that atypical either. We are a well-educated, well-trained, passionate bunch of folks. We are out here, day after day, doing our utmost (d’–est) to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Yeah, I read stories to kids–and a whole lot more. Come back and ask again. I’d love to tell you all about it. 🙂

Hugs to you all,