Monday, November 19, 2012

I had this idea...

Four years ago I had this idea.  Actually, the idea started before that, but it was four years ago that I thought this idea might just work. 

I'd better start at the beginning.  I work with teenagers.  I never had aspirations of working with today's youth.  In fact, if someone had told me ten years ago that I would be working with teens, I would have died laughing.  I hadn't been a particularly great teen, and I most certainly don't look back on my teen years with romantic nostalgia.  I was shy.  I was awkward.  And I could never quite find a way to fit into my own skin.  But like all teens, I grew up and figured a few things out along the way.  

Then I started working at a local high school.  It took two months for the teens to identify me as an employee and not a student.  Then it happened; my office became a hangout for making it through study hall, lunch, passing periods.  And as I sat there every day and listened to their drama, helping with homework, I realized teenagers were absolutely amazing creatures.  They are talented, ambitious, passionate, resilient, and creative.  And I loved working with them.  So here I am, a teen librarian in a position whereI get to learn, laugh, grow, and create right along with them.

Back to my idea...along with a love of books, I have a love for digital media, videos in-particular.  I love the process of creating, starting with research and writing all the way to editing and sharing your final project.  And I was meeting teens who loved the process as well.  So why not give them a platform to share their creations with the community.

A teen film festival would not only support student filmmakers, but it would provide a perfect opportunity to build a working relationship with the local school system.  So I wrote a proposal and approached the high school media specialist (hint, hint:  you might have seen her in a video or two).

Fast forward four years...last Thursday was our 4th Annual Teen Film Festival, and what started out as a festival with a library system and two schools, has become a county(+) event with the help of a second library system.  There is nothing like watching the light of possibility and accomplishment shine in a teens eyes.  I get to see it every single day.  I get to be inspired every single day.  I get to work with truly amazing individuals that push me outside of my comfort zone and help me make my ideas come true.

In a week where giving thanks is on our minds, I wanted to take my own minute to thank my mentors, co-workers, and friends that make getting up and going to work every day a pleasure and an honor.  I have learned that if you approach every situation, every idea, every possibility with a servant's heart, amazing things can happen.

We'll be sharing more about the Teen Film Festival in the next installment of Q & A: The Librarian Way, but for today, thank to the wonderful ladies who helped, once again, create a truly remarkable event that put the creative, talented, ambitious, passionate teens in our community in the spotlight.

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