Hello, LIS-ers! I received my MLIS from UNCG in 2000 – after wiffling and waffling, I focused on public libraries and children’s services. I had originally thought I’d go the special libraries route, as I had volunteered in the NC Room in Charlotte and enjoyed their image collection and helped put together a photo exhibition.
When I came to Greensboro for the MLIS in 1998, however, I got a part-time job in the Children’s Room of the Greensboro Public Library, Central Branch. It slowly came back to me how much I had loved the library as a child…and I enjoyed the part-time job so much I actually felt guilty taking a paycheck for it.
I got over that.
I did hard time in a non-professional, though finally full-time, position in the Children’s Room, slowly expanding my programming experience – in-house & outreach, babies to school agers – and took on development of GPL’s YA fiction collection from creating a core collection at each branch to maintaining them as centralized purchaser and consultant to the children’s/YA people at the branches.
In 2006 I became Children’s Specialist at the Glenwood Branch of GPL.
Here are some of the highlights of what I do –
- I am responsible for maintaining the Glenwood Branch children’s collection and area – displays, weeding, bulletin boards, profile of the branch community for collection purchases, etc.
- I plan and implement in-house and outreach programs for toddlers, preschoolers, school agers, families and occasionally YA.
- I work in a team with other Children’s Specialists to do system-wide programming, share program resources and ideas, make suggestions to Administration about policies and procedures regarding children & families, develop workplans, collect statistics & more….I’m currently co-chair of this service team
- I’m responsible for ordering YA fiction for the system
- I work up to 10hrs on the desk at my branch – and come when called to help kids, parents and educators find books or resources
- I’m occasionally called upon to represent the library at community events – often in collaboration with other organizations
- I’m a member of NCLA and the Youth Services Section and am currently on the Executive Board of the YSS
I love my job and highly recommend children services in a public library setting to those who enjoy working with people of all ages, take pleasure in being creative and active, can embrace being viewed as a rock star by those aged 8 & under and can accept being viewed as slightly goofy by those aged 10 & up. It’s important to love the books, but it’s crucial to love putting the exact right book in the exact right hand.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Brandon Bensley, Children’s Librarian
Glenwood Branch Library
City of Greensboro
1901 W. Florida Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
phone: 336.297.5000; fax: 336.297.5005