In which Miss Molly the (official) librarian demonstrates super-human reading abilities

Attention all readers!

Can you

  • read roughly 600 comics in a week
  • leap tall buildings in a single bound
  • locate missing library items
  • see through walls
  • have superhuman danger sense
  • fly

Then you might be a superhero!

As a children’s librarian, you learn to develop many of those senses. I don’t know how I do it, but as soon as a child is doing something dangerous is another room, I know. And out comes my Librarian Voice: No, sweetie, you can’t climb on that. I don’t want you to get hurt. And, Oh, please don’t run. You might trip. And my personal favorite, Please don’t Force push your friend across the room. The carpet can’t take that kind of abuse.

I honestly believe that librarians double as superheroes. We help our communities; we provide a safe environment to do work, study, or play; we help people with various problems-be they lack of heat, a need for AC or a power outlet, and internet access; we provide services, programs, and materials to entertain, encourage exploration, education, and creativity; we are open 6-7 days a week. In short, we help people help themselves.

And yet, much of our good work goes overlooked by the community who sees what we do as superfluous. While libraries of course have their ardent supporters, the truth of the matter is that libraries around the country are reducing staff and hours, losing funding, and closing all together.

Libraries are taken for granted. We help individuals, communities, entire towns and states, and yet our funding is constantly cut. Schools are losing media specialists left and right–which is a terrible shame. Some of the work that school media specialists do (when they are allowed to) is amazing. More on that in my next post.

I will get off my soapbox for now and leave you with a fun fact:

Did you know that Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, was a Librarian by profession?

And now onward! Blog post ASSEMBLE!

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been gearing up for Free Comic Book Day. And let me tell you, I am super excited . It’s really been hitting home how quickly the program is drawing near. With the preparations I’ve been doing, I’m really hoping it’s going to be huge. That might be setting myself up for a disappointment (since it hasn’t drawn more than 100 people in previous years), but I aim high. The interest from patrons seems to be there, the kids are excited, it ties in with the new Iron Man movie which just opened, and there is FREE STUFF. I’ve even opened the program up for teens because I’ve had SO many comics donated.

All the elements for success are there. Now I just have to hope people remember…and pray to the weather gods that it’s not TOO nice outside.

On the topic of donations, I’ve read all of the comics donated. ALL OF THEM-6 boxes of at least 200 comics per box, and that’s the small box. That is a lot. I wanted to check them for content, language, violence, scary images, etc. and make sure they’re appropriate. I also had to break the comics down by level. The categories are: All Ages, Upper Elementary/Middle School, and Teen. I am fairly certain that I have been caught up on all story arcs from the last 2 years, have been introduced to some comics I hadn’t been exposed to, and really realized the vast differences in aesthetic and writing style that make comics so great.

I’ve been checking each and every comic book for nudity, suggestiveness, language, etc. because of parental concerns. I have gotten complaints from our own patrons when they find Teen graphic novels in the Children’s section. This is a big deal, since parents ultimately are the ones who decide what their kids can, and more importantly CANNOT, read. While I may not always agree with their sheltering choices, I don’t have the final say. And, fair enough, I don’t have kids myself, so I don’t worry about exposure concerns. All I can do is present the material I think worthwhile, and do my best to defend my choices, while respecting concerns. But, as they say, you can’t please them all. I can only present the material and encourage exploration. I can’t expect everyone to pick up what I’m putting down, but I can hope some do.

With the comics all vetted and sorted, all that’s left is last minute signage, finishing up the games and activities, and finalizing costumes. Wonder Woman is all set, as is Spiderman. Robin is well underway, and I just have to confirm Thor. I hear even Clark Kent might make an appearance.

Again, if you’re looking for something to do for a while on Saturday May 4th around 2pm, come see me, dispose of some Kryptonite, pose with a hero, and test your superhero knowledge.

Bring your kid/the neighbor’s kid/grand kid/big kid/small kid/any kid/cousin/sibling/niece/nephew.

If you do, you’ll be the superhero.

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