An online professional portfolio
There are questions every librarian dreads at the Help Desk. They’re different for everyone, but they come from the same place: feeling like you don’t have the know-how or resources to help a patron find what they need. Poetry is a topic I’ve heard lots of Young Adult librarians worry about, especially when they’re serving teens who are serious about writing and reading it.
In addition to being a librarian, I’m also a poet. I earned my MFA in writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing Program in 2007, and my first book, Allegheny, Monongahela, was published in 2009.
Because I have both perspectives, I understand why it’s so difficult to collect poetry for libraries, and why many librarians feel at a loss when a patron comes in with a poetry-related question:
Online resources are a bit easier to come by (a simple Google search for ‘poetry’ will turn up the Academy of American Poets website, as well as the Poetry Foundation website) but if you’re not a student of poetry, it can be hard to tell which resources are comprehensive or fit your patrons’ needs. Resources for young people are subject to all the same difficulties– once poetry graduates from picture books, it’s hard to come by.
My YA Poetry Resources Pinterest board is a growing collection of online resources and examples of YouTube poetry mash-ups and other fun projects that teens have created in response to school assignments and their own interest. There are some gems in here that make for quick programming and desk reference as well: