What does courage mean in today's world? There are a variety of professions that have courage as an internal requisite for the job such as firemen, policemen, military people, politicians, and many more. But one never thinks of librarianship as a profession that imbeds courage in the job description. I know you're thinking - "Is she nuts?" But let me explain.
Courage is when a youth librarian steps out in front of a group of preschoolers to present a storytime for the very first time. Courage is when you stand in front of a group of high school students to booktalk or tell them about reference resources or programs at the library. Courage is when a teen librarian must talk to groups of gangs who habituate the library and are on the edge of fighting. Courage is what you MUST have in order to stay on the job some days, after being insulted by children and adults, chewed out by administrators, yelled at by ignorant parents over a teen’s behavior, and trying to keep a calm atmosphere amongst your staff and fellow workers. We all must have courage each time we enter our workplace and for some, their homes. And I believe we do. I truly believe that library staff who work with adolescents and teens possess an overabundant amount of courage. Why else would we want to work with a group of humans who have no conception of right or wrong, overloaded with emotional hormones, and have been raised by “techno-nannies”?
This issue presents several courageous aspects of librarianship. From library directors who truly care about teens to teens who have an insight of what courage means to them, I hope this issue will strengthen your resolve to continue to “fight the good fight” as an advocate for teenagers. If you do this, then all of you who read this are my heroes and heroines in this novel we call life.