Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Meet Your Board: Ashley Bieber

 Meet Ashley Bieber, the current co-chair/chair of YSS, who valiantly took on chairing our section earlier than expected.  She's the Teen Services Coordinator at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire.  She's also pretty entertaining to read about, so take a look!


What made you decide to say yes to the YSS Board? 
I’ve gotten a lot out of the professional support and services that YSS coordinates and wanted to be a part of it.  The idea of a statewide network advocating for youth services librarians in Wisconsin is something I really believe in. 

What book character would you be most excited to have over for dinner?  What would you serve them/what would you do?
I would definitely, totally, have Weetzie Bat, Dirk, and My Secret-Agent Lover Man over.  I would serve champagne and raspberries with French bread, cheese, and prosciutto because that’s basically my favorite meal of all time.  We’d talk about how love is a dangerous angel.

What is one of your greatest challenges as a librarian?
I tend to be an eternal optimist and idealist, and sometimes there are things I need to more pragmatic about.  Also, I was definitely not prepared for how much performing and public speaking goes along with being a youth librarian.  Thankfully I'm not terribly afraid of either, and tend to enjoy it overall, but sometimes still need to psych myself up in certain situations.  I'm often thinking in my head, "I can't believe I'm doing this...but here I go..."

What makes you most excited to come to work?
I’ve always been drawn to librarianship because of the social justice work it contains.  The library is pretty much the one public place that exists that people can go to for entertainment, information, and connecting with their neighbors without having to pay.  I’m one of those librarians that has a beer and then gets all weepy and fired up about how libraries are a pillar of democracy and in order to have a functioning society we need informed, literate, and connected communities, and I feel so lucky that I can spend 40 hours a week putting my energy towards that. 

I also appreciate the people I work with.  Without sounding sexist, I really love that librarianship tends to be a female dominated field.  The amazing group of geeky, creative, and intelligent women I get to work with every day constantly inspire me.  (The men are nice, too!)

What’s a program or service you’ve developed that you are most proud of?
This past February I took 5 teens from our Young Adult Advisory Board to Library Legislative Day.  It was amazing for me to share some of the bigger picture stuff that libraries are about.  Many of them didn't realize that libraries are a part of government at state level.  I hope to repeat this in the future. 

What is something unrelated to work that you like to do?
I love to collect records and have unabashed sing-alongs/dance-alongs with women folk singers.  Melanie has been a favorite for a long time.  I also have a propensity for talking long walks, daydreaming and doing absolutely nothing. 

Any other tidbits to share?
I love to do cartwheels in the library before we open. 

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