Today’s librarian spotlight features Camille Thompson, a Young Adult Librarian at the New Brunswick Free Public Library in New Jersey.
How long have you been a librarian?
I’ve been an official librarian for two years, but have worked in libraries in some capacity for about five years.
Why did you want to be a teen librarian?
Teens are so enthusiastic, emotional, and open to new things. They are just much more fun and much less scary than adults.
What steps led you to your current position?
In college I worked in the university library and volunteered at the local public library. I went to library school as soon as I graduated from college and worked at the university library there for a while before being hired as a part-time librarian trainee where I now work. When I graduated I was hired as a full-time librarian focusing on adult programming. Our YA librarian left about 8 months after that and I happily took over her position.
What has been your favorite teen program?
I had a “Breaking Dawn” release party where I gave away copies of the book, had a trivia contest and scavenger hunt and appropriately themed foods. It was a big hit.
Are there any upcoming programs or events you’re looking forward to?
I’m having “Project Recycled Runway” this summer (an idea I borrowed from Princeton Public Library). Teens will be provided thrift store clothes and embellishments and will make awesome outfits from those. They will be evaluated by a panel of judges and the winner will get a $25 gift card to a local store.
What is the best part about your job?
One of my favorite moments was when I did some book talking at the high school and an 11th grade boy came in to the library after school asking me for “Dr. Franklin’s Island.” Eleventh grade boys in an area like New Brunswick will generally not admit to anyone that they would even consider reading a book, so to me it was pretty amazing. Small things like that make me feel like I might be igniting a passion for reading in teens who might not be told in any other setting that it’s OK to like books.
Are you involved with any local or national professional organizations?
I am a member of ALA and YALSA and the New Jersey Library Association. I’ve served on the NJLA Summer Reading Committee and Honors and Awards Committee.
What are some of your favorite books, series, authors or genres?
I find myself loving the post-apocalyptic lately. “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “Life As We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer and “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy are my current favorites in that genre. On the lighter side, I really like “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You” by Ally Carter and “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” by E. Lockhart.
Any other favorite pop culture stuff (movies, TV, music, games)?
I just saw “Up” and loved it. Right now I’m Netflixing (is that a verb?) “The Wire,” “True Blood,” “Weeds,” and “Doctor Who.” I want to re-watch all of “Battlestar Galactica” soon too.
Vampires, werewolves, or zombies?
Vampires if we’re choosing romantic involvement, zombies if we’re choosing a creature of the apocalypse