I work as a librarian in an urban district. It's no secret that I spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect book for each student. I think that collection development is a tricky science that most people completely underestimate. I have done some work for our alternative middle school in the past year that has made the process even more difficult. I want to make sure that every dollar I spend, each book we acquire, is the perfect book for our students.
A few months ago, a post came across the YALSA listserv. It was from Amy Cheney. She was seeking volunteers for a committee that would review street lit for teens, with a special focus on incarcerated teens. Although I do not work with teens who are incarcerated, I do work with teens who come from urban homes. They are always looking for books "about people like me." I responded to the call and crossed my fingers. I wasn't sure that I would be considered for the committee due to my lack of experience working on a selection committee and my current job, but I was hopeful that my interest and closely related experience would work in my favor.
I was excited to receive an e-mail yesterday confirming my seat on the In the Margins committee. I know that I am going to learn much in the coming year(s) that will benefit my students, as well as teens around the country. It is good to be shining a light on a genre that is either ignored or stigmatized. I know that much of what will appear on most of my colleagues' reading lists in the coming months won't appear on mine . . . and I'm up for the challenge. I'll keep you posted about how it goes.