Howdy! Jessica Lee Anderson checking in here to announce that our newest Featured Sweetheart is the lovely Angela Hall! What a joy to visit her amazing library at Westwood High School and to spend time getting to know her! I can't wait for you to get to know her, too! Please welcome Angela Hall!!!
TxS&S: You're such an energetic and innovate teen librarian! Can you tell us how you got your start about what keeps you motivated?
AH: I've been a librarian for 18 years. I've worked in all types of libraries: university, public, special, and school libraries. I used to be a bank auditor and I had become so disenchanted with the profession. I sought a more challenging opportunity and since I didn't know what I really wanted to do, I took a career aptitude test. The results pointed towards librarianship. Even though I am native North Carolinian, I opted to go to grad school at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. When I began my program, I had not intentions of ever working with kids simply because I didn't think I had a knack for it. After spending the first 10 years of my career seeking my niche, I finally decided I had had enough of corporate libraries and was determined that if my passion for libraries was not re-ignited, I would leave librarianship all together. Before I left a research library position at Bank of American, I prayed. I asked God for a career in which there were threee things: variety; an opportunity to interact with amazing people; and sufficient time off! So, I applied for (and got) a librarian position at a high school in Charlotte, NC and have not had any regrets! It is such a joy for me to LOVE my job! I really do! I say that to my mother and she says, "I've never heard you say that," and I say, "I've never loved my job before!" That in itself is my motivation: my love for my work. There are days when it is really challenging and hard. I go home feeling beat down, but in spite of that, I still love it and look forward to another day!
TxS&S: What has been one of your most rewarding surprises?
AH: It was a few years ago while I was working at an elmentary school. One of the kindergarten classes came in and gave me letters/notes of appreciation for being their librarian. It was so unexpected and I was so moved that it brought me to tears. When they saw me crying, they all circled me and embraced me. I don't do my job for that reason. I just do it because I love it and I want all my students and faculty to have the best of me.
TxS&S: To what do you attribute your passion for young adult literature?
AH: I don't read much adult literature any more. When friends ask me for adult title recommendations, I am a complete blank . On the other hand, I can certainly provide many options in young adult literature. I love young adult literature because its purity, rawness of feelings, and mere transparency. YA Lit, as we know it now, did not exist when I was a teen. This writing allows me to relive my youth and work through issues that I didn't even know I had. So often, as I'm reading, I have my "ahah" moment. It is during those moments when I'm so impacted by a piece of work, I record my feelings in my journal. YA Lit helps me grow up in a way that I was not able to as a teen.
TxS&S: If you could make a wish for teens and reading in the future, what would it be?
AH: I wish that, in the wake of standardized state testing and always changing curriculums, reading 30 to 45 minutes per day were a requirement. I don't mean required reading, but reading for enjoyment. I read before work, during lunch, as soon as I get home in the evenings, and before bed. I'd be lost without what I consider a necessity.
TxS&S: Would you consider yourself a Sweetheart or a Scoundrel?
AH: I consider myself a sweetheart!
TxS&S: You are an absolute sweetheart, Angela! We appreciate you hanging out with us thank you for all you do!
Bio: Angela Hall is a librarian at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas. She has been a librarian for about 18 years, but absolutely loves being a school librarian. She is from Charlotte, NC and has been in the Austin area for 6 years. Angela loves Austin because it’s an “outdoorsy” town with great weather. She loves to travel, and while she has not traveled abroad, yet, she does like to drive across country and makes a pilgrimage to NC at least once per year, by car. Angela is terrified of bridges, but loves them at the same time. When driving, she likes to stop and snap pictures of the bridges. In addition, she is an avid reader and likes to explore different genres, and has recently become a fan of the steam punk subgenre. While Angela owns an eReader (and actually uses it), her first love continues to be books. For her there is nothing more comforting than the feel of a book in her hands.