November 20, 2017

Carlie Webber | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Advocates

Carlie Webber, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Hackensack, NJSmarter Than Hermione

Carlie Webber has a “dirty secret”: “I never really grew out of reading children’s and YA literature,” she says. It’s led to her success as a YA librarian and a nationally recognized—and often attitudinous—voice on YA lit, with Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) programs like “Harry Potter for Grownups” and “YA Boot Camp 2.0.”

Webber “leads by example,” says nominator Ruth Greenberg, collection development and cataloging librarian at BCCLS, citing Webber’s knowledge of exceptional new YA books and pop phenomena like Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. Her savvy BCCLS blog features an array of fun facts and opinions—why Webber dared to skip the film opening of Twilight, a list of contenders for the BCCLS Mock Awards, and pertinent news about YA issues.

Webber attended 2007 BookExpo America in a white-and-pink T-shirt reading “Smarter Than Hermione” on the back and “Mary Sue” on the front (look it up). She also expresses her views as reviewer for VOYA and Kirkus Reviews and on several YA committees.

Webber initially wanted to be a professional percussionist but changed her mind after taking time off her junior year to perform. She dove into an MLIS program after college and never looked back. As a librarian, she observes that “the nature of adolescence has changed exponentially over the last decade.” While teens are naturally wired 24/7 now, “tweens and teens always want to seem older.” Also, more college grads are living with their parents. The result? “More graduates who live lives not wholly dissimilar to teenagers,” she says. Those kids—er, adults—also seek good reads.

Webber counsels those who deal with teens not to make an effort to be their friend. “You should be an advisor to their intellectual development.” So, don’t worry about being hip. “If you’re honest and say, ‘I catch Gossip Girl from time to time, but I really prefer CSI,’ your patrons won’t think less of you.”

Vitals

Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Hackensack, NJ

POSITION Young Adult Services Librarian

DEGREE MLIS, University of Pittsburgh, 2001

BLOG Librarilly Blonde (blogs.bccls.org/carlie)

WELL ROUNDED Owns 43 snow globes

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