April 19, 2018

Sarah Bean Thompson | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

Sarah Bean Thompson


Youth Services Manager, Springfield–Greene County Library, Springfield, MO


MS, Youth Librarianship, University of North Texas, Denton, 2011


@greenbeanreads (Twitter); Green Bean Teen Queen

Photo by Patrick Heagney


Rockin’ the Con

“Sarah Bean Thompson is a readers’ advisory [RA] rock star!” raves Jessie East, branch manager of the Library Center of the Springfield–Greene County Library District. “She has an infectious passion and incredible talent for RA, [and] every program she does leads attendees right back to books, whether it’s a mock awards session for families and educators or a Geeky Storytime for preschoolers and their caregivers.” Thompson is nationally known among publishers, authors, patrons, peers, and teachers as the Green Bean Teen Queen for her young adult book blog.

In 2015, Thompson and colleague Victoria Bogert organized and cochaired Springfield–Greene County’s first LibraryCon. Deciding they didn’t offer enough in that initial event, which had 600 attendees, they ramped up in 2016, taking over most of the library with 42 local vendor/organization tables, a draw-along with a guest illustrator, and more than 3,500 participants. Thompson kicked off the panels with librarians recommending books, positioning them as experts. “[It] showed me that our patrons want more readers’ advisory from librarians and that we can provide it in creative and unique ways,” says Thompson. As East notes, such positioning “increases community support and the opinion of the library.”

Meanwhile, Thompson’s “Fandom Starts Early” story time at LibraryCon included Star Trek flannel boards, “Pokémon, Pokémon, What Do You See?,” and “V-A-D-E-R” (to the tune of “Bingo”), sharing the geeky love across generations.

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
Teens want to make a difference and become advocates for the things they care about. Librarians working with young people are in a unique position to help them make an impact on their communities and schools. Ignite your thinking and fuel these efforts at your library through this Library Journal online course—April 24 & May 8.