Contributors Justin Hoenke


I’m not a library director.  Heck, who knows if I’ll ever be a library director.  But spend some time working in a public library and you’ll see a common theme: most employees and the public have no clue what a library director does.  There’s this belief that the library director […]

The Transparent Library Director 9

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How to Raise Boys Who Read (Hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes) I think what I hate seeing in these types of articles is the general “GAMES BAD BOOKS GOOD” thing (for the full effect, imagine The Incredible Hulk saying that).  Perhaps I’m only seeing this because of […]

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How to Raise Boys Who Read (Hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes) 6


At my library, we recently started up a circulating video game collection.  Since we didn’t have a huge budget and we knew the collection was going to be rather small, we opted to go stark naked with security.  There’s also an amazing vibe here in Portland, Maine.  People really have […]

The Graveyard 8

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Last night, we held the first Teen After Hours event at the Portland Public Library.  This program was a collaboration between the library and Officer Ray Ruby of the Portland Police Department. All in all, it was a great success.  We played video games, ate pizza, had a massive hide […]

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Who knew a library could be so epic? 7


Team JBot (Justin Hoenke, Rafia Mirza, Jeannie Chen, Anne Krakow, Susan Jennings) Phew…time flies.  It’s been six months since my first post on being an Emerging Leader and now that I’ve “emerged”, what have I learned?  Here goes. THE PROJECT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION To view the full report […]

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On ALA Emerging Leaders (the conclusion)


(a brief interview between Portland Public Teen Library @justinlibrarian and Portland teen @davidchuphoto) What are you using it for? I’m usually sitting in bed and using it as a computer instead of a laptop.  I would go back to a laptop if I got a MacBook. What are your favorite […]

The iPad (through the eyes of a teen) 3

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Three weeks have passed since the Portland Public Library reopened after a lengthy renovation (which I wrote about here).  The addition of a teen area is a completely new idea for the community of Portland, Maine.  At first, teens didn’t really understand that this was THEIR space.  However, over the last week […]

A day in the life of a teen library 1

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Let me say this: change is extremely difficult.  It’s also not a quick fix, but a process that may go on for many years.  Change also has many hills and valleys and sometimes you can’t see the destination. In the end, however, change is totally worth all the ups and […]

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Change 7