McGrath, Renée J. Vaillancourt 1969- (Renée J. Vaillancourt)
McGRATH, Renée J. Vaillancourt 1969-
(Renée J. Vaillancourt)
PERSONAL: Born May 20, 1969, in New Bedford, MA; daughter of Raymond E. (in sales) and Mary (a nurse; maiden name, Baptiste) Vaillancourt; married Sean P. McGrath, September 29, 1997. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Attended Smith College, 1987-88, and University of Florence, 1991; Brown University, B.A. (with honors), 1991; Catholic University of America, M.S.L.S., 1993. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Unitarian-Universalist.
ADDRESSES: Home—248A North Higgins Ave., No, 145, Missoula, MT 59802. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln, RI, children's librarian, 1993-94; Boston Public Library, Boston, MA, Access Center librarian, 1994-95; Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN, young adult librarian, 1995-96, young adult services coordinator, 1996-98; Missoula Public Library, Missoula, MT, assistant director, 1998-2000; consulting editor and writer, 2000—. Montana Public Radio, substitute board operator and guest host of Pea Green Boat and Children's Corner for KUFM-Radio, 2001—. University of Montana, visiting adjunct instructor, 2002. Friends of the Missoula Public Library, member, 2000—; Montana Book Award Committee, chair, 2002-03.
MEMBER: American Library Association, Young Adult Library Services Association (chair of New Directions Task Force, 2001-02), Public Library Association, Pacific Northwest Library Association, Mountain Plains Library Association, Montana Library Association.
UNDER NAME RENÉE J. VAILLANCOURT
Bare Bones Young Adult Services: Tips for PublicLibrary Generalists, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1993, revised edition, 1999.
Managing Young Adult Services: A Self-Help Manual, Neal-Schuman Publishers (New York, NY), 2002.
Designer and presenter of training programs. Contributor to books, including Unattended Children in the Public Library: A Resource Guide, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 2000. Contributor to periodicals, including School Library Journal and Voice of Youth Advocates. Feature editor, Public Libraries, 1999—.
SIDELIGHTS: Renée J. Vaillancourt McGrath told CA: "After an emotionally difficult adolescence, I didn't want to ever have anything to do with teenagers. But the only major grant that was available when I applied to library school in 1992 was a scholarship for young adult services at the Catholic University of America. I didn't really think I'd get it, but when I did, I felt obligated to at least go through the motions and take a young adult services class.
"I fell in love with the literature and started to wonder what it would have been like to have had a librarian or teacher who could have recommended these kinds of books to me when I was in junior high and high school. In my first professional position after library school (which was the first time I had ever worked in a library) as a youth services librarian in small-town Lincoln, Rhode Island, I started a Teen Advisory Board and realized that I liked teens as much as I liked books written for teens.
"I think I got involved in young adult services at the perfect time in my life. In my early twenties I was young enough to still understand, and even identify with, the teens I was working with, yet I was far enough removed from my own adolescence that I didn't have to take it all quite so personally anymore. As I've gotten older, it's required more work to keep up with teen interests. Around the time I turned thirty, I began to see this whole generation of adults—people graduating from college—who dressed differently than I did and listened to different music. It was really quite shocking to me. It had never occurred to me that I would ever have to learn what teens liked. Until that point, the understanding had always come quite naturally.
"After working briefly with people with disabilities at the Boston Public Library, and deciding that city life wasn't for me, I set out to find my dream job as a young adult librarian. I accepted a position in the youth services department at the Carmel Clay Public Library in Indiana, and within seventeen months had established its first young adult services department. I also became more involved with local and national library organizations during that period and began writing about my experiences working with young adults. I met a lot of people through the Young Adult Library Services Association who made a big impact on my career.
"In 1998 I moved to Montana to become the assistant director of the Missoula Public Library. Although I would no longer be working directly with young adults, I looked forward to supporting youth services as an administrator with library director (and youth advocate) Bette Ammon. As I began to learn the ins and outs of managing a library, I realized that many of the techniques I was learning would also have come in handy when I was a young adult librarian. That realization is what made me decide to write a book for Neal-Schuman's 'Teens at the Library' series.
"In my book Managing Young Adult Services: A Self-Help Manual, I apply traditional business management techniques to librarianship, and more specifically to young adult services. The first section of the book is devoted to managing people: staff, volunteers, and young adults. But in the second section, I stretch the concept of management to apply to managing young adult collections, managing projects and events, managing time, and even managing stress. It seems to me that so many librarians put their whole lives into their work. They needed someone to tell them that it is okay to seek balance between their work and home lives.
"I try to practice what I preach. I eat natural foods, practice yoga daily, and have been studying Buddhism for the past several years. I live with my husband and our four dogs, Buddy, Soup, Gordon, and Henry David. Since 2000 I have been working as a freelance writer, editor, and library consultant from our home, which overlooks the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana.
"I miss working directly with teenagers, but I've learned that you can also make an impact on library services to young adults—and sometimes have a more far-reaching impact—by teaching and writing about it. I encourage all young adult librarians to share their stories through publishing and presenting programs at state, regional, and national library conferences."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Libraries, February, 2000, review of BareBones Young Adult Services: Tips for PublicLibrary Generalists, p. 34; May, 2000, Cathleen Bourdon, review of Bare Bones Young Adult Services, p. 92.
Booklist, September 1, 2002, Shauna Yusko, review of Managing Young Adult Services: A Self-Help Manual, p. 173.
Library Journal, October 1, 2002, Rachel Quenk, review of Managing Young Adult Services, p. 136.
Reference & User Services Quarterly, fall, 2002, Elizabeth Baker, review of Managing Young Adult Services, p. 90.
School Library Journal, December, 2000, Marlyn K. Roberts, review of Bare Bones Young Adult Services, p. 173; September, 2002, Jana R. Fine, review of Managing Young Adult Services, p. 259.