In hot water in the library takes on new meaning when working with teens. I know my teens are comfortable in our library, but I didn’t realize how comfortable until a Friday afternoon encounter.
Student: Can I have hot water?
Student: Can I have hot water? You’re always making tea, so can I have water?
Me: Oh. Oh. Okay. I was just making myself a cup of tea, so the water is already hot. (Figures, he’s right.)
Student: (Pours hot water into his thermos.) Can I have a tea bag?
Me: Okay. What kind? I have Tetley, Chai…
Student: I’ll have the African tea.
Me: Rooibos. Okay, here’s a bag. (Me opening my file cabinet of goodies and tea.)
Student: Oh, those are good cookies! (Belvita bites.)
Me: I don’t like the snack packs. Do you want them?
Student: Yes, please!
Me: Here, take them. Get to class the bell is going to ring.
Student: Bye, Mrs. Seymour.
And there you have it. A full-service library. Come in for a book, laptop, maker activity or hot water and a tea bag. I always tease the kids when we’re on lockdown drills, “not to worry folks, we can survive weeks with the food stored in my office.” I have a microwave and a refrigerator (I like milk in my tea). On hand there’s always Hershey kisses, chocolate bars (cause you can never have enough chocolate), assorted cookies, snack bars, and microwave popcorn to mention a few items. Right now, I also have a dozen boxes of cookies courtesy of the Girl Scouts. Some days you just have to dole out some cookies in the afternoon to tired, hungry teens. Other days, usually before testing or end of semester, you just have to place a Hershey’s kiss before each student letting them know we’re thinking of them. I’m pleased the kids feel comfortable coming to me when they need a pick me up. We’re in this together.