Something that bears mentioning: we have the greatest children's librarian in the history of the world.
Her name is Rebbecca, and she works at the Jefferson Market Library in New York City. Here. Or maybe I shouldn't say she works there, maybe I should say she rules over the children's room? Presides? It's like she's the fairy godmother of the children's room. You will be standing there with your just-started-reading-chapter books child, searching fruitlessly (and maybe without much grace or patience) for book number 3 in the Magic Treehouse series, because that is the series that makes people able to read chapter books with pride. The child is despairing, you are saying that it's the same to read number 4, they're not a linear series, OK? God!, the child is trying not to cry when—cue magical noise. Rebbecca appears next to you. You, she ignores more or less. But the child? She pays the most focused, thoughtful, and serious attention to the child. Then she scans the shelves, and vanishes downstairs, then reappears with number 3 in her hand. And 4 and 5 as well. No judgment, no stress, just kind and heartfelt help.
But that's not all.
She does this for everyone. Really. Every family—and that's a lot of families, this is a library in the middle of New York City—seems to know her by name, and she seems to know all of them. How is that possible? Also: she never talks to kids in a cutesy voice. And she takes them all seriously. And she remembers their literary taste, offering up books out of nowhere, then doesn't care at all if those books are rejected.
Also: we went there looking for Gone Away Lake. And it turned out that someone else had checked it out. But does that mean she comes back and says, "Sorry, we don't have it."? No, it means she comes back with this:
And then you get to watch your child look seriously through the stack for the two to take home. Do we have to re-shelve them? "Oh no, just leave what you don't want there."
Ronia was chosen. And LOVED.
Rebbecca is the best librarian in the world. I mean, we try and all with We Recommend and such, but this? This is the real thing.