#MentorMonday: Christine Pennington


This week's #MentorMonday is Christine Pennington (@cakesniffings)! Christine is an awesome Teen Librarian with a spark for helping and educating others through creativity. Read how she nurtures her spark below! 

What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most
alive, your passion, dream or purpose?
My spark comes from curating, creating, and cheering others on! Creativity is big
for me, not just from an artistic side but also in the form of problem solving. And
I’ve always had a love for encouraging, teaching, and learning from other people.
Do you have an interesting idea or passion you are interested in? I’m your
person - let’s explore it!

How did you find your spark?
I have always liked collecting things and grouping them by category. When I was
in the third grade, my friend and I had a collection of snails that we kept in order
by size. I wasn’t so much into the snails as she was, but I was happy to help her
because she was so excited about it and I loved the organizing part. We got
creative and built them little villages out of yard trimmings that we would find
around the neighborhood. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was already
discovering my spark!

How do you nurture your spark?
I’m a youth services librarian for the public library in my community. My work
allows for quite a bit of creativity, from making book and window displays to
designing youth programs such as writing clubs and maker spaces. I also get to
curate our teen book collection, which means organizing the collection, making
sure we have a good representation of diverse narratives, and keeping up with
current trends and popular demands. I feel lucky to be able to work with teen
volunteers and on a team with other youth librarians, where we can bounce ideas
and I can support them in nurturing their own sparks.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to young girls and/or moms raising
I wish I had someone to teach me early on that ideas are made to be built on, so
explore, explore, explore! And anyone who laughs at your idea, or tries to make
you feel less because maybe they don’t understand it or agree with it, hasn’t
been taught this concept and thus shouldn’t have any kind of power over you or
your idea. You get to choose your interest, you get to decide what is important to
you, and you get to change your mind about it at any point. Don’t be afraid to ask
questions, don’t be afraid to try and fail, and please, please don’t be afraid to

Our theme for July is creative confidence! How do you incorporate creative
confidence with your spark?

My friends know that I will shout out “GELMO” while working on a project and
walk away. I learned this from a workshop and wish I knew who to credit. It is an
acronym for Good Enough, Let’s Move On. When I obsess on perfectionism
because I let self-doubt get in the way, I’ll shout GELMO and it reminds me that
not only do I have other things to create, but I can always go back and fix things
if they need fixing.

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