Lone Star Mama's comment especially struck a chord with me:
I agree about the rules. I most like librarians who most like kids. Our old children's librarian was great and we loved her, but I could tell she didn't have kids of her own by the frequency with which she redirected touchy toddlers. When she was promoted to branch manager, we got a children's librarian who is a grandma (she used to be the librarian at my older daughter's elementary school). She's not as giddy or silly or inventive as the career-focused youngsters, perhaps, but she gets kids and likes them. She's laid back and I think I like that better than any master-performer.
This is actually my major insecurity in youth services--how do I "make up" for not having kids of my own? Or even nieces or nephews? I do like kids, and there is definitely an element of silliness to my storytime, but I still struggle to "get" kids as much as I feel I should. It is definitely my main area of improvement that I have outlined for myself for the next year. Unless someone makes me branch manager first... just kidding.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the youth vs. experience question? What can a 20-something youth services staffer do to be just as good as a mom or grandmother?