Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy National Library Week!

Happy National Library Week Everyone.
Please Roar today’s guest Teen Librarian Josie Watanabe!

Josie’s been a Youth Services Librarian for six years. She works at Seattle Public Library | University Branch

The Skinny
I really enjoy working with teens because of their passion and personality. In the University District (U District) we are surrounded by private, public and alternative schools and so we get a great mix of teens using the branch. The U District also has a lot of amazing services for street youth. My absolute favorite thing is working with street youth and the organizations that serve them.

Readers Roar. Let’s hear from the teens!
“I like libraries because I can read stuff for free. I like being surrounded by knowledge”.
~Oliver H. | Library Blogger

“I like libraries because they allow the expansion of reading opportunities. Whenever I go to the library I am surrounded by a new variety of books about anything and everything I could ever imagine.”
~Andrea N. | Teen Volunteer

“I like the peaceful atmosphere of the library.”
~Jin H. | Teen Volunteer

Library Laughs
A few years ago I had a teen volunteer go on a wild stickering streak with our uncataloged books. Uncataloged books are books that people take from the library on the honor system. Typically, teen volunteers put a large rectangular sticker on the bottom left hand corner of each book. One week (at the beginning of spring) we had a ton of donated romance books that needed to be stickered. The volunteer went on a wild stickering fling and covered each and all of the romantic faces with a large rectangular pink sticker. For a few weeks our romance readers had to use their imaginations when picturing the characters!

A Lion’s Pride of Programs
As far as programming, the Seattle Public Library has suffered from tremendous budget cuts since 2009. Sadly enough, it has been the Teen Service Librarian positions that were dramatically affected. Our library board has recently adopted a new Strategic Plan that really focuses on youth programming, teen involvement and innovation and technology. I am hopeful that we will be able to bring back some of our popular programs and create many new and exciting programs in the near future.

Our digital media collection hasn’t suffered as badly and is becoming a great service. We have just started offering a free music from Freegal. The music comes from the Sony music library and the music does not expire or implode! Freegal is really easy to use and has been very popular with all ages!

Although our budget has been tight, I still am able to get out of the building to do outreach (thank goodness!); one of my favorite places to visit is the Sanctuary Arts Center. The Sanctuary Arts Center is a place for street youth to hang out and create art. Their mission is to provide a safe, warm and calm environment for homeless and street involved youth to experience creativity and success through the use of various artistic media. They completely succeed!!! Here are some examples of youth created art.

If you are ever in Downtown Seattle for First Thursday,drop by their art gallery in Pioneer Square. You can pick up some amazing art and have a silk screened t-shirt made to order! For more details go to: www.sanctuaryartcenter.org or contact Caroline Falt, Program Director/Volunteer Coordinator: volunteer@sanctuaryartcenter.org

Book Brag: What three books are hot this year? Why?
Clockwork Angel, The Infernal Devices Book 1 by Cassandra Clare. This book takes off from the first page and never stops.

Alice I Have Been: A novel by Melanie Benjamin. This work of fiction is written from the perspective of the real Alice from which Lewis Carroll based his character on for the book Alice in Wonderland. I think this book is destined to be a cult classic!
~ Josie W. Teen Services Librarian

Teen recommend, “Psyren is being serialized in Shonen Jump and the first volume will be released next month. I predict Psyren will be a hit this year.”
~Oliver H. Teen Blogger

Author! Author!
I love authors who are engaging and enthusiastic. Hearing about the writing process isn’t always fun for teens, but hearing about the author’s life and how she integrated those experiences into a book is very inspiring! We also love swag!!!

Blog: Push to Talk

Library Website: www.spl.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SeattlePublicLibrary

Thank you, Josie for your terrific interview!

Love Libraries? Give a Roar in “Comments” below.

Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com to set up an interview.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Roar for Seattle High Point Branch Youth Programs!

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries and for the outstanding Librarians serving Children and Young Adults in Schools and Public Libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest Ken Gollersrud from the High Point Branch of The Seattle Public Library!

Ken has been a youth librarian for 11 years. At The Seattle Public Library, he helped popularize Latino cultural programs such as Day of the Dead including sugar skull decorating, partnering with a Latino club at a middle school that created altars for the library event.

More sugar skulls

Ken hosted a youth photo exhibit along with an artist’s reception at the South Park Branch. Working with the South Park Community Center he's organized Friday Late Night Programming for teens including: Gaming, Urban Legends, Zinery, Comic Book Illustration, Hands On Henna Artwork and African American History Night.

Hands on Henna

The Skinny:
Ken says -- I love connecting library patrons, especially teens, with programs. To see them interact with a comics illustrator, artist or author is a real thrill. An even bigger thrill is to see them teach each other, whether it is a gaming program, or an art workshop. You never know what seeds are being planted. It is such a great opportunity to visit a school and talk about some of the cool books that are out there for teens and all the programs and things that teens can do at the library.

Library hallway

Library Laughs:
My first experience book talking at a school was a big learning experience for me. I was at a high school with another librarian. I walked up to the audience and the book I was talking about flew out of my hand as I tripped. How I was embarrassed! The first few times I had the plot lines typed out on the back of the books. I have progressed to the point where now I can talk about books and engage the audience without reading notes. It is almost like storytelling for teens! I love to book talk “Acceleration” by Graham McNamee. It is a lot of fun to get students all excited about the book and then leave them in suspense. Through my job I get all kinds of opportunities to do public speaking which I have learned to relax and have fun with.

A Lion’s Pride of Programs:
I host gaming at my branch about once a month. It is a great way for young people from all backgrounds to interact with each other. They teach each other about gaming and have fun. The secret thing the adults don’t know is that the teens are so great about sharing and working with each other and helping set up the equipment and packing it up.

Readers Roar:
When I am visiting a school it is so cool to hear kids express amazement at a book they would never think the library would own like a book, on lowriders or their favorite singer. I remember listening to a teenager was told to attend our zinery program. He walked in the door and said, “This is so dumb.” A half- hour later he was telling his friend how much fun he was having making a sport zine.

Author! Author!
Author visits are a lot of fun.
Sandra Cisneros was celebrating her 25th anniversary of the classic “House on Mango Street.” I suggested that The Seattle Public Library invite her. Invited school classes received their own personal copies of the book, weeks before the visit. At the event Sandra talked about writing and reading to over 100 middle and high school students at the Central Library. She took questions and then posed for pictures with each class. Sandra autographed the books for each student.

I suggested that The Seattle Public Library invite Luis Rodriguez, author of “Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.” Luis came to our South Park Community Center and spoke to a crowd of about 200-300 about life, writing, reading. He offered advice to parents about their teens, to adults and to teens. He stayed and autographed everyone’s book and talked with anyone who wanted to talk with him.

Book Brag:What three books are hot this year?
I won’t name the obvious book title with ‘Hunger’ in the title , but I really liked “Marcelo in the Real World” by Francisco X. Stork. I thought it handled a teen dilemma situation well. High Point Branch youth are always fascinated by the 2011 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. I am always putting a copy of this on hold for someone. “The Drama High Series” by L Divine is the always asked for series at the High Point Branch!

Library Lion’s Roar: ONE LAST BIG ROAR
I have been involved with REFORMA,The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking for several years. I helped to form the Northwest Chapter. We present programs at the Oregon and Washington annual state library association conferences that educate library staff about how they can present programs that would appeal to Latinos/Spanish Speakers.

We have a Google Group where we ask advice from each other on how to better serve our Spanish Speaking patrons. Come join us! In May we are going to have a meeting and training day for our members and new members.

E-mail me for more information! http://nwreforma.blogspot.com/2010/04/portland-metro-meetings-this-week-about.html

The REFORMA, RNC IV, National Convention is coming up in Denver in September 2011:
!Nos Vemos en Denver!

Thank you Ken for your terrific interview!

Love Libraries? Give a Roar in “Comments” below.
Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Library Lions Read Across America

Library Lions Roars for Read Across America!

Special Spotlight on Mary Harris of Parkplace Books in Kirkland WA.

Mary Harris introducing me at my book launch party for The Dragons of Noor. Photo by Heidi Pettit.

Parkplace Books

Mary celebrated National Education Association's Read Across America again this year by putting together a fabulous RAA program in the Lake Washington School District.

~She contacted 21 School Librarians in the Lake Washington School District

~Gathered 15 excited authors

~And organized free author visits for each school

Mary and PPB co-owner, Rebecca Willow, also raced about delivering authors’ books to each school so the students could have thier books signed on the exciting day of the author's visit.

The RAA events spreading over two weeks celebrated our local authors, the school libraries, our independent bookstore PPB, and, of course, the importance of reading.

I was happy to participate and present my Words on the Wing assemblies at three schools meeting busy librarians and eager students and signing books for happy readers.

Mary's thoughts on the RAA events:
It has been so rewarding planning this event, the authors are terrific in their willingness to donate their time and the librarians are fabulous in their willingness to organize the visits. As a bookstore we are always looking for innovative ways to get books into the hands of kids. We do it to remind our public of how lucky we are as a community to have so many authors and illustrators in our area. Thank you, Janet, for all do for us here at PPB!

The feeling is mutual, Mary. We can’t thank you enough! We’re lucky to have PPB in our community.Let’s put our paws together for Mary Harris, Rebecca Willow, and the amazing Parkplace books!

First Lady, Michelle Obama led the RAA kickoff at the Library of Congress.

LL readers. How did you celebrate Read Across America?