Welcome to Library Lions interviews. We Raise a Roar for Libraries and the outstanding Youth Librarians in Schools and Public Libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest, Angela Morris!
Angela is Children’s Services Manager North Central Regional Library system. The headquarters are in Wenatchee WA, but the system has 28 branches in five counties.
Tell us about yourself
I was recently the project lead for a grant awarded by the Foundation for Early Learning to do early literacy education to underserved families. We hosted a literacy fair where we presented parent education, offered literacy activities and gave away free books to children that attend the local Head Start preschool.
I plan and execute our very successful Teen Read program every fall where popular authors do school visits and public events - we reach thousands of teens with this program. Last year we had Gordon Korman, this year Avi is coming!
I love my job because every day is different and I get to do a huge variety of tasks that promote the love of reading to kids and families in our library district. I love helping and supporting the branch librarians with youth services, working with community agencies on early literacy, doing book selection, planning and organizing programs and crafts for the summer reading program, interacting with authors, and a million other things.
Storytime lends itself to lots of potential for funny moments. I’ve done storytimes where a child asks an awkward question where you have to think quickly or there is one kid that seems to have a comment about everything (these are the smart, verbal ones, so you gotta love em!). I think one of my most embarrassing moments was when I mispronounced a word so badly that the word that came out was the name of a body part that we usually don’t discuss in polite company!
A Lion’s Pride of Programs I am especially proud of our early literacy curriculum we use in our storytimes that we call Links to Literacy. We model ways of reading to kids that emphasizes early literacy skills for the parents and at the same time the kids are having a great time singing, listening to stories and doing activities. Please check out this video to hear me describing Links to Literacy storytimes. http://www.ncrl.org/kids.htm
I also want people to know about our Online Summer Reading Program that we launched this summer. It has been extremely fun and successful with over 11,000 reading hours logged so far this summer (we have 2 more weeks to go). We still offer the in-library summer reading program, but the online version is accessible to kids who live in very rural areas and for older kids. Look for more good things on our Online Summer Reading Program next summer.
Library Lion Cubs
We have a wonderful volunteer who works in the children’s department at Wenatchee Public Library – her name is Sabrina and she is 11 almost 12 and is going into the 7th grade. She works twenty hours per week! Which is amazing. She helps organize book carts, looks for request books on the shelf, keeps things tidy and assists with programs for the younger kids. She loves to be at the library and is following in the footsteps of her older sister who has worked there as a page for several years.
She loves getting the first opportunity to check out new books, observing what books patrons choose and she can’t seem to stop herself from checking out way too many books. Of course she loves to read and her favorites are: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Little Women and the Mother-Daughter Bookclub series. When she grows up she wants to be a pastry chef and teacher. She loves school and has discovered that the more she reads for fun, the easier her schoolwork is (if only all kids learned this valuable lesson!).
Library Lioness on Wheels
Deborah McVay has been traveling all over our district doing bilingual programs. Her biblioburro is pictured with her below!
What’s hot this summer and why?
The sizzling hot books at North Central Regional Library this summer are:
~Pinkalicious series by Victoria Kann – because every little girl wants to look like a princess and have “attitude”.
~Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell because kids love a funny underdog – and it is sort of a girl’s version of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
~I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore – teenagers with superpowers? What’s not to like? The movie version likely pushed this book over the top for kids in this area.
The perfect author’s visit actually happened here a couple years ago when Lois Lowry came to do several programs around our library district. I spent several days driving her to her various venues, so I had the opportunity to really enjoy listening to her impressions of our area, observations on life and descriptions of what she plans to write in the future. Her programs were insightful, moving and just good storytelling. I never got tired of hearing her speak. One never knows what it will be like to interact with an author – you are hopeful that they will be pleasant and not too demanding, but Lois Lowry was professional, candid and a wonderful conversationalist. I feel lucky and honored to have had this time with her. And of course the kids and adults who heard her speak loved her too!
One Last Roar!
The summer reading program theme this year - “One World, Many Stories” was awesome. It gave endless opportunities for highlighting all of our great books on cultures, food, geography, animals of the world and on and on. Typically our branches give out inexpensive incentives for reading prizes and this summer to celebrate world cultures, many of them introduced a program in which their Friend’s group donated money to Heifer International for every hour that the kids read. This was a great way to increase awareness for how other kids in the world live. The "prayer flag craft" is an example of one of the crafts we did this summer that goes with the theme "One World, Many Stories".
Library Website www.ncrl.org
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NorthCentralRegionalLibrary Thank you, Angela for your terrific interview!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview slot.