Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Happy Valentine's Month. This week we’re celebrating Library Love with celebratory quotes from previous posts with authors, librarians, and kids across the U.S.!

"I love connecting readers to books, but my favorite thing is connecting readers and authors. I have a very supportive Friends group which has provided the means to author visits in the schools. One middle school girl was so excited to meet an author. She told me she didn't think she would ever meet a 'real live author.'"

Darcy Brixey Teen Librarian at Bellevue Library, Bellevue WA

"I Love Libraries! In case you can't tell by looking at me, I think libraries are awesome. When I was a kid, I used to play library. Um, I still do . . ."

Author Lisa Yee

"I have the best job in the entire world. I love talking about children’s literature and helping a child find the perfect book. I could discuss children’s books twenty-four hours a day. The best part of my job is when a reader visits the library to tell me about what they read the night before or to share a cool website. I am very lucky."

John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) teacher-librarian at Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, Illinois.

"I love connecting with people, and connecting people with books."

Chris Davis Youth Services Librarian at Sacramento Public Library,

"I feel delighted to work with teens who are creative, funny, smart and far more together then I was as a teen. I believe that libraries are the last public space and I think librarians should all be challenging outmoded ideas of what types of programs we should have in libraries. We have an All Ages Arts Night

that showcases teen performers, dance, hip hop, spoken word."

Jennifer Bisson Teen Librarian Seattle Public Library.

"When I was a kid, I was the new girl in school nearly every year. This was in a time when folks didn’t move around a lot so that made me a real oddball. There were some pretty rough first weeks of school – lots of teasing and excluding. I quickly learned that no matter where I went, I would find a friend – between the covers of a book, in the school library. I would not have grown into the person I am without the salvation of those libraries."

Author, Kirby Larson

"I work in the best children’s room in New York City.I really love getting my books into the hands of readers. So much so that I’ll spend hours making sure that we have the maximum amount of books on our shelves, just in case there’s a reader about with a penchant for the additional works of Kenneth Grahame and such."

Elizabeth Bird Children's Librarian NYPL

"I love the creativity involved in being a teen librarian. Realizing that even though I don’t call myself crafty, I do a lot of crafty and creative activities with my teens. I love how my job is different every day. I think my biggest love is the collection development part of my job. Buying all the books and media for teens."

Kristin Fletcher-Spear Teen Librarian Foothills Branch Library in Glendale, Arizona.

"My absolute favorite part of my job is connecting readers with books. A lot of times, here in New Britain, the teens are not really enthusiastic about reading. If you can just connect a teen with one book, one, that really peaks their interest, then they will come back and ask for more. Having a teen say “Miss, you pick out the best books” brightens my day like nothing else! I love to go to the schools and book talk, because a lot of the teens in New Britain don’t have transportation to get to the library, so I have to come to them. It’s another way to reach them and to say, 'Yes, reading can be totally awesome.'”

Jessica Miller Teen Librarian New Britain Public Library, New Britain, CT.

Love from the Cubs!

“Walking in the library is like walking in the mall; you can look at stuff and not walk out with anything.” Alex, 7th

“Reading is a doctor because it helps.” Riley, 6th

“The library is like my room where I feel safe inside.” Daphne, 6th

“I like the library because it has books for everyone. Even when I’m in middle school I can find something to read here.” G, 3rd grade

“I like that you can find something to read at any time in the library. The librarians can always give you a recommendation!” C, grade 12.

“My favorite thing about the library is the Best of Books display. It shows kids and teachers reading their favorite books. Each person tells about the favorite book..I use it to find new books. - Syed, Grade 5

More Roars!

"When I was a child, I spent far too much time searching the woodlands for a secret door to the magical Otherworld. I collected many beautiful stones, which my mother called “clutter” and I called “magic”. During these years of searching, I did discover one small reliable door into a vast enchanted country I could open any time she liked: it was the cover of a book. My school librarian knew me and knew the books I liked, she set me on the path of story exploration, a path I’ve followed as a reader and a writer ever since.

"In the past few years I’ve begun to worry about the ongoing health of our public libraries. And I’ve been stunned to see how fast libraries are vanishing from our public schools. I created Library Lions blog to roar about the importance of libraries, applaud librarians working with youth, and to showcase the amazing library programs across the U.S. Here at Library Lions we celebrate Library Love all year round. Special thanks to all the librarians and authors who have taken the time to interview with us."

Janet Lee Carey Author, Creator Library Lions Blog

"I like to involve kids in decisions about our school library. I have a suggestion box for kids to recommend good books they’ve read that aren’t in the Library. I buy as many of the suggestions as I can and the kids love it. They’re listened to. They’re part of the Library."

Carol Matheson Teacher Librarian at Redmond Elementary in Redmond WA

"Libraries provide open access to information and entertainment to people regardless of age, gender, educational background, economic status, etc. In our consumer-based society, there are few places outside of libraries where anyone can go to learn, grow and connect for free. I love that my personal values of sharing resources (borrowing instead of buying and making information publicly available), promoting life-long learning, and preserving public spaces- mesh with the values of my profession."

Jessica Gomes Teen Librarian Issaquah Library, Issaquah, WA

"Each day is different and varied in the library, and it keeps all of us on our toes!"

Stacy Dillon Lower School Librarian at Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York City

"I love how YA books have become so popular. I like seeing adults and teens come into the department and exit with an armload of books. I love chatting with teens about books and giving them some to read. It’s especially great if they don’t really like reading, but need a book for school and then they come back for more just like that one!"

Jennifer Rummel Teen Librarian Otis Library,Norwich, CT

"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."

Seated on panel, Ken Gollersrud Youth Librarian High Point Branch of The Seattle Public Library

"I LOVE my job and feel very fortunate to find something that is such a perfect fit for my personality, my skills, and my life’s goals."

Susan K. S. Grigsby Librarian Elkins Pointe Middle School; Roswell, Georgia

"I have the best job in the world with the best kids in the world. I love that I am able to see each student in the school every week. We learn together. They teach me as much as I teach them….maybe I learn more than they do. I love that I am able to learn new ways to access information along with the students and we can share our favorite books. I am the librarian at Einstein Elementary School in Redmond, Washington. We are the Einstein Otters and we will change the world!"

Anne Sandbo Librarian Einstein Elementary School, WA

"Every day I look forward to serving in the Middle School library because each day is unique! As I work with young teens, my goal is to increase their knowledge of being effective users of information. I love connecting to the students and staff, promoting literature, teaching how to be ethical with technology and serving the families I work with on a daily basis."

Teresa Young Middle School Librarian

"As a YA author and proud owner of a well-worn library card, I want to give back to all the librarians whose book recommendations have fed my imagination over the years and helped me grow as a writer. I know it’s hard being a librarian in a rough economy. You’re strapped for time and cash, but still want to create fun programs to keep your kids and teens reading week after week. Not because they have to, but because they want to."

Kay Cassidy Author and Creator of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest,

More Love from the Cubs!

“Our library has the best books. There are always new books for me to look at.” -Jasmine, Grade 3

“I love when we Skype with authors and illustrators.” Gabrielle, Grade 3
“Thank you so much for starting up book club again. Books are so important, and I think in this day and age we are losing them.” – Michelle, Grade 9

“I can’t believe you have this! This is so awesome! OMG it is SO COOL! Listen to the song I just made.”— Samantha, Grade 9, said while using Garageband in the Digital Discovery Zone.

“You give me the BEST books” Alexis

“That was really fun! Can I make another one?” John at the I-pod Brownie program

“A book is like a roller coaster ride, you read it and want to read it again.” Audryanna, 6th

“The library is like Wonderland where we are Alice with a new discovery around each corner.” Kali, 8th

“The library is a thrift store; everything is used.” Tori, 6th

“The library is like a recycling center; you read, return and repeat.” Rose, 7th

“The library is a friend because when I am down, I can always turn to it.” Sarah, 7th


"Support your local public library! We love our volunteers and appreciate every penny that’s donated, but most of our essential functions can only be funded by the city or county government’s budget. When times get tough (as they are right now), tough decisions have to be made about those budgets. It’s crucial that city and county governments know that public libraries are a vital service to their communities. Libraries are more needed than ever. Our buildings are bursting with job-seekers, recent immigrants, and students of all ages who need help with their homework. They may be the only places where children hear stories read to them, elderly people figure out how to use a computer mouse, or someone who’s having a bad day sees a smile. And our local governments need to know all this so they don’t put us in the same pile as the parks and the art projects that are awesome but tend to lose their funding more rapidly than the police and fire departments."

Lesley James Librarian Douglass-Truth Branch of the Seattle Public Library

Thanks to everyone for your year round Library Love. Library Lions Roar!

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.


  1. Of all the cool author things that haven't quite settled in on me yet, the coolest is still the feeling I get walking into my local library and knowing my book is on those shelves. There's something about that - about my words being on those hallowed shelves, but also on the recommending lips of the librarian, that make me go, "yeah, now I've made it."

    Library love from here.

    Gae Polisner, NY
    The Pull of Gravity

  2. I so agree Gae! Thanks for sending your Library Love.