Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Friday, August 31, 2012


Welcome to Library Lions interviews Raising a Roar for libraries and the outstanding librarians serving youth in schools and public libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest author Trudi Trueit here to share her Library Love with us.

Welcome Trudi. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been writing professionally since I was 13 years old (I guess I knew my destiny early on!). My first job was writing a teen column for my hometown newspaper in Kent, WA. After graduating from college with a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism, I worked as a TV news reporter and weather forecaster in Yakima, WA then Spokane, WA. I’ve published 87 fiction and nonfiction books, including the Julep O’Toole series (Penguin) My new tween novel, Stealing Popular (Aladdin) is debuting this month.
Secrets of a Lab Rat series (Aladdin). 
I also have five more titles in my nonfiction Backyard Safari series (Marshall Cavendish) being released in September, so it’s an exciting time!
I’ve been married for 27 years to my college sweetheart, Bill, a high school photography teacher. I love the 3 c’s: cats, chocolate, and cupcakes.

Picture of Trudi Trueit and blog host Janet Lee Carey at Borders book signing. 
Library Love When You Were A Cub:
When I was eight, my family moved from the city to the suburbs. New, shy, and awkward, I started ducking into the school library during recess. It was against the rules to do this, but Mrs. Peek, the librarian, let me do it anyway. She started sharing her favorite books with me and I devoured titles like Kidnapped, Little Women, Charlotte’s Web, Chronicles of Narnia, and anything by Judy Blume and Beverly Clearly. It was there, reading in the library at recess, I discovered everything that was missing from my life—mystery, adventure, compassion, laughter, friendship.

More Library Love: Tell us about your present day love for libraries and your experience from an author’s perspective.
It really pretty simple, I couldn’t do what I do without libraries. In my nonfiction work, I can require up to 200 sources per book, so I heavily rely on the wonderful resource librarians that go the extra mile to make sure I have what I need. A few years ago, I was doing research for a book about the Boston Tea Party. I learned that a shoemaker by the name of George Robert Twelve Hewes was one of the last surviving members of this historic event. In the 1830’s a book had been written about him and his memories of the Tea Party. Imagine my surprise when my local reference librarian found me an actual first-edition copy of the book! I remember trembling as I held it in my hands. I could feel the history steeped in each wispy, marvelous page. There I was, holding a book written in 1834 with direct quotes from a brave soul whose actions helped chart a new course for our nation. It was exhilarating!

Hooray for Librarians!
A big roar for the librarians of the Everett, WA School District, who are A-MAZ-ING. I’ve had the chance to speak at a number of schools within the district, and am always blown away by how dedicated these librarians are to their students.

Emerson Elm. Everett

Whittier Elm. Everett

Barbara Stolzenburg, the librarian at Jackson High School in Mill Creek is incredible.

She is always doing something to inspire students to read and write, such as bringing in authors to speak, hosting workshops, and holding contests and fairs. Her passion for her work is infectious!

A Lion’s Pride of Programs:

I love visiting libraries! It’s a joy to connect with readers, share my path to publication, and answer their questions. One of my favorite things to do is hold writing workshops, because that’s when we get to have fun writing together. I’ve done writing workshops for middle schoolers on various topics, like how to plot their own novels or write humorous stories. The level of creativity that kids bring to the workshops is fantastic. Honestly? I think they inspire me more than the other way around. At a workshop at the Marysville, WA public library, I surprised the kids by giving away an original signed sketch from Jim Paillot, who illustrates my Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Jim was so gracious to donate the sketch, and the lucky winner was thrilled.
Photos Marysville Writing Workshop
Author's Roar: Funding for libraries, especially school libraries, is currently under threat. As an author, what are your thoughts about that?

Cutbacks in library funding astound and trouble me. A library is the heart of any school or community. It is a forum for art, science, politics, music, religion, and free-thought. To sacrifice that is to jeopardize our future. How can we expect children to learn and thrive without giving them the resources they need? What kind of nation will we become if don’t properly prepare and educate the next generation? It’s up to all of us to support our libraries in whatever way we can. Voting for levies, getting involved in fund raising, and donating your time are some of the ways that we can help our communities understand the value of libraries. It’s just so critical to keep our libraries thriving.

Librarians are my heroes. I would not be a writer today if it weren’t for one librarian, who took the time to show a geeky, awkward girl in cat’s eye glasses that there was more to the world than what she saw. So never underestimate your importance or influence. Who knows? That child that you are handing a book to today, may be tomorrow’s next great thinker, politician, musician, artist, scientist, or even writer!

Thanks again for sharing your Library Love with us, Trudi!

Let’s Link Up Blog:  Trudi Trueit          

Website:  Trudi Trueit.com       

Facebook:   Facebook Trudi Trueit    

 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, August 18, 2012


Welcome to Library Lions interviews Raising a Roar for libraries and the outstanding librarians serving youth in schools and public libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest Author Deb Lund here to share her Library Love with us.

Deb Lund started writing for children when she was a school librarian. She’s the author of Monsters on Machines

and Harcourt’s celebrated dinobooks, which will soon become a dinothrillogy.

Deb has taught writing for over twenty years at conferences, workshops, libraries, and schools. She supports writers and teachers through creativity coaching, continuing education courses, and other resources. Visit Deb's Website         

Library Love When You Were A Cub
We didn’t have a public library in my small northern Minnesota hometown, but I remember being a first grader listening to my school librarian, Miss Jacobson, read Winnie the Pooh to us. I even know exactly where I sat on the floor. After all the picture books she had shared with us, I was so impressed that she trusted us to understand such a complex story. It was a lesson that served me well when I became a librarian myself. 

                                                   Photo Deb in First Grade

More Library Love

As a past school librarian, I absolutely love hanging out with my old colleagues at their conferences and meetings. And my local Sno-Isle library system and King County libraries have kept me busy with presentations. One of my favorite library visits included performing songs and stories with my husband Karl Olsen of The Brothers Four for the donors of the newly remodeled Coupeville Public Library. I recently got to talk about writing with kids in the library at Hillcrest Elementary in Oak Harbor, where I used to be the librarian. I support libraries whenever I can, and I appreciate all they do to help kids become lifelong readers and learners.

 Library Visit photos by Tom Chin

A Lion’s Pride of Programs
As a past librarian, performer, teacher, and arts-based school founding director, I’m passionate about education and helping others pursue their passions. My master’s degree project was based on teaching writing, and I love getting reluctant writers writing. My interactive visits focus on ways to get unstuck, to quiet the inner critic, and to find joy in creating.

My “Storymaking” presentation for primary grades uses stories, songs, “magic threes” story structure, and my secret story recipe to get kids thinking like writers.

To write stories, you get characters in trouble, so my “Be a Troublemaker!” presentation for older kids is designed to leave them inspired, unblocked, and eager to write. I also present at literacy events, Young Author conferences, and writing residencies.

Troublemaker Deb as Monster Mama from Monsters on Machines
Author’s Roar
Libraries are the great equalizer. When funding is short, you need to put your money where it can do the most good, where it reaches the most people, and where anyone can access it. Besides the obvious boost to literacy, access to information keeps our country great and supports individuals in their pursuits and passions. As a school librarian, I was privileged to work under a superintendent that understood the value of libraries and librarians, and when times got tough, a bigger share of the pie went to where everyone could use it—the libraries. That’s the kind of philosophy we need to apply today. Who else besides librarians is going to make sure our students can effectively access, evaluate, and apply information in this rapidly changing world?

Library Lion’s ONE LAST ROAR

I’m proud to be part of a group of authors who contribute to worthy causes through their online school author visits. Started by Suzanne Williams, a friend who is also a past school librarian, we use Skype and other programs to visit with classrooms who normally wouldn’t be able to meet authors in person. You can find us at OnlineAuthorVisits   

For more information and an invitation, please sign up for my email list on my blog Deb Lund ad lib or my Facebook page DebLundAuthor  

Thank you, Deb for sharing your Library Love with us!
Find Deb on Twitter  
And watch her fun book trailers here on YouTube

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. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Author Royce Buckingham Roars for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions blog. Today’s guest is author Royce Buckingham. He’s here today to Roar for Libraries!

Welcome Royce. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a grown boy who was born in Richland, Washington and raised downriver from the Hanford nuclear plant, which might explain my mutated view of the world. As a kid, I loved stories, such as The Phantom Tollbooth and The Hobbit. I collected comic books, watched Jaws at nine years old, Star Wars at eleven, and Alien at thirteen. I was even a Dungeons & Dragons nerd.

I obtained an English degree from Whitman College and a law degree from the University of Oregon, and then became a prosecuting attorney. My first novel, Demonkeeper, was inspired by my work in juvenile court—it is a monster story about lost children being eaten up by the chaos of street-life. I wrote for 13 years in my spare time before I hit a home run in 2005, selling Demonkeeper to both Putnam and 20th Century Fox within a month of each other.

Demonkeeper then hit the bestseller list in Germany. I have multiple monstery novels in multiple countries now and continue to write in my dwindling spare time.

I happen to live in Bellingham, WA with my wife, whom I met in the courtroom where she was covering one of my criminal cases as a reporter. We have two boys, neither of which have been eaten by demons, or goblins, or mutated trees…yet.

Library Love When You Were A Cub
In 1971, when I was a boy of probably five years or so, my mom used to take me to the library in Richland, WA, where we lived.  It was hot in Richland, one hundred and five degrees in the summer, and the library was an air conditioned haven away from the sizzling, cancer-causing sun (as we’d find out later after “tanning” for years).

At the library, the kids would wander for a bit, then this thing would happen—they’d begin to gather on carpeted steps in the back room like ducks around an empty park bench waiting for someone to arrive and toss crumbs.  Then a little lady would shuffle in—the library lady.  She was very old, maybe even forty!  She’d open a book and start reading.  We sat, we were silent, and we were transported.  She wasn’t even a lady, but some sort of elder god.  She read us stories.

More Library Love: What’s Your Experience from an Author’s Perspective?

I go to libraries as an author now, and when I walk into the room, kids are gathered.  They sit.  I start to read—my stories—and they go silent.  Soon we are all somewhere else—a cave, a castle, the stomach of a large monster.  For a few minutes I feel like I am five or eight or, usually, twelve.  But when I’m done, I’m not.  I’m forty-some.  It’s okay, though.  Any forty-some year-old will tell you that just to remember what it feels like to be five or eight or twelve for a few minutes makes it all worth it.

A Lion’s Pride of Programs

I love to visit schools. The visits are almost always set up by the school librarian, which is great, because they know what they’re doing!

Typically, the librarian will feature the Demonkeeper series or The Dead Boys in the library leading up to the visit.

They will often make posters, and many times they will get the teachers to read one of my books to the classes. The preparation makes for riotous visits. The kids are stoked. Books are read and sold and signed, and most of the kids scurry off to write their own stories. Victory! I usually leave a school with 100 new fans and lots of good karma.

Author’s Roar:

Libraries are evolving. It is important that we fund them properly so that they can. If funds are cut because people don’t see the value, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e. the value of them will decline). I see librarians do more with less all of the time, but that doesn’t mean they need less. It means they could also do more with more. These institutions are the hallmark of an educated society. I cannot imagine a world in which Target or Walmart employees help us pick out our reading material.

Funding any sort of education should be a priority. This is an investment in the future of our society. The tradition of having a public place for citizens of any economic state to seek information and learn is one of the proudest in our culture. I can’t see any wisdom in letting that erode. Libraries are most important in schools, which are the natural habitat for a place of learning and information. It’s such a clear issue to me that I have trouble making an argument for it…libraries simply must exist.

On the show Meet The Author April 22, 2010.

Hooray for ALA! 
I have been to ALA in Seattle, and I was overwhelmed. Wow! I met a librarian there who had me come to Napa, CA every other year until she retired.  My first book, Demonkeeper, was featured at the Putnam booth, and I signed copies. I also met Laini Taylor and Jim DiBartolo there—they’d just published their first book too. Great memories, friendships, work, and other good things came straight out of it.

Let’s Link Up

Twitter: @roycebuckingham
Facebook: Royce Buckingham - Author

Thanks again for sharing your Library Love with us Royce!