Clare is an award-winning Northwest children’s book author with 10 published books and over 20 magazine stories, including the Smithsonian Notable Book Lootas Little Wave Eater (Sasquatch Books) which was selected by the Washington State Library for their Summer “Washington Reads” program.
Olive and Max’s Big Backyard magazine series for The National Wildlife Federation’s “Your Big Backyard” which was a finalist for the Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement award in 2008. Hansa:The True Story of an Asian Elephant Baby, and many more.
Clare teaches writing workshops in elementary and middle schools throughout the northwest and to adults at Richard Hugo House, a writers cooperative in Seattle, Washington. She also speaks at conferences, most recently at the Washington Library and Media Conference and the Washington Organization for Reading Development Conferences in Spokane, Washington in Fall, 2011.
Library Love When You Were A Cub
The library in my hometown of Cold Spring Harbor, New York was a colonial house next to a park that overlooked Long Island Sound. I remember curling up in a window seat in the reading room with The Secret Garden by, Frances Hodgson Burnett and pretending that I was looking out over the Yorkshire moors like Mary, the main character in the book.
Libraries are an important gathering place for people of all ages and economic levels. They foster community, provide an invaluable resource for doing research, and present an atmosphere that makes reading and writing accessible to everyone.
A Roar For Librarians!
I have two special librarians I would like to give a shout out to: Margaret McDonald, the Children's librarian at the Mercer Island Library and Jennifer Fenton, formerly with the Sno-Isle Library System and now a CE trainer and webinar specialist with the Washington State Library. Both women who are at opposite ends of the age spectrum have shown equal devotion to their jobs and reached out in creative ways to introduce library resources and authors like myself to diverse communities - from home schoolers in King County to Native American communities east of the mountains.
A Lion’s Pride of ProgramsThere is no better way for children to see what goes into writing a book than writing one yourself. One of my favorite library visits with them involves making a buddy poem book.
Sitting in pairs at activity tables, children interview each other to find a common interest to use as a refrain for their poem and take turns writing every other line in each of 3 stanzas.
Then they copy their poems into small books they made out of 8 1/2” X 14” paper and decorated with colorful origami paper covers. When it came time to performing their poems together at a recent Mercer Island library workshop, there was a buzz of excitement and pride in the room as each pair took turns sharing their work.
Author’s Roar: Funding for libraries, especially school libraries, is currently under threat. As an author, what are your thoughts about that?I understand the attraction of the Internet as a convenient research tool and a place to share ideas and opinions. But I can’t imagine a world without libraries - a place where you can hold a book in your hand, smell the paper and leather binding, and be guided to new worlds and new ideas by an insightful librarian. School libraries are critical because they are often the first and sometimes the only place where a child is introduced to the power of books and reading.
Thank you for sharing your Library Love with us, Clare!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview slot.