Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Welcome to Library Lions special edition Hope Through Stories. Authors and Readers sending Hope to children and teens through books and donations to Ferguson Library.
 Joelle Charbonneau    

Bestselling author of TheTesting Trilogy Gave us permission to repost her Roar for Ferguson Library and the pivotal role it’s playing reaching out to children and teens in Ferguson MO. (original post here)  

Because at the darkest moment in every story there is hope….
Authors united in support of the students of Ferguson, MO

The terrible events in Ferguson, MO have rocked the community and the nation. The outrage, sense of betrayal and hopelessness are obvious in every photograph, interview and social media message.  I don’t know what will happen next, but I am certain it will linger long into the future. 
As a parent and a young adult author, I can’t help but think of the youngest members of the Ferguson community.  I worry that they will see the hopelessness and unrest around them and turn their back on the possibility of a better future.  I worry that they will believe they don’t matter.  I am terrified they will lose hope. They need to be reminded that they are important and that there is hope even in the darkest of times.

(Photo J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP/File )

Fellow authors – I ask you to join with me in sending hope to Ferguson through signed books. The Ferguson Library is doing amazing work to help the young people in their community.  An interview with director Scott Bonner gives a glimpse into their efforts.  We can help them do more.  We all know that sometimes it takes just the right story to make the difference. Let’s send them as many as we can so each child can find the one that speaks to them. 

Please let me know if you are sending books (talktojoelle@aol.com) so I can add you to the list of authors on this page. Let’s show the students of Ferguson that there is hope in each and every story. They still have their story to write.

c/o Scott Bonner
Ferguson Municipal Public Library
35 N. Florissant Road
Ferguson, MO 63135

DONATE DIRECTLY TO FERGUSON PUBLIC LIBRARY Click here to visit the library's webpage.  A DONATE button is located on the upper right hand corner if you would like to send money to help them in their efforts. 

Hope Through Stories Authors
Joelle Charbonneau – author of THE TESTING trilogy

Veronica Roth - author of the DIVERGENT trilogy

Charlaine Harris - author of the Sookie Sackhouse mysteries

Jay Asher - author of THIRTEEN REAONS WHY

Ellen Hopkins - author of RUMBLE

Alex London – author of PROXY

Stephanie Keuhn -author of CHARM and STRANGE

Tess Sharpe – author of FAR FROM YOU

Sarah Fine – author of GUARDS OF SHADOWLANDS trilogy

Elizabeth Wein - author of CODE NAME VERITY

Stephanie Diaz - author of EXTRACTION

Helene Dunbar - author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS

Debra Lynn Shelton – author of THE SECRET KEEPER

Linda Rodriguez – author of the SKEET BANNION Mysteries

Melissa Walker - author of ASHES TO ASHES

Ellen Booraem - author of TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD

Crissa-Jean Chappell - author of MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH

 Samantha Vamos - author of ALPHABET TRUCKS

Dahlia Adler - author of BEHIND THE SCENES

Kim Baccellia - author of CROSSED OUT


Todd Hasak-Lowy - author of 33 MINUTES

Miriam Busch - author of LION LION

Julia Karr - author of TRUTH

Catherine Ryan Hyde - author of PAY IT FORWARD

Patricia McCowan - author of HONEYCOMB

Shannon Lee Alexander - author of LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES

Anne Schober - author of HEART PRINTS

Lawrence Tabak - author of IN REAL LIFE

Livia Blackburne - author of MIDNIGHT THIEF

Amy Reed - author of DAMAGED

Nicole Maggi - author of WINTER FALLS

Elissa Sussman - author of STRAY

Diana Renn - author of LATITUDE ZERO

Melissa Kantor - author of MAYBE ONE DAY **

Robyn Schneider - author of THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING **

Jackie Morse Kessler - author of LOSS **

T M Geoglein - author of COLD FURY trilogy **

Megan Miranda - author of HYSTERIA **

Elaine Wolf - author of CAMP **

K.M. Walton - author of CRACKED **

** books with asterisks donated by an amazing literary publicist - Amy Del Rosso

Paul Anthony Shortt - author of THE MEMORY WARS trilogy

Martina A. Boone - author of COMPULSION

Jay Stringer - author of The EOIN MILLER trilogy

Annette Laing - author of The SNIPESVILLE CHRONICLES

Scott Bly - author of SMASHER

Kathryn Burak - author of EMILY'S DRESS

Lisa McMann - author of the UNWANTED series

Sharon Mentyka - author of B IN THE WORLD

Thomas Pluck – author of BLADE OF DISHONOR

Sean Beaudoin - author of WISE YOUNG FOOLS

Greg Pincus - author of THE 14 FIBS OF GREGORY K.

David P. Haight - author of ME AND MRS. JONES

Tanita S. David - author of A LA CARTE


Sue Whitmer - author of COLLECTING DREAMS

David Habben - illustrator of IT's NEVER TO LATE TO BE NICE

Kerry Paterson - author of IT'S NEVER TO LATE TO BE NICE

Susanna Stratford - author of MAMA YOGA

Greg Stolze - author of SINNER

Kate Bassett - author of WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS

Adam Bertocci - author of TWO GENTLEMEN OF LEBOWSKI

Kelli Russell Agodon - author of HOURGLASS MUSEUM

Carrie Jones - author of the NEED Series

Mary Ting - author of The CROSSROADS SAGA

Patt Blount - author of SOME BOYS

Jody Casella - author of THIN SPACE

Marissa Burt - author of STORYBOUND

Beth Fehlbaum - author of BIG FAT DISASTER

Rachel Caine - author of MORGANVILLE VAMPRIES

Alexandra Duncan - author of SALVAGE

Bethany Hegedus - author of GRANDFATHER GANDHI

Maurene Goo - author of SINCE YOU ASKED

Andrew Smith - author of THE MARBURY LENS **

Robin Benway - author of ALSO KNOWN AS **

Yelena Black - author of DANCE OF SHADOWS **

Katie Cotugno - author of HOW TO LOVE **

Sandra McLeod Humphrey - author of HOT ISSUES COOL CHOICES **

Roni O'Connell - author of FLOAT **

Ann Marie Frohoff - Author of FEVER PITCH **

Jacqueline West - author of THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE

Kate Walton - author of CRACKED AND EMPTY

Kim Baker - author of PICKLE

Joy N. Hensley - author of RITES OF PASSAGE

Sarah Noffke - author of the LUCIDITES series

Julie Murphy - author of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY

S. Chris Shirley - author of PLAYING BY THE BOOK

Erica Silverman - author of COWGIRL KATE

Sydney M. Cooper - author of THE FORSAKEN LANDS series

Mindy Hardwick - author of WEAVING MAGIC

David Patneaude - author of SOMEONE WAS WATCHING

Tim Shoemaker - author of CODE OF SILENCE series

Francesca Forrest - author of PEN PAL

Jeremy Zimmerman - author of KENSEI

Janet Lee Carey - author of DRAGONSWOOD

Katherine Pryor - author of SYLVIA'S SPINACH

Thank you, Joelle, for this special edition post! And thank you in advance to all the authors, librarians, and Library Lions readers for sending your goodwill and support to Ferguson Municipal Public Library giving Hope Through Stories.

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. The calendar for 2015 is currently wide open J

Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


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. Author and librarian aide, KayleenReusser is back to roar for her middle school library. Welcome Kayleen.  

The Skinny
Working as the library aide at Bluffton-Harrison Middle School in Bluffton, IN, has been my joy for the past five years.  I find it fulfilling to put kids together with good books so working in a library is a great fit for me.


Library Learning Curve
I had written several non-fiction children’s books when I began my career there. I had also worked in a college library at the Circulation Desk. Neither job qualified me to work in a middle school library. I had never purchased a book nor had I been the go-to person for research or done cataloging.
(Student reading from Kayleen's book)
Through the patience of students and staff I now can help students not only find books on every subject in our library, I have purchased hundreds of items that I then added to the library system through Follett’s easy
Destiny program.

What Kids like to Read
I’ve also found it a benefit to write children’s books while working with students. With the 450 students at my school I’ve learned that their favorite types of books are Guinness Books of World Records & Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I’ve also learned that kids like to read scary books.
I’ve never written a scary book but that is still on my bucket list!

Sharing with Students
Often teachers have asked me to talk to students about what it means to be an author. I tell them I can’t think of anything better for me than to write books. “Read to Succeed,” I tell them. “You must know how to read to see your dreams come true.”

Kayleen giving School Assembly
Kayleen's newest book about WWII with library book display
If I could offer librarians a piece of advice it is to personally read as many children’s books in your collection as possible. I read at least 50 books a year (often on Playaways while walking) to acquaint myself with genres, authors, titles. I don't always read award-winning titles or even new books. I like to read the older ones I remember from my childhood which I missed reading. This includes Nancy Drew and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They’re still popular in my library and have such appeal. Currently, I’m challenging students to read Newbery books and it’s been a success with dozens of students participating!
Helping a student find a book to read and get excited about is one of the
highlights of my days in the library. I try to write books that will
educate, challenge and interest students. What is your goal as a
Thank you, Kayleen Reusser for the Library 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. The calendar for 2015 is currently wide open J

Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot. 


Monday, November 3, 2014


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 for today’s guest, Dawn Rutherford!

Hi!  I’m Dawn Rutherford, the Teen Services Coordinator for Sno-Isle Libraries. 
We are an awesome library system just a bit North of Seattle with 22 locations spread over two counties.  I’ve been working here for seven years, and before that I worked at King County and also Chicago Public.  My job is to oversee all things teen at a system-wide level.  This includes our great teen website, events like Teen Read and Teen Tech Months, trainings for staff, spearheading proposals for shared programming kits and equipment, and generally supporting my Teen Contacts at each location to do the best they can for serving teens.  This year has been an exciting one.  We are currently working on a GenYZ project with the consultant OrangeBoy Inc. to craft better strategies and services for 13-29 year olds. And we just finalized our brand new Teen Service Purpose Statement which will not only focus and strengthen our services to teens (which we define as 12-18), but expands it to better serve tweens (9-12) and young adults (19-20).
Outside of the wonderful work I get to do for Sno-Isle, I’m also active in YALSA, and have worn many hats for them. 

Photo -YALSA fashion show

My favorites were co-planning an amazing Get Graphic @ Your Library graphic novel pre-conference (where I got to meet and introduce Neil Gaiman), chairing the first Great Graphic Novel for Teens committee, serving on the Margaret A. Edwards award committee that honored Francescia Lia Block, and now I’m chairing this year’s Odyssey Award committee.
The Skinny: What do you love most about your work?   
My stock answer used to be “working with the teens”, but the sad fact is that I’ve reached a point in my career where to best utilize my experience and abilities to serve teens, I don’t actually get to interact with them all that often.  I’m hoping to change this over the next year by implementing a brand new system of teen councils at our libraries, with representatives that will serve on a virtual council that works directly with me.  But even if I don’t get the face time with them much anymore, I love that I get to constantly work creatively to connect teens with libraries and all they have to offer…especially books.  I served on Spokane Public Library’s Young Adult Advisory Committee (YAAC) back in the 80s under the late great Christy Tyson, and I still cherish the connections I was able to make with library staff and other book loving teens.  Thank goodness for Facebook…not only do I still connect with some librarians and other YAAC members through that, but I’m now friends with former teens who were dear to me at previous jobs.  More than anything I love the connections I make with individuals: be it teens, library staff, authors, fellow YALSA members…and if we can share a good book, all the better!

A Mighty Librarian Roar!
Human civilization exists largely in information our species has created and shares together to make stories of how the world should be.  Storing this information externally (outside our brains) gives us tremendous room for growth and possibility, but it also sets up potential for loss and disconnection if that information is not accessible.  Libraries have grown beyond a physical place where information is stored, into a gateway to the world. Library staff don’t just help you find the right book, but help set you on the journey to the place you want to be, and the person you are aspiring to become.  And all of this happens because communities believe individual should have this sort of access and assistance, which to me is a very hopeful and beautiful thing.

Library Laughs
I was very fortunate early in my days at Sno-Isle to have made a connection Shannon Hale before she hit it big, and was asked by her publisher if I could host her and Libba Bray on their joint tour. 
Shannon Hale, Dawn and Libba Bray
[photo from flickr set: keepingfaith
I worked extra hard to plan a fun even that would be enjoyable for both the authors and the audience, because I love both of these author’s work and wanted to share my excitement with everyone.  When they showed up, it turned out all three of us were wearing practically the same outfit…black cardigans, dresses, and black boots.   We had so much fun…I still feel lucky to have gotten to know them before they both got huge :D

A Lion’s Pride of Programs
Hmmm.  Two of my favorite programs I’ve done are probably Book Buddies and last summer’s pilot of the Sno-Isle Super Summer Scavenganza. 
Book Buddies is a program where teens mentor struggling readers in 2nd-4th grade over the summer.  It is a wonderful intergenerational program and not only helps kids enjoy reading more and get comfortable doing it, but it is really great for the teens, too!    The Scavengana is a two month long online scavenger hunt where teams of teens were given missions each day of the summer, and competed against each other by making videos, writing book reviews, and other creative endeavors.
I really hope to do it again next year, but with some simplifications and tweaks to make it easier to run and participate in!  It was one of the most satisfying projects I’ve worked on in a long time.  We left everything up on the website, and here are some photo highlights of the teams entries.

Readers Roar: Let’s hear from the kids!

To me the best indicators of passion for our libraries are some of the entries for contests our teens have made for us.  My personal favorite is Emily B.’s submission from our 2012 art contest (http://www.sno-isle.org/teens/art-contest-winners/), a Harry Potter themed synchronized swim that two sisters made for our Scavenganza last summer, and this infomercial by another Scavenganza team, Dragon Army.  That our fans are willing to create such wonderful things for our library community is super exciting to me.
Art Contest Winner Emily B.
Andrew K. - Mill Creek: “One thing I really like about the Sno Isle teen section, on the website at least, is that it feels like you can contribute to it, i.e. the reviews, which you seem to be the main moderator for! I also enjoy that there are lists by subject matter added and edited once in awhile, and when I was first especially looking for new books before I started using GoodReads, those lists were extremely helpful! I still check back on them once in awhile if some are updated.”

Sophie K. - Arlington: "The founders of our nation believed in self-education-the idea that every single individual ought to learn by reading books and studying the thoughts and ideas of those who have come before them. Can you imagine our nation without libraries where you can accomplish this goal? I know of no better place than a library to explore ideas, rethink your philosophies, entertain different thoughts, and change your mind. Just one person can change the world-and just one library can change a person."

Teen Advisors 
Author! Author!       
For me, the perfect author visit is one where the readers are super jazzed and have all read the book and have tons of questions for the author.  And then the author responds to teens with total respect, humor, and grace.  Some of my favorites have included the one I mentioned with Shannon Hale and Libba Bray at the Mountlake Terrace library, when we had Scott Westerfeld at the Edmonds library, a Skype interview Adam Rex did with the teens of the Mukilteo Library, and great guest visits at two different Teen-Adult Book groups I’ve co-run with school libraries:  Ben Michaelson at Tillicum Middle School, and Kendare Blake at Brier-Terrace Middle school.

Let’s Link
Blog:  Snoisleteens http://snoisleteens.tumblr.com/

Library Website: sno-isle.org/teens/  http://www.sno-isle.org/teens/

Facebook:  snoisleteens https://www.facebook.com/snoisleteens

Twitter: @snoisleteens  https://twitter.com/snoisleteens
Pinterest: snoisleteens http://www.pinterest.com/snoisleteens/

Thanks again for the terrific interview, Dawn!

~  ~  ~

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. The calendar for 2015 is currently wide open J

Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014


 Library Lions Roars for BANNED BOOKSWEEK one of our favorite posts of the year!

Adult/Teen Librarian Danielle Dreger-Babbitt from Mill Creek Library WA is here with us this week. Welcome Danielle.

Tell us about Banned Books Week
Banned Book Week was started 32 years ago to celebrate the freedom to read after more and more books were being challenged in libraries and schools. According to the American Librarian Association, over 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982. Over 200 of them happened in 2013! You can learn more about Banned Book Week on the ALA website.

What do you do to spread the word about Banned Books Week and Intellectual Freedom Issues?
I do a banned book display each year.  My favorite displays are the ones I did in 2011 when library patrons wrote about their favorite banned books and the 2012 display that took up a whole shelving unit. I love being able to showcase these banned and challenged books.

Along with each year’s display, I include Banned Book lists and pamphlets as well as bookmarks and buttons for library customers to take home. We’ve had essay contests where readers write about their favorite challenged or banned books and win copies of banned books. When I visit the middle schools to talk about books in the fall I often bring along books that have been challenged from other parts of the country and have the students guess why they might be banned or challenged.


Readers Roar: (Let’s hear what teens have to say about banned books)

“If people read the books before they banned them, they might have a better understanding of why the book is important. If you ban a book, it only makes me want to read it more.”- Jessica, Grade 11

Any Banned Books you would like to highlight?
Some of my favorite banned and challenged books include Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Shine and TTYL by Lauren Myracle, and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  And my absolute favorite banned/ challenged book is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Most teens are amazed to hear that it has been taken out of some schools and libraries!

What can Library Lions blog readers do for Banned Books Week?
Readers can celebrate their freedom to read by reading one or two banned or challenged books during Banned Book Week. Bonus points for reading these all year long, not just in September and for sharing these titles with their friends and family.

Note from LL host, Janet Lee Carey: I’d like to also add that you can tweet about the banned books you’re reading. Use the hashtag #bannedbooksweek. And if you want to do a temporary profile pick change as I did below, go to this site Support Banned Books Week 

My twitter profile: Photo by Heidi Pettit. Poster added on the site link above.

The best way to support libraries is to use them! Check out books and DVDs and CDs, use the databases to find information, and attend as many library programs and events as your schedule allows. By doing these, you are showing us that you think libraries are important. There are many ways to give back to your library. Consider becoming a volunteer or join the library board or Friend’s Group.  Teens can join the library’s Teen Advisory Board and help make decisions about future library programs and purchases. You can also donate books to the library for the Friends of Library Book Sale. The money from these sales supports library programs and special events!

About our Guest Post librarian, Danielle Dreger-Babbitt
I’ve been a teen librarian for over 10 years and have worked in libraries in Massachusetts and Washington. I’ve been an Adult/ Teen Librarian at the Mill Creek Library for over 5 ½ years.

I’ve been active in ALA’s YALSA 
(Young Adult Library Services Association) for the last decade and have served on committees including Outreach to Teens With Special Needs, The Schneider Family Book Award, and most recently The Alex Awards, for which I was the 2014 committee chair.

In my spare time I write for children and teens. I love to read YA and MG fiction and cooking memoirs/ cookbooks. I own two cats and two badly behaved (but adorable) dogs. I also love to travel and recently visited Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

Let’s Link:
Sno-Isle Teen Blog

Thanks again for the terrific Banned Books post, Danielle!

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. The calendar for 2015 is currently wide open J

~Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot.