For a couple of months in fall I had the opportunity to volunteer at the public library in my town. For a while I helped out their technical services librarian and also Danielle Friend, their children’s librarian. It was an awesome experience as I got to help decorate for Halloween and see how the children’s department worked. Please welcome Danielle for agreeing to meet and answering these questions. Also pictures are courtesy of Robert J. Kleberg Library and their awesome Facebook page. Check it out!
BR:Why did you decide to become a librarian?
I love to read for myself and love reading to others.Reading is an important opportunity to expand your life.
BR:What’s your favorite part of being a librarian? Your least favorite?
My favorite part is introducing children to a new author. I love when they come back in the next time and are excited to find more books to read. My least favorite part is dealing with the restrictions on reading materials that some people place on children
BR:What library programs have you particularly enjoyed?
I love having special pajama story times when the children come dressed in their pajamas and we read bedtime stories.
BR: If someone was trying to cut library funding, what argument would you give them to keep it?
Without the funding for libraries, we limit children’s ability to learn to read. Without an ability to read, we limit their growth and ability to serve the world to their full potential.
BR:What do you find children are looking for in books these days?
Children are looking for an escape. The world is a scary place for children right now and they want something to take their minds off of the issues in the news.
BR:What’s something you think libraries will be doing in 20 years?
I see libraries going to more electronic information. But, I would hope that we never lose the love of traditional books.
BR:What do you think of the Accelerated Reading Program for Children?
*For those of you who don’t know the Accelerated Reading Program is a monitoring assessment in wide use by primary and secondary schools for monitoring the practice of reading.There are three steps to using Accelerated Reader. First, students choose and read a fiction or non-fiction book, textbook, or magazine. Teachers monitor reading. Second, students take a quiz. Third, the teacher receives information that is intended to assist, target instruction.-Renaissance Learning *
I am against it. I think it limits children in what they can read and discourages them. Children tend to want to read a variety of things. If we are telling them that they cannot read a book because of a “level” or “AR Point,” then we fail the child. I have seen children come into the library excited to look for a book, only to be told by a teacher or parent that the book is not the right AR level for that child and take the book away. My feeling is that children should be allowed to try to read whatever level of book that they want to. They may not finish the book; but at least they tried. My own child tried to quit reading entirely when forced to read only at his level.
BR:What has been the weirdest thing ever asked?
A parent asked me if I had any good books without words.
BR:How do you feel about e-readers?
I would love to own one. I like the idea of carrying several books with me in one place.
BR:What kind of qualities do you need to excel at a job in the library?
Good people skills and a love of reading. You must be willing to read many types of books in order to recommend books to patrons.
BR:List three favorite books: Jane Eyre, Twilight and Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian series.
BR:What is something that not a lot of people know about the library or programs that you wish more people could know?
I want to do more for teens and need their input to do it. I want to start a teen advisory board at the library.
BR: If someone forced you to sing a song at karaoke, what would you sing?
Thanks Danielle (with the awesome last name…) for letting me bug you a bit and letting us see how fun it is to be a children’s librarian. According to their Facebook page, “Interwoven with the Woman’s Club, the public library was established on February 23, 1909, where 28 books, one dictionary, and $55.00 in cash were donated. Since that time, the public library has grown to house a collection of over 65,000 items…” Neat, huh? I bet your library has an awesome back story too.Try to visit your local library and let them know you appreciate their staff.