Ask the librarian: Mike Golczynski

  • 3 min read

Library: Ionia Community Library (

What kind of librarian are you? I am a Youth Services Librarian. I handle all kids matter from books to programming for all children babies through 12 years old.

How did you become a librarian? I honestly just sort of fell into it! I went to college and became a certified elementary school teacher. I couldn’t find a job. A friend of mine was working as a desk clerk at my library and encouraged me to apply for the job. I’ve always had a gift for reading aloud to children. I’ve always enjoyed talking to children and listening to the many stories they bring with them on a daily basis. I suppose this is the job I’ve always been meant to do. I love it!

How do you pick the books for your library? I pick books for the library based on current popular trends like diary style books, comics, easy readers, beloved franchises, etc…I also have to work within a small budget. We are a small library and I have to do the ordering for all the children’s books. Picture books, non-fiction, magazines, chapter fiction. You name it, I order it. I try to mix and match between easy reading, fun books and more complex fare that will challenge the exceptional readers.

Do you have a favorite author? When I was a kid, I would have told you that my favorite author was Louis Sachar because I read Sideways Stories from Wayside School too many times to count. Today, I’m a huge fan of Mac Barnett. His books like Sam and Dave Dig a Hole are both hilarious and thought-provoking. His collaboration with Jory John in The Terrible Two is my favorite new fiction from the past few years. I have never had a kid read that book and bring it back disappointed. It’s turned into quite the hot ticket around here!

How do you pick a book for a specific kid? I talk to them about what they like. I try and get them to throw the term “reading level” out the window and encourage them to read for fun. If they tell me the like dragons, we get fantasy. If they like to laugh, we pull Andy Griffith or Mac Barnett off the shelf. And so on. Each kid is different so I try to read from a very diverse array of genres.

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