Posted in Ask the Librarian

Ask the librarian: Barbara Flynn

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Name of library: Norwin Public Library www.norwinpubliclibrary.org

What kind of librarian are you? CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN

How long have you been a librarian? 14 years

What lead you to wanting to be a librarian? I’ve ALWAYS been a reader. Books, magazines, cereal boxes! I took a part time job at the local library (which is also the library in the town where I grew up!) when my youngest son started school. Soon thereafter, the library was moving to a new building and location (so exciting!!!) and the Children’s Librarian decided to retire. At that time, I was doing one story-time a week. They asked me to fill in, so ..here I am. I decided after a brief time to finish my college degree and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Studies. This job is totally ME–I can be silly and I get to talk to kids and families and learn about books. Reading has always been a huge part of my life and now, it’s my work, too.

How do you pick books for your library? I read reviews. I ask kids about new series, my own kids are grown so sometimes I need to hear from kids what they have heard about or want to read! I check out Barnes & Noble and Amazon for upcoming titles to be released. I see them in bookstores. I also need to know what my collection is lacking. Just last week, a girl asked me for a book on Eskimos. I told her she taught me something. She taught me I DIDN’T HAVE ONE. EEK! So, I just bought 2 books about Eskimos.

Do you have a favorite author? Kids author? I love the wacky thoughts of Amy Krouse Rosenthal. (And I’ve actually been able to have a TINY part in some of her work!) I also enjoy Margaret Petersen Haddix. The Shadow Children series was amazing.

How do you decide what book to recommend to a specific kid? I ask them to tell me something that they have read that they LIKED and something they DID NOT like. I take into consideration how old they are. Sometimes the kids are shy so Mom gives me clues, like she really likes adventure stories or he plays basketball. That helps a lot. I have favorite books that I always try to share.

Can I tell you some of my favorites? I adored THE SHADOW CHILDREN series by Haddix and the INKHEART trilogy by Funke. (Maybe I liked INKHEART a wee bit better than Harry Potter, even!) For picture books, I adore LITTLE PEA by Rosenthal and ARE YOU A HORSE? by Rash. I bet I have read each of them a few hundred times. Picture books are my favorite. Then fiction. Then non-fiction.

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