Susan Polos

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How long have you been a librarian:

I have been a librarian for 21 years.
What kind of librarian are you?
I am a school librarian.
Why did you become a librarian?
I first thought I would be an English teacher, but I had the chance to work in libraries, and I realized that that was the work I wanted to do. I like the idea that there is something for everyone just waiting in the library.
What is one of your favorite thing about being a librarian?
My favorite thing about being a school librarian has been to know students for many years, from the time that some learned to read to the time they graduated from high school. I love facilitating book clubs in school and public libraries, too.
Book access is a big discussion right now. It can also be a challenge for librarians. As a librarian how do you get books to those who need them?
I think that it is more important to advocate for school librarians than to advocate for book access. I have seen book drives accumulate bushels of books that sit in buckets and boxes unread. It is more important to have librarians who cultivate readers and connect young people to books that will make them feel like readers. I think access to school librarians, not access to books, is the real game changer.
Many schools have libraries but no librarian. A library without a librarian is a room full of books without the professional who knows the books and the readers!!
What book have you read recently that impacted you?
I loved Front Desk by Kelly Yang and The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Was there a book that impacted you when you were my age (10)?
My favorite book when I was ten was The Children on the Top Floor by Noel Streatfield. I don’t know how much it impacted me, but I checked it out of the library over and over. I also loved The Boxcar Children.
Are there any new or lesser known authors/illustrators you think more people should know about?
I am serving on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards jury and I am reading lots of new authors, but I can’t talk about them now!
If you could portal into any book, which would it be?
Alice in Wonderland – because who doesn’t want to believe six impossible things before breakfast?!

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