Tuesday, February 17, 2009

COMMUNITY / Public Library * Interview


A librarian's love of books is sincere, they are not involved with bookstore sales and numbers. Librarians just love books, books we might never hear about. They believe we will love these books too.

Libraries promote free choice about what to read and are for everyone, rich and poor. I did not own many books growing up in the Bronx and borrowed books from the Classon Point Branch.

After visiting many libraries to give programs in neighborhoods of all five boroughs, I clearly see that the library is vital to children, especially those with two working parents, or economically stretched parents. It is vital to all kinds of people. The library is a haven of knowledge, a gateway to building self-esteem; they create exposure to what the world is about and bring communities together for a higher purpose: learning.

Two librarians from the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch Youth Wing, David Mowery and Deloris McCullough, talked about what was needed on their bookshelf. I listened. That discussion gave me the idea for my book, MERMAIDS ON PARADE. Here is more of what they have to say:

Q: Why is the library an important part of a community?
  
A: People rely on the public libraries for the vast array of programs and services for all ages and the increased use of libraries in this economic downturn.  Libraries themselves are suffering because of our changing economy, but our institutions have grown and prospered throughout harder times in history, primarily due to the support of their patronage. 
  
Q: Why does the library invite picture book authors and illustrators to give programs?

A: To promote literacy and foster a love of reading and books. 
  
Q: What is the impact on young readers when they meet the authors and
illustrators?

A: For many young readers, these encounters bring books to life in a unique setting with the added bonus of having their gift copy of the book signed by the author or illustrator.  
  
Q: How do you know what subject matter is missing on the bookshelves?

A: Through our Collection Development practices and policies, librarians, and customer requests from materials lacking in the collection. 
  
Thank you so much, David and Deloris.


Image L to R : During the MERMAIDS ON PARADE book launch-art exhibition at Superfine, BPL's David Mowery is having fun with Tim Travaglini, my editor at Putnam, and NYPL's Betsy Bird.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see a budding interviewer in the making

poemhome said...

great post!

Andrea V. said...

A lovely tribute to libraries and librarians. Thank you, Melanie!