Clare Meeker Library Love
Welcome to Library Lions Roar interviews. We’re excited to have Author Clare Hodgson Meeker here in time for Valentines to share her Library Love with us along with her newest book out this month with National Geographic Kids.
Welcome Clare. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up near Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. We had a beautiful little library in town that dated back to Colonial times. I would curl up in the window seat and read about faraway places like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins. Living in the woods (we lived 8 miles from town) next to a huge marsh, we were lucky to have foxes, box turtles, and great herons as next door neighbors. My 11 books and over 28 magazine articles for children reflect my love of travel and for the natural world – from my first book, A Tale of Two Ricebirds, A Thai Folktale to my latest book, Rhino Rescue!
I am also passionate about music, creativity, and sharing my love of writing with kids in schools and libraries whenever I can.
Funding for libraries, especially school libraries, is currently under threat. As an author, what are your thoughts about that?
Libraries are my go-to resources for everything from historical research to learning and managing new technology. Librarians are fearless and determined in pursuit of information. Whether it is a book from a library in another state or sifting through Library of Congress materials, they are great at finding the needle in a haystack. In this age of information overload, their expertise is invaluable.
A Lion’s Pride of Programs
Tell us about your library and/or school visits.
I’ve done many writing and creative activity programs around my books for kids at libraries throughout the Northwest.
Some of these programs include: Rachel Carson and the Return of the Bald Eagle, based on I Could Not Keep Silent: The Life of Rachel Carson; Think Like an Elephant, based on Hansa, The True Story of an Asian Elephant Baby;
And 10 Tips on Teamwork and Making soccer balls out of plastic bags and nylon string, based on Soccer Dreams: Playing the Seattle Sounders FC Way.
(Clare’s soccer ball presentation)
I’ve also taught writing in the schools, most recently at Whittier Elementary in Seattle as part of Seattle Arts and Lectures’ WITS program. School programs include a book-making activity for young readers based on my picture book Who Wakes Rooster?; and learning about sea otters, based on my award-winning book, Lootas Little Wave Eater, An Orphaned Sea Otter’s Story.
Library Love When You Were a Cub
My dog Babe once saved my life! I was a sleepwalker as a child. One night while my parents were having friends over for dinner, I walked out the front door and down our driveway without them noticing. Luckily, Babe followed me. When I got to the end of the driveway, my sweet dog stood in front of me and barked until my parents came out and got me. Babe was a hero to her breed that night – a true Labrador Retriever!
Janet: Wow that’s an amazing story, Clare!
We’re Roaring for your new book here at LLR. Can you tell us about it?
Rhino Rescue! And More True Stories of Saving Animals, published by National Geographic Kids, involved researching three different endangered animals – the Hawaiian Monk Seal, Amur tigers, and South African Rhinos – and interviewing experts in each species from around the world. My local King County Library System had a fantastic catalogue of resources to help me find these experts and complete my research and book draft on deadline in a record two months!
Hooray for ALA!
I have done several presentations over the years at the Washington Library Media Association Conference (WLMA), now WLA. I would like to give a shout-out to Craig Seasholes, a former President of WLMA and a school librarian activist who cares so much about kids and authors and libraries!
In his own words, “No matter whether working in schools, communities or through telecommunication, conversations with librarians never fail to inspire me.” I couldn’t agree more!
Library Lion’s Roar: ONE LAST BIG ROAR
I am looking forward to serving as a table author at the University of Washington Libraries’ 2016 Literary Voices fundraising event this coming spring.
Thank you Clare for sharing your Library Love with us!
Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Email Janet via the Contact page on this website to set up an interview.
Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet.