DAWN R. ROARS!
Welcome to Library Lions interviews Raising a Roar for libraries and the outstanding librarians serving youth in schools and public libraries across the U.S. Please Roar for today’s guest, Dawn Rutherford!
Outside of the wonderful work I get to do for Sno-Isle, I’m also active in YALSA, and have worn many hats for them.
Photo -YALSA fashion show
My favorites were co-planning an amazing Get Graphic @ Your Library graphic novel pre-conference (where I got to meet and introduce Neil Gaiman), chairing the first Great Graphic Novel for Teens committee, serving on the Margaret A. Edwards award committee that honored Francescia Lia Block, and now I’m chairing this year’s Odyssey Award committee.
My stock answer used to be “working with the teens”, but the sad fact is that I’ve reached a point in my career where to best utilize my experience and abilities to serve teens, I don’t actually get to interact with them all that often. I’m hoping to change this over the next year by implementing a brand new system of teen councils at our libraries, with representatives that will serve on a virtual council that works directly with me. But even if I don’t get the face time with them much anymore, I love that I get to constantly work creatively to connect teens with libraries and all they have to offer…especially books. I served on Spokane Public Library’s Young Adult Advisory Committee (YAAC) back in the 80s under the late great Christy Tyson, and I still cherish the connections I was able to make with library staff and other book loving teens. Thank goodness for Facebook…not only do I still connect with some librarians and other YAAC members through that, but I’m now friends with former teens who were dear to me at previous jobs. More than anything I love the connections I make with individuals: be it teens, library staff, authors, fellow YALSA members…and if we can share a good book, all the better!
Human civilization exists largely in information our species has created and shares together to make stories of how the world should be. Storing this information externally (outside our brains) gives us tremendous room for growth and possibility, but it also sets up potential for loss and disconnection if that information is not accessible. Libraries have grown beyond a physical place where information is stored, into a gateway to the world. Library staff don’t just help you find the right book, but help set you on the journey to the place you want to be, and the person you are aspiring to become. And all of this happens because communities believe individual should have this sort of access and assistance, which to me is a very hopeful and beautiful thing.
I was very fortunate early in my days at Sno-Isle to have made a connection Shannon Hale before she hit it big, and was asked by her publisher if I could host her and Libba Bray on their joint tour.
[photo from flickr set: keepingfaith]
Hmmm. Two of my favorite programs I’ve done are probably Book Buddies and last summer’s pilot of the Sno-Isle Super Summer Scavenganza.
Readers Roar: Let’s hear from the kids!
To me the best indicators of passion for our libraries are some of the entries for contests our teens have made for us. My personal favorite is Emily B.’s submission from our 2012 art contest (http://www.sno-isle.org/teens/art-contest-winners/), a Harry Potter themed synchronized swim that two sisters made for our Scavenganza last summer, and this infomercial by another Scavenganza team, Dragon Army. That our fans are willing to create such wonderful things for our library community is super exciting to me.
Andrew K. – Mill Creek: “One thing I really like about the Sno Isle teen section, on the website at least, is that it feels like you can contribute to it, i.e. the reviews, which you seem to be the main moderator for! I also enjoy that there are lists by subject matter added and edited once in awhile, and when I was first especially looking for new books before I started using GoodReads, those lists were extremely helpful! I still check back on them once in awhile if some are updated.”
Sophie K. – Arlington: “The founders of our nation believed in self-education-the idea that every single individual ought to learn by reading books and studying the thoughts and ideas of those who have come before them. Can you imagine our nation without libraries where you can accomplish this goal? I know of no better place than a library to explore ideas, rethink your philosophies, entertain different thoughts, and change your mind. Just one person can change the world-and just one library can change a person.”
For me, the perfect author visit is one where the readers are super jazzed and have all read the book and have tons of questions for the author. And then the author responds to teens with total respect, humor, and grace. Some of my favorites have included the one I mentioned with Shannon Hale and Libba Bray at the Mountlake Terrace library, when we had Scott Westerfeld at the Edmonds library, a Skype interview Adam Rex did with the teens of the Mukilteo Library, and great guest visits at two different Teen-Adult Book groups I’ve co-run with school libraries: Ben Michaelson at Tillicum Middle School, and Kendare Blake at Brier-Terrace Middle school.
Blog: Snoisleteens http://snoisleteens.tumblr.com/
Library Website: sno-isle.org/teens/ http://www.sno-isle.org/teens/
Facebook: snoisleteens https://www.facebook.com/snoisleteens
Twitter: @snoisleteens https://twitter.com/snoisleteens
Pinterest: snoisleteens http://www.pinterest.com/snoisleteens/
Thanks again for the terrific interview, Dawn!
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 on the Contact page on this website for an interview.