PAWS TO READ 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 today’s guest, Lin Look!
I am the Youth Services Librarian at the Orinda Library, part of the Contra Costa County Library System in the Bay Area of California. I’ve been in that position since 2000, and helped move into the then-new building in 2001. I started the Toddler storytime program and the first continuing Paws to Read program in the county.
The Skinny: What do you love most about your work?
Helping people find the right information, whether it is a travel book to Malaysia, a picture book featuring trucks AND dinosaurs or when the next Dork Diaries is scheduled to come out.
A Mighty Roar! In your own words tell us why libraries are so important.
Print books will always be important to my generation; but I think libraries are discovering many other ways of connecting. I work in an affluent community where most people have a computer at home (not to mention several smartphones and an iPad), but we still have people at our public workstations every day. People also sit at our tables with their tablets and laptops. The library is a quiet space (for the most part), but also a community space. Our window seats are tremendously popular.
My Paws to Read program, started with Ginger Wadsworth, combines my favorite things: reading and pets. In it, kids practice their reading with therapy dogs that have passed certification programs, proving there are both temperamentally stable and extremely people-friendly.
Because the dogs just enjoy being with the children and don’t care if they are reading at grade level, it can be less stressful for the kids than reading out loud in class or in front of their parents. Many of the kids don’t have trouble reading but just enjoy hanging out with the dogs.
Some can’t have dogs at home, some are allergic but Paws gives them indulge in furry love. My dream would be to have a Paws to Read cat.
But therapy cats are harder to find than therapy dogs.
“I love to check out Batman books at the library”
“I like to read by the window” (we have window seats, and a toddler area with steps and big windows)
Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet.