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. Author and librarian aide, KayleenReusser is back to roar for her middle school library. Welcome Kayleen.
Working as the library aide at Bluffton-Harrison Middle School in Bluffton, IN, has been my joy for the past five years. I find it fulfilling to put kids together with good books so working in a library is a great fit for me.
Library Learning Curve
I had written several non-fiction children’s books when I began my career there. I had also worked in a college library at the Circulation Desk. Neither job qualified me to work in a middle school library. I had never purchased a book nor had I been the go-to person for research or done cataloging.
(Student reading from Kayleen’s book)
Through the patience of students and staff I now can help students not only find books on every subject in our library, I have purchased hundreds of items that I then added to the library system through Follett’s easy
What Kids like to Read
I’ve also found it a benefit to write children’s books while working with students. With the 450 students at my school I’ve learned that their favorite types of books are Guinness Books of World Records & Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I’ve also learned that kids like to read scary books.
I’ve never written a scary book but that is still on my bucket list!
Sharing with Students
Often teachers have asked me to talk to students about what it means to be an author. I tell them I can’t think of anything better for me than to write books. “Read to Succeed,” I tell them. “You must know how to read to see your dreams come true.”
Kayleen giving School Assembly
Kayleen’s newest book about WWII with library book display
If I could offer librarians a piece of advice it is to personally read as many children’s books in your collection as possible. I read at least 50 books a year (often on Playaways while walking) to acquaint myself with genres, authors, titles. I don’t always read award-winning titles or even new books. I like to read the older ones I remember from my childhood which I missed reading. This includes Nancy Drew and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They’re still popular in my library and have such appeal. Currently, I’m challenging students to read Newbery books and it’s been a success with dozens of students participating!
Helping a student find a book to read and get excited about is one of the
highlights of my days in the library. I try to write books that will
educate, challenge and interest students. What is your goal as a
Thank you, Kayleen Reusser for the Library Roar!
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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.
Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet.