Have you ever wondered what it would be like to turn a passion into a full time job? Well, that's what librarians have done. They've turned their love of reading into a career. Imagine getting first crack at all the new releases while the rest of us have to put our names on the reserve list. And if someone's annoying you, you get to tell them emphatically to Shush. Sweet!
We decided to talk to some of our favorite librarians. We get them to dish on what a great job they have and maybe even get them to share a few secrets. Shhh!!! Don't tell!
First up, Dr. Leigh Ann Jones
Coordinator of Library Services, Frisco ISD, Frisco, TX
Obsession: book covers (subject of her dissertation)
Loves: libraries, family time, YA books
What turned you into a reader?
My mom claims I'm a reader because she liked to sleep late. When I'd wake up really early as a toddler, she'd change my diaper, give me a bottle, a banana, and a Life magazine. She swears the Life magazine was worth another hour's sleep for her.
Tell us about your most disastrous author visit. (No names please.)
We host several authors a year and thankfully the great majority are warm, gracious, and interesting. Unfortunately divas do exist. I have frantically driven all over town at 10:00 on Sunday evening looking for "ruby-red grapefruit juice, no sugar." I have been summoned with an imperious wave and told, "Your author is hungry, and I don't do fast food." One author showed up late with his Botoxed wife in tow, was rude, and had his manager call and cancel the afternoon sessions with an hour's notice.
Most people picture librarians sitting around reading all day. What’s wrong with this picture?
That we don't actually get to do it!
What advice do you have for turning non-readers/reluctant readers on to books?
I think it takes the reader finding just the right book. And to find that book, it normally takes a caring librarian or teacher who reads like crazy and is willing to get to know the kid well enough to say, "Hey, I think you'd really like this book."
What can an author do to ensure a successful visit/booksigning?
Like kids. Smile. Get rid of the canned presenation. The best author we've hosted lets the students ask him questions the whole hour, so every session is fresh and it's what the kids want to know.
Here's the secret stuff:
Did you ever sneak out a window? No fair only answering yes, you have to tell us when and why.
Yep. In high school I crawled out my window to meet this guy who had already graduated and was still hanging around (there's one in every small town). My sister told on me, and my dad followed me to the square where we were sitting and talking. Humiliating. My freshman year in college the guy actually called and asked me out, saying "Maybe your dad won't follow you this time." I was too freaked out to go.
Tell us about a paranormal experience you’ve had.
In middle school I got on a kick of reading books about ghosts, ESP, and reincarnation. I badly wanted to see a ghost, but the closest I ever came was pretending to feel something in the room after playing with the Ouija board at a sleepover.