Monday, August 12, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: Interview with Lindsey Loucks


Today's Keeper of Wonder is Lindsey Loucks, who is not only a librarian but also a writer. (You can find out more about Lindsey, the author, at www.lindseyrloucks.com.) On twitter, she's hanging out @LindseyRLoucks. And, she's our first school librarian, which is, of course, super exciting to me.

So you’re a librarian, how’d that happen?

The whole school librarian thing started to happen when I taught a fourth and fifth grade combination class. At recess time, I would always pester the other teachers about all the great books we were reading in the classroom. One day, a teacher friend shook her head at me and said, “Why don’t you become a librarian?” I blinked and said, “Oh. Yeah.”
So I went to get my Master’s degree in Library Science, jumped through a few more hoops, and found the perfect job in rural Kansas. It’s a Kindergarten through twelfth grade school, which means I get to play with picture books, middle grade books, and YA books all day. Sometimes I make forts out of them on top of my desk and jump out from behind them to scare the students who wander in. Then we all laugh and talk about books. I love my job. (It does sound pretty great :0))

Tell us about your library?

Like I mentioned before, it’s a K-12th grade library. On one side of my desk are the K-6th grade books, and on the other are the 7th-12th grade books. It’s a really big library for the size of school we have, which is approximately three hundred students. The shelves are packed tight with over 10,000 books. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing, though, because where am I going to put all the new books I want to buy?!

What was the most recent book request?

Oh, I’m going to have to think back to pre-summer. It was probably The Hidden Kingdom by Tui Sutherland. The boy who requested it is so into dragons! Another one was The Hidden Kingdom, the third book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson. I actually just emailed a student about that book the other day to tell her I’d pre-ordered it and that we’d have to arm wrestle to see who gets to read it first.

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?

Yikes, I have to think back to May again. I’m always suggesting Mary Downing Hahn to those who want a scary book or a mystery. At the very end of the year, I recommended My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent to a girl I knew would devour it. I also recommend a lot of zombie books and books similar to The Hunger Games since those genres are so popular.

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?
Honestly, I talk about the Fire and Thorns series a lot to anyone who will listen. The Girl of Fire and Thorns was so unique, but Rae Carson hit it out of the ballpark with The Crown of Embers. It’s a pulse-pounding thrill ride threaded through with one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever read.

If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why? 

Can I pick more than one? Can I pick fifty? (I think you'd have to have that catered, but oh why not!) Rae Carson would be near the top of that list so I could pick her brain about what happens in The Hidden Kingdom, J.K. Rowling so I could get a glimpse inside her imagination, and Suzanne Collins so she’ll tell me what she has in store for us next. Okay, I’ll stop at three.

What book do you wish you had in your library (personal or where you work or both) but don’t? (this can be something written or something you’ve never seen)

I wish I had something in my library that left both males and females just as breathless as The Hunger Games. Imagine, if you will, a group of high school boys who only go to school because they have to, but who sat in the library totally absorbed in THG. Yeah. That’s a powerful book. (and a cool thing for the librarian who's watching them!)

What’s the biggest librarian stereotype? How do you fit snugly within it? What makes you bust wholly out of it?

The biggest librarian stereotype is that we’re near death, we snap at everyone who dares enter our territory, and we keep the books chained to the shelves. I fit into this stereotype by the shushing I often have to do to keep kids from going too nuts. (It’s a library not a circus, people). The things that make me bust out of this stereotype is that I’m fairly young, I dance to the beat of a different drum, and I adore seeing young people excited about books.

Five favorite books of the past five years.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
  3. Elephants Cannot Dance! by Mo Willems
  4. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  5. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Thanks so much for stopping by to talk to us, Lindsey!

7 comments:

  1. Lindsey, your library sounds like so much fun :) I need to pick up The Crown of Embers--I just downloaded it and now I'm really looking forward to it!

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  2. Nice to meet you, Lindsey. I just popped over to my library site and requested the Rae Carson books. Thanks so much for the recommendation! ^_^

    Great interview questions, JRo. Can't wait to meet more librarians. ^_^

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  3. You will love it, Meradeth!

    Jaye, thank you so much for having me! :)

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  4. You will love it, Meradeth!

    Nice to meet you too, Angelina! And you're welcome!

    Jaye, thank you so much for having me! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me pick your brain!!

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  5. Love the 'near death' comment, too funny! And what a rockin' skirt! =)

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  6. Great interview, Lindsey, but you totally forgot to mention your own really great YA book, THE GRAVE WINNER. I hope you've ordered a copy for your school library!

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Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'