Monday, October 21, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: An Interview with Bookmobile Librarian, Sylvia Archer

Today's interview is a bit different than usual. For one, I'm IN REAL LIFE friends with the librarian, Sylvia Archer. I've know Sylvia since I taught her son in fourth grade (he's great, too!) and at the time, she was working for good friends of mine helping in their stained glass studio. Sylvia looked around for what to do and decided to get her degree in library science. Now she's our Bookmobile driver! She's not on Twitter but the Bookmobile has a Facebook page:

Our tri-county library system has a long history with the bookmobile. Children's author, Gloria Houston, wrote a book about it: 

Now we have "Ms. Sylvia!" The bookmobile has had two incarnations since I've known it. The first was a real classic but it had all sorts of problems and eventually had to go the scrap yard.

Now we have a shiny new bookmobile with an awning for the rain and everything!

Inside it's cozy and warm. The left hand side is adult fiction, mostly romance, best sellers, and inspirational fiction. The right hand side is children's fiction. The bookmobile is used by home-schoolers, the elderly, and anyone who lives at least five miles away from the physical library.

If you look behind Sylvia in the picture above, what you see is a wall of drawings. These are her young patrons' interpretations of the bookmobile.
I like the next one. This fellow has figured out a way to make the bookmobile get to him even on a snow day!

So without further ado, here are Sylvia's answers to my interview questions! I hope you enjoyed this little tour of what I think is a real treasure in my community.

Tell us about your library? (Where, what, anything quirky or cool?) What's your job title and description?

Avery Mitchell Yancey (AMY) Regional Lilbrary Bookmobile/Outreach Librarian

What was the most recent book request? 

"Waterfalls of Western North Carolina"

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron? 

" Burning Bright" , by Ron Rash

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend? 

" River of Bees" , by Kij Johanssen

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

" Dr. Dog" author Babette Cole And why? quirky, funny, irreverent, much like me :)

What book do you wish you had in your library (professional or personal or both) but don’t?  

The Lloyd Bailey Anthologies (this can be something written or something you’ve never seen)

What factors influence your decision to add a book to your collection? (if you are a purchasing librarian otherwise skip this one) 

Popularity among my readers, and price.

What about you would make us say, “REALLY? But you’re a librarian!” ? 

 I talk loudly.

Five favorite books of the past five years. 

" Burning Bright' by Ron Rash, " River of Bees" by Kij Johannsen, "EllaMinnowPea" by Mark Dunn, "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner, and " Stranger in a Strange Land" Robert Heinlein


  1. We have bookmobiles here in Australia for remote areas. They're great. And I think that looks like an awesome picture book!

  2. When I was a kid, I always wished my town had a bookmobile b/c they seemed so awesome - a vehicle filled with books! This interview makes me want to go hunt down my nearest bookmobile :)

  3. The Bookmobile was the absolute greatest thing to me when I as a kid. Waaayyyyy better than the ice cream truck!

  4. Bookmobiles are the coolest thing. :) Love seeing your list of five favourite books -- more for me to check out! And thanks for the "but you're a librarian" chuckle. ;)


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