Monday, December 2, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: An Interview with Laura Blankenship

Today's Keeper of Wonder was recommended to me by author, Kelsey Macke. Librarian, Laura Blankenship, wasn't always a librarian, she was an English teacher. Kelsey's English teacher to be precise! But today she's here to talk to us about her new role: Librarian!

Tell us about your job (age level, where, school or community and the name I should use)
I work as a school librarian at Plano West Senior High in Plano, a suburb north of Dallas. Our school serves about 2,750 juniors and seniors. In the library, we may see 300-400 students a day and have the opportunity to help with book selection as well as research and technology questions.

Tell us what you love the most about your library?
I love that we can help kids every day. “I want a survival book.” I can help you with that. “How do I complete my works cited page for these articles?” I can help you with that. “I need to send this project to my teacher.” I can help you with that. “Where can I find research for this project?” I can help you with that. We aim to help in whatever way we can so that students know they have a welcoming place to ask their questions.

What makes you purchase a book for your collection?
Professional reviews from Booklist, SLJ, Voya, and LMC. Galleys of new books that I read and think I can promote. Requests from students and teachers.

What was the most recent book request?
I rushed out to get House of Hades and Allegiant on their book birthdays and haven’t seen them since!

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano. We were discussing the government in Allegiant, and I thought she might like something similar yet completely different. I also gave Two Boys Kissing to a patron who was sure we did not have books about gay characters in our library. (very cool)

If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why?
I would love to go on a writer’s retreat with Maureen Johnson, Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, and Beth Revis. I can serve up the drinks and treats needed to keep the words flowing while I get the inside scoop on Shades of London, Diviners, and The Raven Boys. And Beth and I can dish about The Doctor and Cap’n Mal. Oh, and Maureen can bring Zelda, and I will play with her while serious writing happens!  Because I ‘know” all these writers on Twitter, I am sure we will have many laughs!

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?
I handed One Second After by William Forstchen to a friend and colleague yesterday morning. By 6:00 pm she was texting me that she was heading out to stock up on water and canned goods! (this book is set very near where I live, so I could picture all the places, etc. - I had the exact same reaction as your friend. A very frightening book.)

Five favorite books of the past five years. 

Well, Neil Gaiman says, “Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d like most not to lose,” but here goes.  (Ha, great quote!)

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (FANGIRL will probably rank up there, but since I am not quite finished, I will refrain from adding it yet.)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? By Maria Semple
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

AHHHH! That’s already 5!

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Laura! Writers love librarians! And readers, if you know a librarian you think might participate, please steer them in my direction!


  1. I love the 'keep calm' sign pictured w/Laura! And can I come share a beverage w/your author picks? =)

  2. I continue to look forward to these interviews. It's always inspiring meeting people who love what they do--and you gotta love those book recommendations.

  3. I haven't checked in on you for a while! I believe being a librarian must be the best job ever.

  4. Love your excitement and knowledge about YA authors and books! Great interview Laura.

  5. Love your excitement and knowledge of current YA lit - good interview!!!

  6. Such a fun interview. I hope you finished Fangirl and LOVED it to the end. I read it last week and am still thinking about all the things! Librarians are my favorite people, seriously. You guys rock!

  7. You will love the end of Fangirl. I just finished it today and still smiling.


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