Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Meet the Board: Tessa Michaelson-Schmidt, Ex-Officio YSS Board Member

Tell us a little bit about who you are and your connection to libraries and the YSS Board.
I serve the public libraries of Wisconsin as the youth services and special services consultant for the State of Wisconsin. A few years ago, it was determined that the person in this position should serve on the YSS board as an ex-officio, or non-voting, member in order to maximize fluency between the two organizations. I am happy to serve in this role for both the State and WLA!

If you could be any book character for a day or a week, who would you be?
How about one character a day for a week? Let’s see…Ramona Quimby, Professor McGonagall, Anne of Green Gables, Detective Gordon, Elizabeth Bennet, Violet Durn, and Claudia Kishi.

Where do you get inspiration for your work?
Talking with librarians across the state makes such a difference in what I do and why. Sometimes this happens in an email exchange, in person at a workshop, over the phone, or through my travels. I also value my professional networks such as the WLA and YSS community and my involvement in ALA and ALSC.

What do you like to do in your free time to recharge?
Being with my family and being outdoors--there is no better way for me to be in the present than when I’m with my loved ones or under the sky above. I am also keen on physical exercise and yoga. I also like to do all kinds of projects to make our home a cozier place, such as re-doing furniture, sewing, or organizing.

If you could have any author for your best friend, who would you choose and why?
I would love to be friends with Lois Ehlert so that I could better see the world through the eyes of an artist. She has an amazing sense of color and shapes. She is also quite stylish and talented with paper projects, so maybe she could teach me a thing or two.

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?
I love to cook and bake, but sandwiches are never appealing to me unless someone else makes it. I’ll take anything except deli meat. Great, now I am thinking about how sad my lunch looks today and wishing that Carson would show up with a chunky peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich, or maybe a tuna melt.

Anything else you’d like to share?
If you’re reading this and you are not a member of WLA, please join! When I was starting my career, my mentor (KT Horning) encouraged me to prioritize professional membership, even when it seemed costly or of limited value. I took her advice and have never regretted being part of WLA and ALA. The networking and growth that I gain from these organizations makes me a better librarian!

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