Monday, April 4, 2016

Meet the Board: Julie Kinney, Secretary

Tell us a little bit about who you are and your connection to libraries and the YSS Board.
I’ve been an avid library user from little on, mostly because our town didn’t really have any place you could get children’s books.  After college I worked for a children’s book store and realized that I really loved (what was then) YA.  After getting side tracked into reading education, I eventually realized that what I loved most was putting books in the hands of readers and working with teens.  I now have the best of both worlds. 

If you could be any book character for a day or a week, who would you be?
The minute you asked, I thought instantly of Meg Murray, the main character from A Wrinkle in Time.  I’m not sure why…inter dimensional travel to other planets?  Sign me up! 
What was your favorite childhood book?
The first book I learned to read was Bear by Himself by Geoffrey Hayes.  My second would have to be The Phantom Tollbooth.  Like most introverted librarians I love my alone time, but I’m always willing to take an adventure, provided I have awesome companions, like Tock, the watchdog that ticks and the Spelling Bee.

Which book that you read as a teen rocked your world?
I’m from the time before YA was really a thing.  Most of what was stocked in our YA section either ended up in the juvenile section or in adult.  I’d have to say Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery.  I loved the fantasy elements that were wrapped around a scientific core. Dune was another big influence—I read it right around the time David Lynch’s movie came out and I think I reread it about once every two years or so.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m in the middle of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  It’s one of those things that shows up on all those “Books you should read right now” lists.  I just finished The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher, which was great!  I’m in the middle of Coldbrook, a novel where the zombie plague comes from another world via a portal opened by science—so that’s cool.  I love horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Where do you get inspiration for your work?
I look at a lot of Pinterest boards, read listservs and look at a lot of professional magazines.  I’m really into finding ways to have teens and tweens experiment with different kinds of things, in order to discover what they love.  I like doing crafts, but I also love doing STEAM kinds of things too.  It all depends—a lot of times I’ll see what another library or teacher is doing and think of ways to do that with my tween or teen patrons.  I think knowing your community really helps when it comes to programming.  For example, I know that I don’t usually get a lot of older teens at events, so I try to focus on younger teens and giving them opportunities to try out new and different things. I have the best job. No, really.

How long have you been a member of YSS? What do you get out of it?
This is my first year as a member of YSS.  I attended the YSS Pre Conference two years ago and got some great ideas from people there.  The "52 Weeks of Programming" document that developed out of that conference was a great jumping off point for me and got me really focused on doing programming in a big way. 

In what format do you like to read? EBooks? Print? Graphic Novel? Audiobook?
I’m a traditionalist—I love the printed book.  I really like graphic novels and I’ve recently started reading Manga.  I’m not a big ebook or audio book lover.  I like the way the book feels and smells and the way I can think about what I’m reading and the pictures in my head and be all metacognitive and stuff—I think it’s because I got a master’s degree in Reading Education before my library degree, so I’m always going back to myself as a reader as a point of reference.

What’s your method for getting distracted kids (of any age) back on track during a program?
I was a high school reading teacher—I taught mostly special ed kids, so I’m willing to go off track a little bit.  Depending on what I’m doing, I like to work side by side with kids while we are doing a hands on project—that way we can both figure out where the mistake was made and what needs to change.  I’m also a forensics alum, so I can be heard pretty well over yelling kids when necessary.  Mostly I find that small groups are really helpful in keeping kids on track.  Yesterday I had a really small group for my Anime Afternoon, and we had a great time talking about the anime and what we thought would happen…which I couldn’t have done with a larger group.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Have you ever been there?
I’m really into archeology, so some place like Peru would be really cool.  I’ve been to London and Paris—but I basically only saw record and book stores (of course!) while I was there, so I think I’d like to go back and visit the touristy places. 

Tell us about a memorable experience at WLA.
I haven’t had a chance to go to WLA, yet!  I’m hoping to be able to go this year!

What do you like to do in your free time to recharge?
Read and knit.  If you become my friend, you will get random knitted stuff.  Several of my co-workers have octopus coffee cozies, mostly because I wanted to try and knit an octopus, and I was overjoyed with how it turned out.

If you could have any author for your best friend, who would you choose and why?
Rainbow Rowell.  I love her writing and she just speaks to me. 

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?
Peanut butter and jelly. 

How many nursery rhymes or folktales do you know by heart?
A bunch?  I loved fairy tales and folktales as a kid, so I know a bunch of weird ones, like “The Black Bull of Norroway,” and “Tom Tit Tot.”  I also own the Opie’s complete nursery rhymes book, because I loved teaching them to my ELL kids, who could not recognize rhyming words in English.

What’s your favorite story to tell?
I don’t get to do story time very often, but I love reading the Pigeon books!  “Look at my wrinkly toes!” 

Share an awesome library moment with us.
A patron came in with a picture of a book poster that she had taken while traveling in Europe.  Unfortunately, she cut the title off of the picture and she wanted us to find it.  I was able to use image search in google and track down the illustrator and then the author and then find the book in WorldCat.  YAY!

Anything else you’d like to share?
Most days I think that I have the best job in the world.  I get to play and answer questions and think of neat stuff to get tweens and teens interested in the library and world around them.  AND I don’t have to grade you!  Being a librarian really is an awesome job!

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