Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meet the Board: Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Director at Large

Tell us a little bit about who you are and your connection to libraries and the YSS Board.

I'm a Youth Services Librarian at the La Crosse Public Library, and before that I was the Youth Services Director at the Columbus Public Library in Columbus, WI. I started out in libraries as a teen volunteer, and ultimately realized that librarianship is a great mix of so many things I love: serving the public, creativity, teaching, literature, and doing good for the community. I joined YSS because I wanted part of a great group of Wisconsin librarians, and it's been an awesome opportunity to meet people and support youth services in the state.

If you could be any book character for a day or a week, who would you be?

Well, my all-time favorite series is Harry Potter, but I don't want that kind of world-saving stress in my life. So maybe I just want to be a regular Hogwarts student, going to class and learning magic, visiting Hogsmeade on the weekends, but not living in mortal danger.

Which book that you read as a teen rocked your world?

I really loved Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. To this day, I still enjoy fractured fairy tales and re-tellings. It was just such a complete story; I didn't feel like there was anything missing. It's still one of my favorites.

What are you reading right now?

I recently finished Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin after hearing about it at CCBC Choices Day, and it is seriously awesome. It's an alternate history where Germany and Japan won WWII, and to commemorate their victories they hold an annual cross-continent motorcycle race. One young resistance member's job is to enter the race, posing as someone else, and basically start an anti-Nazi revolution. That catch is that she was a Nazi test subject, and now she has secret abilities. Are you interested yet? If you like action, girl power, suspense, or books, it's a great choice.
What do you like to do in your free time to recharge?

Spending time with friends and family is always a good way  to charge back up! I also like to take advantage of what my area has to offer – nice hiking trails, tennis lessons through Parks & Rec, sand volleyball at a local bar. I've also been learning to knit so I have a way to keep my hands busy and avoid stir-craziness during the winter!

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?

When I was in college, there was this one dining hall that had pesto mayo and a panini press. I'd always get a turkey sandwich with some other stuff on it (those toppings were apparently irrelevant) and then tons of this pesto mayo. The sandwich was really just a vehicle for pesto mayo. Unfortunately, the specific location association for this sandwich means I will probably never eat it again. But I still think about it sometimes.

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