|Caitlin Schaffer, Youth Services Librarian, Oconomowoc Public Library|
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
When I started library school, I immediately felt like I had found my people. I enjoy pop culture, occasional crafting, hot beverages and craft beer, being social but not TOO social, and traveling. My favorite library patrons are tweens and teens, and I can’t live without singing, reading, cats, and aunt-ing.
How did you get involved with WLA and the Youth Services Section?
I was sought out and asked if I was interested. Probably because someone told someone else that I don’t say no. : ) And it’s Wisconsin! We have some of the best libraries in the country. I couldn’t imagine being a librarian here and NOT being a part of this group.
What’s your favorite thing to eat while reading?
If you could have any book character as a best friend, who would you choose and why?
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. We would be a great mix of sass and perfect, round butts.
How would you define your library programming style?
Hectic. But lovable!
What is the last series that you read with your eyes and/or your ears?
I’m all caught up with the Jackaby series, by William Ritter. It’s Superwholock in a book!
What is your favorite genre? Which genre would you choose to go outside your comfort zone?
Fantasy/high fantasy. I would go out of my comfort zone with cookbooks or travel books. Just read one cover-to-cover instead of just the bits I need.
Tell us about a memorable experience at WLA or WAPL.
I was still in library school when WLA Annual was in La Crosse. At this particular conference, you had the option of participating in a Tweet Crawl at the local…establishments. A few other SLIS students and myself figured we SHOULD do this, as a networking thing, but it was definitely odd knowing how to proceed while drinking with people you wanted to employ you. But it was great! And I still have my WLA drinking glove as a memento.
What was your favorite book or story as a child?
I devoured EVERYTHING, but I particularly remember Richard Scarry, Little Golden Books, and Archie comics.
If you had to tell a story or a folktale, which one would you tell?
Robert Munsch’s Paper Bag Princess
What’s your method for getting distracted kids (of any age) back on track during a program?
With big kids I just get loud and let them do crazy things to me. With little kids I get super quiet and intense. It seems to work 75% of the time.
Where do you get inspiration for your work?
Share an awesome library moment with us.
Getting the kid who always comes in to use our computers to play Roblox (according to teachers he doesn’t have the best family situation at home) to FINALLY start coming to programs! To the point where he now helps me prep programs and always asks what we have going on in the library that day.
What do you like to do in your free time to recharge?
I wish I could say something meaningful, but nope. I binge on Netflix and bad movies and bother my cat.
Which author, living or dead, would you most like to have over for dinner?
I want to watch J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis go toe-to-toe as best frenemies. I wouldn’t even talk. I would just watch.
Which book(s) have your read and re-read and read again?
I actually don’t re-read, as a rule. I’m tempted to pick up The Book Thief again, though.
How do you break the ice with teen patrons?
Smile, say hello, say who I am and that I’m available to help, then give them space.
What’s your go-to storytime song?
Icky Sticky Bubblegum or the ol’ Banana camp song.
How do you enhance your Readers Advisory skills?
Pair up with another librarian and do lightning book talks for classrooms and book clubs at nearby schools! If you can reel ‘em in by being brief, then you’ve got ‘em, my friend.
What’s your favorite part of being a librarian?
I am never, NEVER bored, nor do I sit in an office all day. There are always challenges. There are always shifts in view and meaning. I’m doing exactly what I should be doing, and I feel like this will eventually lead to me living to a ripe, old age or something.