Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Meet Your Board: Julie Kinney, Secretary

Meeting the board has been fun. I've certainly learned some new things about my colleagues from reading their interviews and I hope you have, too. Our final board member featured for the 2017 Meet Your Board series of posts is Julie Kinney, Secretary, who is the Young Adult Librarian at the Marathon County Public Library.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a book lover from way back, which led to being an English Major at UW-Madison. Unfortunately, being an English Major is not exactly the path to riches, so I spent a good part of my 20’s working for the University Book Store’s short lived children’s book store.  Once there, I discovered my passion for YA literature, which was just starting to blossom as a genre.  Being passionate about reading lead to a certification to teach and eventually a Master’s Degree in Reading.  Between Act 10, Common Core and being the yearbook adviser for 6 years, teaching lost its luster.  It was hard to be passionate about reading, when your students tell you, “I don’t read.” Library school beckoned and the rest is history.

How did you get involved with WLA and the Youth Services Section?
Terry Ehle got in touch with me about sharing some of my “Hour of Code” programs at the WLA Pre-Conference.  After that, Terry asked if I was interested in running for secretary.

What’s your favorite thing to eat while reading?
I like fancy schmancy coffee, with lots of stuff to hide the actual flavor of coffee.  Scones or cookies work too.

How would you define your library programming style?
As a teacher, especially an English teacher, it pays to be curious about stuff.  Oddly enough, being curious also helps when you are a librarian.  I was curious about “Hour of Code,” so I tried it out and now I’ve done three different scratch programming classes, as well as two classes about App Inventor.  Our coding classes are always a hit, so I try to do something different each time to help my younger patrons learn why they are doing what they are doing.  My creative writing classes have taken off as well, and the teens that attend those are really passionate and excited about writing.  But I also like to innovate and tweak, so I’m always trying something new or something different.  I do a lot of programs.

What is the last series that you read with your eyes and/or your ears?
I got hooked on Assassination Classroom and I’ve been staying up to date as each new volume comes out.

What is your favorite genre? Which genre would you choose to go outside your comfort zone?
I’ve been a devoted fangirl before there was such a thing.  I love fantasy and sci fi, as well as horror.  However, I’m a pretty indiscriminate reader, so I’ll read anything.  If I had to choose something outside of my comfort zone it would probably be realistic fiction. 

What was your favorite book or story as a child?
The first book I learned to read as a kid was Bear By Himself.  As an introverted child with a fabricated American friend named Bear, it was the world’s most perfect book. 

What’s your method for getting distracted kids (of any age) back on track during a program?
I am really hands on.  I’ll walk around and try to refocus kids.  I find that distracted kids are often the ones who are having trouble understanding or can’t get something.  I try to check in with the kids while they work on their projects. This is awesome, because usually I have 10 or 15 kids versus 25 to 30 I would have as a teacher.

Where do you get inspiration for your work?
Everywhere!  I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at Pinterest, reading blogs, magazines and listservs.  I try to get ideas from my TAG group.  I spend a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do as a teen and what teens tell me and others that they want.

What do you like to do in your free time to recharge?
I knit and I just recently discovered the world of podcasts.  I love napping and just hanging out around the house.  

Which author, living or dead, would you most like to have over for dinner?
H.P. Lovecraft, but we’d have to make it an ice cream date. 

Which book(s) have your read and re-read and read again?
Dune, which I reread every couple of years.  I always promise myself that I’ll pay closer attention to the details and not get carried away with the story and I always get carried away. 

How do you enhance your Readers Advisory skills?
Um..reading?  My mind goes completely blank whenever anyone asks for a suggestion.  I try to have a couple of go to questions that I can use in order to give me time to think about what to suggest.  Once I get started, I’m on a roll.  It also helps me to go over to that section and look at what’s on the shelf as a memory jogger.

What’s your favorite part of being a librarian?
Connecting people with information they need, especially if it’s in the form of books.  I just love seeing people get their questions answered.  Introducing books to teens and finding out they love them as much as I do. 

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