Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. This month, an ALSC member bravely volunteered to participate. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Sam Bloom.
I’m a children’s librarian at the Blue Ash branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. And no, I won’t say that five times fast! I taught for six years in the Indianapolis Public Schools before moving to the library world.
2. Why did you join ALSC?
I joined ALSC as a way to keep up with what was going on with library services for children. When I first joined I was still teaching, taking classes at night and during the summer, and I was out of the loop on many things. Since moving to a public library, I’ve really appreciated the webinars, online courses, early literacy initiatives, the discussion on the ALSC listserv and — of course — the Youth Media Awards!
3. Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?
Yes — I’m a member of EMIERT (the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table) and GameRT (the Games and Gaming Round Table).
4. What are you afraid of?
This is a toss-up… either deadlines or bats (the animals, not the instrument with which you hit a ball). My daughter loves the Night Hunters exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo, so I’ve had to overcome the bat fear. No such luck with deadlines!
5. What are you proudest of having accomplished in your professional career?
When I started working at a Library, I thought it would be pretty amazing to some day serve on the Newbery or Caldecott committee (I had no idea at that point about the Sibert, Geisel, or really any other committees of any sort), but I figured there would be very little chance of that happening. Three years later I was on the Newbery committee – that whole year was an unbelievable experience. The best moment of all was when Moon Over Manifest was announced. I’ll never forget how it felt to stand up with the rest of the committee at the YMAs.
6. Favorite Caldecott book?
I’m sad I wasn’t given the option to pick a favorite Caldecott winner from each decade, because there are so many classics… but since you insist on making me choose one and only one, I’ll go with Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears. Can’t beat the Dillons.
7. Are you ready for Spring?
In Cincinnati, the seasons are really a relative thing. We’ve had several days in the last few weeks that have felt like spring (it was almost 60 one day last week), only to have the temperature plunge back below freezing hours later. It keeps us on our toes.
8. What’s your favorite season?
I love Fall and Spring, for the most part enjoy winter, and despise summer (heat and humidity don’t sit well with me).
9. What children’s book character did you most identify with growing up?
This is such a fun question, and though I don’t really have a strong memory of a certain character really speaking to me in that way, I do remember loving the fact that I shared my name with Sam-wise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Looking back, I probably would have loved the Joey Pigza books had I been the right age. But I mostly read nonfiction as a kid – I clearly remember a series of biographies on baseball heroes (Roberto Clemente and Ernie Banks were my favorites). Having said all that though, my favorite character of all time is Ramona Quimby, hands down.
10. If you could bring a folk or fairytale character to life, who would it be?
I’d choose Rapunzel from the Hales’ Rapunzel’s Revenge. Nothing against the original, but I like the lasso hair-Rapunzel better.
Thanks, Sam! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature! (Sam can be reached at Sam.Bloom@cincinnatilibrary.org)
Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to email@example.com; we’ll see what we can do.