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. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Angie Manfredi.
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I am the Head of Youth Services for the Los Alamos County Library System in Los Alamos, New Mexico. We have one main library and a small branch, serving Los Alamos County and patrons from all over New Mexico – and even the world! I am the head of Youth Services: overseeing programming, collection development, and daily operations for children ages 0-18. I graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with my MLIS in May 2007 and then accepted this position and moved back to my home state of New Mexico in July 2007,
2. Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?
This is my second year of ALSC membership and I absolutely love it! I work with all ages, but feel confident in my library skill set serving teens.So I joined ALSC because I really wanted to strengthen my skill set for serving younger patrons. I love the work ALSC does with school age programming, summer programming, and preschool programming. EVERYTHING ALSC creates related to these areas: blog posts, booklists. discussion groups, chats, and webinars, has been invaluable to my professional learning and networking. I really feel like my ALSC membership has made me a better children’s librarian. I am also a member of PLA and the GLBT and SRRT.
3. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? How?
Yes! It is my favorite holiday. Instead of Christmas cards, I send Valentines. I load them up with glitter and stickers and handwritten notes. I send them to everyone! This year I sent a record-breaking 84 – and sending them reminds me of what I consider the spirit of Valentine’s Day: not romantic love, but passion for the good things in life, a quality I always strive to emulate!
4. What motivates you?
I love librarianship and, more than that, I love children’s librarianship. I am motivated by the good I see my work doing every single day – the toddlers who sing and dance with me, the teens who ask me for book recommendations, the children who give me hugs and high fives. I am motivated in knowing that my work changes their lives and that can change the world. (sounds cheesy, but I believe it!)
5. What are you proudest of having accomplished in your professional career?
I am most proud of getting rid of our reference section and replacing it with graphic novels and manga. Wait, hear me out! Our reference collection had grown stagnant – kids never used it because they couldn’t check it out and we had stopped paying attention to its currency because kids never used it. Meanwhile, we needed a way to make kids see the library was more than just a place to do homework: we were there for their recreational reading needs too. When I weeded the reference collection and integrated into the circulating non-fiction collection this updated the non-fiction collection with great new, relevant titles and put the books in kids’ hands (and out our doors, boosting circulation, at a much higher rate!) for their own reading and research. And using that space for the graphic novels and manga? It brought us a whole new reader base and sent our circulation through the roof. I am proud of this because I thought outside the box of “this is how libraries must be” and created something great.
6. What is your dream vacation?
Attending the Toronto International Film Festival in September, seeing as many movies from across the globe as I can in ten days and enjoying the city of Toronto in-between. And I’ve been lucky enough to do this for four years! In that time, I’ve seen a whopping 134 films and enjoyed every second of it!
7. If you could be on a game show, which show would it be?
THE PRICE IS RIGHT … but only if I got to play Plinko!
8. Have you ever skydived?
Not yet — but I have been white-water rafting and bungee-jumping and skydiving is on my list!
9. You’ve just been transported to Oz. Who do you most want to meet?
The Wicked Witch, Gregory Maguire has convinced me there’s more to her story. Then Glinda … to steal her wardrobe!
10. What do you think children’s librarians will be doing ten years from now?
I know that we’ll be doing the same things we’re doing now: connecting children with books, developing their information literacy skills, and developing their literacy through talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing! To me, the most important part to remember is that children’s librarians have core skills and those don’t change – we might find new methods and new tools but that core won’t change. I can’t wait to see where we are in 10 years – but I know we’ll be reading, playing, singing and learning all the same.
Thanks, Angie! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature! Check out Angie’s blog at www.fatgirlreading.com or follow her on Twitter: @misskubelik.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll see what we can do.