ALSC Member Profile

ALSC Member of the Month — Bina Williams

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, Bina Williams.

1.  What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

BinaI have been a children’s librarian at the Bridgeport Public Library for 18 1/2 years. Right now, I am at our North Branch but have also worked at another branch and at the main library.  I spent a year at the Stratford Library Association while I was in library school. Before that, I was a children’s book buyer in several independent bookstores around New Haven CT for about 20 years.  I spent my childhood wandering around the Wallingford CT Public Library while my mom attended board meetings.

2.  Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I am a firm believer in professional involvement–whether it be on the local, state or national level. Fortunately, my supervisors and library board have been very supportive of my work with ALA and ALSC.  I also belong to YALSA and EMIERT. I have been very fortunate to be on ALSC committees of both the nuts and bolts type and the notables/awards type. For all that I may (or may not) have contributed to these committees, I have received back so much more. I have made deep and lasting friendships with people from all types of libraries in all kinds of places through this work. Thank you, ALSC!

3.  What do you think children’s librarians will be doing ten years from now?

Much the same as we are now but with newer technology thrown into the mix. Storyhours, craft programs, technology classes, book talking, advocacy, community outreach and customer service will never go out of style for we children’s librarians.

4.  If you could enjoy a dinner conversation with any author – living or dead – who would it be?

Just one??? Jane Austen? I would love a table with Jane Austen, Ashley Bryan, Clyde Edgerton, Laurie Halse Anderson, Maya Angelou, Lois Lowry, Jason Reynolds, and maybe a few more…mixing up genres as much as possible!

5.  You’ve just been given a million dollars to donate to a worthy cause. How do you give it away?

Is it just one? I would split it (not necessarily equally) to ALA/ALSC for Early Education, Save the Children, FIrst Book, Reading is Fundamental, and Reach Out and Read.

6.  What is one thing you wish people knew about you?

I used to do Vintage Dancing which is historic ballroom dancing. We performed and put on events including balls from the 1850s era and jazz nights from the 20s. I made two Victorian ballgowns along with the corset to wear underneath! We did lots of research into the clothing, foods, and manners of the era as well as the dance and music. Very fun!

7.  Do you prefer winter or summer?

Winter because I don’t like hot hot weather. I love to bundle up under several quilts while watching it snow. Sitting by a crackling fire with a good book is a great way to wile away the cold days. Spring because of the beauty of each day being filled with different shades of green or yellow as trees and flowers begin to bud.  Summer because I don’t like driving 35 miles each way to work in a snow storm. I love to sit on a dock with friends and watch the clouds overhead and reflected in the water.  Or lying on the dock looking for the Perseid Meteor showers. Fall because it is when I was born and there is nothing like the New England trees in autumn. And the air is so crisp  with the scent of fireplace smoke.

8.  Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person who has a cat. I live too far from work for a dog to be happy at home…I love my cat even if she isn’t a dog!

9.  What’s your favorite thing to do at your Library?

I have two programs for 0-3 year olds…Little Bears is a storyhour for them with a caregiver and Little Hands is an artsy crafty program involving crayons, paper, cutouts, rubber stamps, paint, and lots of glue! I love these little people! Watching the progression from a silent observer to an active participant is so rewarding…and feedback from parents is wonderful especially when I hear that a particularly shy child talks about the library and what we do all the time when at home.

10.  What was your favorite book as a child? 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett because I loved the idea of renewal and growth. The sourpuss Mary Lennox was redeemed by the wonderful family of Dickon and went on to save her crotchety cousin Colin who was the only person more selfish than Mary. And who doesn’t love a secret place that comes back to life?


Thanks, Bina! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

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; we’ll see what we can do.


  1. Caitlin Jacobson

    Love this piece on my dear friend Bina! Had no clue on the vintage ballroom dancing – that Bina is constantly surprising me!

  2. Diane Foote

    This is a great series and a terrific profile! We heart Bina!

  3. Jane Breen

    Bina! You are always inspiring. So nice to see you here.

  4. Deb

    My grandfather was Earle T. Williams, originally from New Haven, CT. Any chance a relative of yours?

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