Friday, November 28, 2008

Fave Librarians!

Some people have a favorite     Others have a favorite pair of slippers.

Here, at the Class of 2k8, we have our...

favorite librarians!

Okay, guys, it's your chance to share.

M.P. Barker is waving her hand madly. Yes, we see you. Yes, you can go first M.P.

Thanks! I grew up in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and I remember going to the Aldenville Branch Library once a week (at least!)—one person could check out only four books at a time, so we went back often. There was always a summer reading contest with a free movie at the Rivoli Theater for readers who reached their quota, and I remember what a sense of accomplishment it was to see my marker go around the map or chart or whatever record-keeping scheme they had that year (and how disappointed I was the year they decided to stop doing the movie and just gave out prizes instead).

It was a teeny tiny storefront library, and the librarians were just great. The kids’ section was at the front, and the adults’ section was at the back, and always seemed sort of like a forbidden city. OOOHHH, to some day be grown-up enough to check books out from that section!!

But of all the librarians I’ve known, I didn’t meet my absolute favorite one until I was all grown up. That’s my boss, Maggie Humberston, who’s the head of the Genealogy and Local History Library and Archives at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum in springfield, MA. And I’m not saying that just because she brings me chocolate, either. She’s unfailingly patient cheerful, goes wa-a-a-ay beyond the extra mile to help our researchers, and has a magic gift for dealing with the…um…eccentrics. You know how most people would like to kill their bosses? Well, Maggie is the kind of boss that I would kill FOR. Some day I hope I can be as good a person as she is…but it’s not likely!

Librarian Maggie Humberston & M.P. Barker, debut author of the historical young-adult A DIFFICULT BOY

And, at the back of the class,Elizabeth C. Bunce, debut author of the young-adult fantasy A CURSE DARK AS GOLD, is holding up a photo of the library where her favorite librarian used to work.

Okay, Elizabeth. We've thrown up the photo. Now tell us about your favorite librarian.

When I was growing up, our local children's librarian was my best friend's mom. She used to let me read the new books before they went on the shelf! I still remember the horror my brother and I felt when we got toothpaste on a brand-new copy of Tamora Pierce's ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE (that book is still in the library, toothpaste stain and all!). I was lucky enough to have my launch for A CURSE DARK AS GOLD back at my hometown library, and it was so neat to have Mrs. Elbert there to celebrate with us. She's retired now, of course, but I'll always think of her as my personal librarian.

And we leave you with this delightful quotation sent to us by Brenda Eley, Librarian, Beckman High School, Irvine, California:

"Books may well be the only true magic."~~Alice Hoffman


Emily said...

Alice Hoffman sure got that right! And I can totally relate to this. When I was 7, I got a BRAND-NEW book from the library and I was so giddy, that I spilled my grape juice all. over. the. book. I was terrified so I hid it from my mom and never returned it! I just told my mom I had lost it. Woops!

Barrie said...

Love the Alice Hoffman quotation!