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News in Youth Services

Monday, March 6, 2017

Who is....Youth Services Series!

You may have noticed two new faces joined the Youth Services Departments.  We are excited to have Kristen Lawson join as the new Youth Services Manager and Loretta Morris as a Youth Services Assistant.  I thought you might like to get to know our new staff a little better, so I asked them to share a bit about themselves.  In the next coming weeks, you'll learn a little more about all of us in Youth Services as our other wonderful staff members will share some interesting facts about themselves with you! I just cannot wait to learn more about Youth Services staff!

Growing up, I loved reading anything that made me laugh.  Novels by Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary were perennial favorites and I would read them over and over again.  As I got a little older, I also loved the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

I also loved reading books that exposed me to exciting new ideas, so speculative fiction like Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series and Ruth Chew's Witch books were also big winners for me.  My reading tastes haven't changed much as an adult; you'll frequently see me reading John Scalzi or Connie Willis novels so I can get both sci-fi/fantasy and humor in one fantastic story.  I'm also a huge Harry Potter fan and will re-read the series every 2-3 years for pure enjoyment - but I don't think very highly of the movies!

Another, more academic interest of mine is the new field of media mentorship for Youth Services librarians.  I've also read a couple of books about how kids are growing up in our increasingly digital environment and all the new opportunities and challenges that presents.  Two I would recommend are Screenwise:  Helping Kids Thrive (And Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner and Born Reading:  Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age by Jason Boog.

Looking forward to meeting you soon,
Kristen Lawson


The very first book I ever checked out of the library with my own library card was Gertie the Duck.  I remember asking my parents to read it to me over and over.  When I learned what the word "renew" meant, I couldn't wait to go back to the library so I could bring it home again (and again, and again).  That was a long, long time ago, and there's probably not a copy of Gertie the Duck to be found anywhere, but that little book marked the beginning of my love of reading.  As I grew up, I found that i really enjoyed historical fiction and biography.  In fact, the book The Miracle Worker by William Gibson (which I read in 4th grade), had such an impact on me that it led to my becoming a teacher.

As an adult, I devoured big epic fiction by Leon Uris (my favorite:  Trinity), Ken Follett (favorite:  The Pillars of the Earth), and Larry McMurtry (favorite:  Lonesome Dove).  The book at the very top of my list is The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak.  More recently I've been reading historical fiction set in World War II - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and All the Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr, which are in my opinion, must-reads!

When I was a teacher, I always enjoyed reading the Rebecca Caudill books to my students.  They loved it too!  One of my goals as a Youth Services Library Assistant is to get caught up reading all those wonderful award winning books.

A passion of mine that goes hand-in-hand with reading, is writing.  I write fiction and memoir.  Several of my short stories have won honorable mention awards in writing contests.  I'm a member of the Naperville Writers Group, and was honored to win The Richard Eastman Founder's Prize for Prose, their highest award, in 2015.  I'm currently writing a novel based on my father's experiences growing up in Depression Era Chicago, which I hope to finish this year.

A few years ago I decided to act on a bucket list item of mine and I started taking American Sign Language (ASL) classes.  Although I am not a fluent signer, it felt great to learn something new and step outside my comfort zone to take on a new challenge.  If you know any ASL and want to practice, come up to the Youth Services Department and we can "chat" a bit.

I love to travel and I get away as often as I can.  Everywhere I go becomes my favorite place, so there are too many favorites to list.  Last fall I went on a wonderful trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.  Since I am a Sound of Music fanatic, visiting Salzburg, Austria, was a dream come true.  I hope to go back to Europe some day.

I am thrilled to be a part of the Youth Services Department at the Roselle Public Library.  I look forward to meeting our patrons and learning, growing, and sharing with them.

Yours in reading,
Miss Loretta


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