Open Book Interview with Stephanie Spetter

Stephanie Spetter at Holy Family Fun Fair, August 2011

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

I am currently the Head of Youth Services at the Des Plaines Public Library. I’ve been doing THAT for not quite two years (August 16 will be my two year anniversary), but my wanderings as a Children’s Librarian go back to 1991 when I became a Youth Services Librarian and then Youth Services Manager at the Johnson County Public Library in south suburban Indianapolis. I stayed there for about 7 ½ years, until I moved to Chicago in 1998 to be a Children’s Librarian and Branch Manager with the Chicago Public Library. I embraced that chaos for 13 wonderful years until 2010’s move to DPPL.

 2.         Why are you an ILA member?

I joined ILA as soon as I moved to Illinois from Indiana. I loved being part of the Indiana Library Federation as a member of the Children’s and Young People’s Division board and I wanted to be involved and in touch with the library world of my new home state.

3.         What’s your #1 source for news in children’s services/literature?

I love my ALA magazines…American Libraries, Booklist, Children and Libraries. More than anything I love to read about what OTHER libraries are doing, experiencing, struggling with, getting right, etc.

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

Essentially the same things we’re doing right now. It may look a little different than it does at the moment, but connecting children and their families/caregivers with the resources and programs they need and want never goes out of style.

 5.         What book(s) are you currently reading?

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (also known as The Duchess) by Amanda Foreman. It’s a tale of family, love, infidelity, politics, debauchery, style, and more. Next up is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Can’t wait to get my 1980’s groove on, and I’m sure it will be a delightful 180 degrees from 1780’s England (except for the debauchery – the 80’s had plenty of that – so maybe not so different, hey).

 6.         What children’s book character would you most like to be and why?

Oh, I would love to be Trixie of Knuffle Bunny fame! Her parents seem so hip and cool and loving, and she lives in such a great neighborhood, and she gets to travel to such great places to visit her grandparents, and she has the bestest, softest friend ever.

 7.         When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My family loves to tell the story of how when I was very young, I used to cut envelopes in half, tape them in the back of my own books, put index cards in the “pockets” and check those books out to my family members. Hmmm?

 8.         What’s one “rule” you wish every librarian followed?

Give ‘em what they want, but leave them wanting more.

 9.         Harriet Welch OR Hemione Granger?

Hermione. Just because.

 10.       What condiment is always in your fridge?

Maille cornichons. I eat them like candy. We count pickles as a condiment, right?

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