“Open Book Interview” with Mary G. Marshall

Mary Marshall in the Baldwin Library Closed StacksWhat do you do, and how long have you been doing it?   I am the Assistant Director (8 years) and Head of Children’s Services (13 years) at the Addison Public Library.  I previously was a children’s librarian at the Helen Plum Library (Lombard) for 6 years. My first professional library position after receiving my MLS at the University of Michigan was with the North Suburban Library System creating the Ela, Vernon Hills, and Warren-Newport Libraries.  I have also worked with rare books and taught College Freshman English courses.

Why are you an ILA member?  I think it is essential to belong to professional organizations such as ILA and ALA to network with other professionals and to continue my opportunities for professional growth. Plus, it’s fun! I’ve met some wonderful friends through ILA.

What’s your number 1 source of news in children’s services/literature?  My favorite source of library news is ALA Direct and the great links.

Other than Facebook, what is your favorite social media?  Pinterest—great ideas for both work and home.

What do you think children’s librarians will be doing ten years from now?  I think books (in a variety of formats), early literacy education, story times, school-aged and family programs, and school outreach will still remain our primary duties as children’s librarians.  Technology will continue to grow in importance; children’s librarians will need to spend more time learning about technology and discovering ways to use it with our young patrons

What are you currently reading?  I’ve just started J.K. Rowling’s new book The Casual Vacancy and The Book Thief (Markus Zusak). I’m always reading several books at a time in a variety of formats, so I’m also reading Shoemaker’s Wife (Adriana Trigiani) on my Kindle and listening to The Italian Matchmaker on my iTouch.

What children’s book character would you most like to be and why?  I would love to be Posy from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild because the book was set in London, and Posy, the main character, attended the Children’s Academy of Dancing and was training to be a ballerina.  Becoming a ballerina and living in London are two of my fantasies.  I thought few people were familiar with this book until I saw You’ve Got Mail, which has an entire scene about the main character’s love of Ballet Shoes.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Other than a ballerina (see above), I wanted to be a librarian.  I read Nancy and the Bookmobile (an old book even then) when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and I thought the best job in the world must be a librarian.  At the age of eight or nine, however, I couldn’t imagine spending six years beyond high school to attain the education I would need.

What’s one “rule” you wished every librarian followed?  I would like all librarians to follow the golden rule of management: manage others as you would like to be managed.

Harriet Welch, Hermoine Grainger, Sammy Keyes of Nancy Drew?  The “H’s” have it; but if I had to choose one, I vote for Hermoine.  She’s everything I would like to be—brilliant (and not afraid to show it), fearless, creative, and a leader.

What do you always have to eat in your pantry or refrigerator? Chocolate, oatmeal, berries, and pasta—but not mixed together!

What is your favorite experience as a librarian?   I received the Bechtel Fellowship ($4,000) to read and research at the Baldwin Library (University of Florida), which has one of the largest historical collections of children’s books in the United States. Imagine spending four weeks reading and researching historical children’s books—it was amazing.  I would encourage all of you who are personal members of ALSC, have an MLS, and have eight years of experience working with children to apply for this amazing opportunity. The deadline is December 30, 2012. http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/profawards/bechtel

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