Tuesday, March 1, 2011


We're absolutely delighted to announce that Teri Lesesne, aka "Professor Nana" is our newest Featured Sweetheart. She truly is a goddess of young adult literature, and does so much for our community.

Check out her amazing bio:
Teri Lesesne (last name rhymes with insane) is a Professor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature in the Department of Library Science at Sam Houston State University. Author of three professional books and numerous review columns and articles, Teri maintains a popular blog about books and reading at LiveJournal (http://professornana.livejournal.com/). She is the chair for the Standing Committee Against Censorship of NCTE and is the new Executive Director for ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolsecents of NCTE) and chair of the Morris 2010 Committee for YALSA. In 2007, she was awarded the ALAN Award for her contributions to young adult literature.

TXS&S: Can you tell us a little about what you do and how you got started?

I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. I teach classes in literature for children, tweens, and teens in the Department of Library Science at Sam Houston State University. I have been doing this for more than 20 years now. I jokingly say that my job is basically reading books and then telling others about them. There is, of course, a bit more to the task of being a professor. But I do read a LOT and I do blog and tweet and post to Facebook and travel across Texas and the country talking about books and reading.

I began as a middle school teacher, a job I loved. I still enjoy getting to talk to middle school students when I can. I still have one teen left at home, too, so I stay connected to what this age group loves in books.

TXS&S: What is the biggest surprise you've had since becoming a librarian? (To illustrate what a sweetheart she is, see how gracefully she answers this question despite my confusion!)

TL: Though I teach in a library science program, I am not a librarian. Becoming a librarian was not something I ever considered since, when I was a classroom teacher, I had the world’s best librarian in Rosemary Smith. So, I decided to pursue a doctorate and teach at the university level. I was fortunate enough to be hired by SHSU to teach their literature classes. In my 20+ year tenure here, I have learned a great deal about school libraries and librarianship. I have also been fortunate enough to meet and can count as friends loads of Texas school librarians.

TXS&S: If you could make a wish for children and reading in the future, what would it be?

TL: I would hope that someone finds them just the right book that turns them on to reading for a lifetime. I would also wish that all of them had unlimited access to an unlimited selection of books in all of their forms and formats.

TXS&S: What is your hope for the future of libraries? Any suggestions on how to overcome the proposed budget cuts?

TL: AASL has a wonderful document available for download from their web site that discusses the research done about the effectiveness and importance of school libraries. I hope that this document will be shared with district boards. Public libraries have never been more important given the economic downturn. Where else can everyone find free materials?

TXS&S: Would you consider yourself a Sweetheart or Scoundrel, and why?

TL: It depends on the time of day. I think I am a Sweetheart when it comes to promoting books and reading. But I do have more than a little Scoundrel in me as well. Just ask my friends!

TXS&S: Thank you, Professor Nana!


Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you were not a librarian! But you do have good taste in books!