Thank you so much for being here with us today, Leesa!
TxSandS: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, and who or what inspires you?
LeesaC: I am a career educator since 1985. I taught elementary students for 7 years and have been a librarian ever since - 10 years at the elementary level and currently at the intermediate/middle school level. I am inspired by people of all ages and in a myriad of situations. What I mean is I like to observe and take in what's going on around me. You can find something inspiring in most any situation if you are open to it.
Students in a book pass
TxSandS: What were your goals when you first started working with kids and books, and how has that vision changed now that some time has gone by?
LeesaC: At first my goal as a teacher was to help students love reading and to expose them to a wide variety of reading material. Come to think of it, that's still my goal as a librarian. What has changed is the digital and electronic aspect of reading. My interest in all things technology drew me to the library and hasn't disappointed yet. Another thing that has changed is my mission to educate everyone, anyone who will listen, that there are many different types of reading. It doesn't have to be tied only to a novel.
With Jacqueline Woodson at the DMA. Volunteering for the BooksmART events keeps me in touch with authors so that I can share insider info with students.
TxSandS: What has been the biggest surprise since you've entered the world of books for kids and teens?
LeesaC: That others don't think like me. That others disagree that reading and reading material can come in many shapes and forms and won't entertain the broader idea.
As Professor Trelawney during a Harry Potter book release party at the University Park Public Library
TxSandS: How do you see reading changing for teens in the next couple years? What challenges do you see? And what can we do to help?
I see the trends in reading moving to more electronic and digital - audio, eBook, devices - but I won't be surprised to know that just as many teens still like the printed-on-paper book.
Funding is always a challenge whether you're funding a school or public library in order to offer materials to patrons or funding your own home library or downloading to your digital device.
Keep doing what you are doing - featuring reading and those that love reading in a fun and positive light. In my opinion, there can never be too much reading promotion - and as my soapbox has made clear thus far - reading in many forms and for many reasons.
Inviting displays help to promote books that might just sit on the shelf
TxSandS: Would you consider yourself a Sweetheart or a Scoundrel?
LeesaC: I'm definitely a Sweetheart but my Scoundrel flag gets flown from time-to-time.
TxSandS: Thank you so much for being here!
If you know of someone who would make a great Featured Sweetheart, please let us know! The best part? If you nominate someone, we'll send you a $5 Starbucks gift card :)