Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Happy July! Author Ginger Wadsworth has agreed to swing by to share her books and her Library Love with us here on Library Lions. Take it away Ginger.

Ginger at Yosemite National Park. Half Dome in the background.

Hello! My name is Ginger Wadsworth, and my newest book is Yosemite’s Songster: One Coyote’s Story, illustrated by Dan San Souci and published by the Yosemite Conservancy. 

Yosemite’s Songster just won the Spur Award in Storytelling from the Western Writers of America. Dan and I are teaming up for the second title in the series! 
Besides being a nonfiction author, I am a sister, wife, mother, grandmother, cousin, aunt, and a friend.  My favorite things to do: read, walk, body surf, enjoy nature, garden with California native plants, bird watch, go to the library, travel, hang out with family and friends, collect information, cook, and did I mention I like to read?  I live in Northern California with my husband, Bill, our three dogs (Oreo, Scout and Willa), our chickens (Egg-O-Land Farm), and rooms full of books . . . too many to count!
Library Love When You Were a Cub
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need," Cicero
Ginger getting ready for Brownie Camp, 2nd grade
Going to our local library was a regular family activity. I remember walking along the low brick wall edging the building, up the steps, and inside to the children’s room on the left.  Tall stacks invited me to search for the perfect titles, usually about horses or dogs. We always lugged home armfuls of books. Every night, my father read library books to my two brothers and me before we headed off to bed.

After my parents said goodnight and closed my bedroom door, I scurried beneath my 4-poster bed with my flashlight, pillow, and a book to read. And I wonder why I’ve been wearing glasses since the fourth grade. J

“Libraries raised me.” ― Ray Bradbury

More Library Love
I write nonfiction for young readers, so I always begin my research at my local library.

Ginger at her local public library, Orinda, CA
Google is great, but there is nothing better than perusing a real book. I usually start by reading the back matter, where a treasure trove of information waits . . . where/how the author did research, the individuals that he/she contacted, and a bibliography of titles for further reading. I’ve traveled around the United States to do research in libraries in Yosemite National Park, the Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Bancroft Library at the University of California/Berkeley, Herbert Hoover’s Presidential Library, and many more. Each spot is different, and I feel so lucky to “work” in one of these amazing edifices.


Author’s Roar
Funding for libraries, especially school libraries, is currently under threat. As an author, what are your thoughts about that?
“When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.” ― Isaac Asimov

This quote pretty sums up my feelings!  The only way I know how to help is to suggest that you join your local Friends of the Library group. I did, and now I’m actually a board member. There is a smorgasbord of ways to volunteer from sorting donating books to working at a monthly Friends book sale. I’ve written the Friend’s newsletter and found speakers for various programs. For the past twenty years, I’ve also run and helped judge our Friend’s creative writing contest for local high school students. I currently participate in the Paws toRead program. Along the way I’ve met some totally dedicated library folks and our universal goal is to serve our library, i.e. our readers and our community, and to make sure the building is open, staff is in place, and a plethora of books, etc. is ready!

At a library with my golden retriever, Willa. Children learning about the summer reading program.
A Lion’s Pride of Programs
With Lin Look from the Orinda (California) Library, I helped start the first Paws to Read in our county. Now there are programs in many other local libraries. Elementary schools are also initiating similar afterschool reading sessions. Children in grades K-5 sign up to read out loud to a trained therapy dog.

Nicholas reading to Willa in Orinda Public Library, taken by Michelle Bea (his mother) and used with permission.

Children get to practice their reading and hang out with a dog. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, and it’s actually part of a national program called R.E.A.D.  With my golden retriever, Willa, I have been doing this for eight years. We visit three public libraries and two afterschool programs. Willa can’t wait to prance into the library in her yellow vest that denotes that she is working.

We’re affiliated with arfnet, a local animal rescue foundation. I hand out Willa’s business card to each reader. Many children have read to her; she even has her own little fan club!  My goal as a writer is to put books—any good books—in the hands of children. And to have them be able to read!! What could be more perfect than at the library with a trained, gentle therapy dog lounging beside a young reader! 
“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”  Maya Angelou

Roar For Librarians
I’m going to ROAR for Lin Look, Youth Services at Orinda Library, part of the Contra Costa County, California library system. 

Willa with Youth Services Librarian, Lin Look, from the Orinda, CA public library.

I just spent several days with her at our local elementary schools, helping her introduce the countywide, summer reading program and prizes our many libraries are offering young readers.  I won’t go into all the details of what she does, but as you can probably imagine, she wears multiple hats as she works with toddlers on up! 
"At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better." Barack Obama (Keynote Address, ALA Conference, 2005).

"A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them." - Lemony Snicket
I love this quote in so many ways because this describes how I feel about my community library AND about my library in my home.  Or should I say my home, which is actually a library.  You get the picture . . . books everywhere!!

Thanks for the interview, Ginger!

Love Libraries? Give a Roar in “Comments” below.

Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot. The calendar for 2015 is currently wide open J

Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot.