Youth Services Staff

Betty Jean Neal

Betty JeanLibrary Superpower:
My enthusiasm and my smiling face!

Likes to read and recommend:
I love Science Fiction and Fantasy for the older readers. For the younger readers, I like to recommend things that are funny.

A favorite library visitor:
I like sharing favorite vampire books or dystopias with the teens, working with the babies in Baby Bookworms and sharing the joy of just beginning to read on their own with the Easy Reader crowd.

Dawn Buttery

dbwebLibrary Superpower:
Reading stories aloud with a terrific voice.

Likes to read and recommend:
Great new picture books, biographies, memoirs and historical fiction.

A favorite library visitor:
I love it when animals come visit the library; whether it’s 4H pets, the reading dogs, the chicks we hatch, or the small critters from the zoo. They all get kids excited about nature.

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Marlana Hodgkinson

Library Superpower:
My library superpower is zooming across the street to bookmobile or leaping up and down stairs to fetch items for people when those items aren’t on the shelf. I’m also pretty super at recommending a good J Fantasy book because those are the stories that make me want to fly with dragons and stop dastardly villains in their tracks!

Likes to read and recommend:
I love to read J (and Y) Fantasy Fiction. All the best books have dragons in them – I especially like friendly dragons the heroine can talk to – preferably through telepathy. If there isn’t a dragon, another type of kindly, unusual friend will do as well.

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors to the library are the ones I see on a regular basis. The 24-36 month olds who are part of my Toddler Time 2 classes; the families that come to the library regularly and stop to talk with us at the desk about their favorite books/pet chickens/school projects/etc. and who check out lots of good dragon/impossible quest/magic books, and that I love to watch grow up over the years; the teens who regularly attend Teen Writing Group and amaze me with their awesomeness.

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Ramona Smith

Library Superpower:
I am a super Outreach Storyteller. I visit preschools and daycares to provide children with story, learning and song time.

Likes to read and recommend:
I love reading chapter books geared toward 3rd-8th graders. I would recommend any books on the William Allen White book list.

A favorite library visitor:
The children who visit storytime – they’re always so excited to see Boomer and their smiling faces always cheer me up.

Kathy Ellison

Library Superpower:
I know everything about our picture book collection and can share hundreds of my favorites that will soon become your favorites, too.

Likes to read and recommend:
Picture books! Stories about animals, getting along, growing up, toilet training, you name it.

A favorite library visitor:
The library’s morning visitors are busy at work learning pre-reading skills and I love to observe the learning in process.

Kyler Carpenter

kcwebLibrary Superpower:
Getting kids to love books through music.

Likes to read and recommend:
Picture books.

A favorite library visitor:
Families who come to events.

Natalie Moreland

nmwebLibrary Superpower:
When you’re looking for “that one book with the blue dragon,” I can usually figure it out. I’m magical like that.

Likes to read and recommend:
I love kids’ non-fiction, picture books, wordless books, and books with really intricate and detailed illustrations and cool diagrams.

A favorite library visitor:
It’s so cool when the READ dogs come to visit us. They love to hear you read to them!

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Luanne Webb

lwwebLibrary Superpower:
Being able to find things no one else can find.

Likes to read and recommend:
I really like to read mysteries like the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham and books that were read to me by my teachers like Harriet the Spy or From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors are the little ones who come to my Toddler Time 1 program. They are experiencing the songs and stories for the first time, and they are so excited!

Joyce Hedlund

jhwebLibrary Superpower:
My library superpower is Preschool storytime! I love to prepare and present a super duper fun loving, learning pack storytime for preschoolers!!

Likes to read and recommend:
I read a lot of picture books, to preview for storytime. I can recommend great books for a storytime and give hints on how to involve preschoolers in the book you are reading!

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors to the library are the preschoolers that we service in community. They are so amazed to see me at the library and always ask to see Boomer and get a sticker. It is also a treat to see them in the community and have them recognize me as “the library lady!”

Jennifer Grammer

jgwebLibrary Superpower:
Finding that super awesome book that you didn’t even know you wanted!

Likes to read and recommend:
I like to read YA realistic fiction, cook books, memoirs and anything funny!. I like to recommend graphic novels and nonfiction books to kids.

A favorite library visitor:
I like school age kids and their families. I enjoy sharing the library story with all of the family members. I do school outreach programs and it is so fun when those students come in and say I remember you from my school when you talked about bugs!

Jeri Eckhardt

Library Superpower:
Creating activities, experiences and spaces where children imagine, learn and grow.

Likes to read and recommend:
Picture books, historical realistic fiction, craft books.

A favorite library visitor:
I love seeing families who have been coming for years and are going through our preschool programs with their second or third child. Also those new to the library who are so excited about books, reading and learning.

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Andrea Bair

Library Superpower:
Knowledge of the collection: With a few questions I can usually find a book you will like.

Likes to read and recommend:
Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction – All subgenre’s

A favorite library visitor:
I love talking to kids and Teens about books, series, and authors. Once, a junior patron was looking for a certain title to reread because it was one of her favorites. I told her I loved the book so much I named my cat after the main character,  she looked at me with wide eyes and said, “OMG so did I”.  We then talked about the things we loved about the book and the characters we didn’t and how we couldn’t wait till the sequel came out.  She left the library with four books I recommended and with a bounce in her step, like she couldn’t wait to start reading.

Leah Anderson

Library Superpower:
Algebra is my superpower.  Slope cannot escape me.

Likes to read and recommend:
I enjoy reading thrillers, horror, and young adult fiction.  I like to recommend children’s picture books and juvenile fiction.

A favorite library visitor:
Students who want to get their homework completed are my favorite library visitor.  I like to help students become successful and responsible in doing their homework.

Tonya Foster

Library Superpower:
I have a soothing presence around technology. If you need your technology to work, I can stand by you and the computer will suddenly work.

Likes to read and recommend:
All genres of young adult and children’s literature. If there is a cliff hanger or a plot twist involved, I really like those.

A favorite library visitor:
Anyone that wants to talk about books!

Tracie McClusky

Library Superpower:
Building relationships with a sense of humor is my library superpower. I love getting to know our students and their families.

Likes to read and recommend:
YA Fiction, J Sports Fiction, and any Nicholas Sparks book are my favorite things to read.

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors are the students who come to the Homework Center to say hi and share their day.

Rhonda Cathey

Library Superpower:
I am personal friends with Clifford the Big Red Dog, Pete the Cat, and Curious George!

Likes to read and recommend:

Classic preschool picture books are my favorite but it is always fun to see what is in the “New” picture book bins.

A favorite library visitor:

As an outreach storyteller, Boomer Bear, the library’s unofficial mascot, and I visit preschools in the community and share stories, songs, finger plays and instill a love of books and learning.  Once while out to eat, a little girl shyly approached me with her mother pointing saying, “That’s the library lady!”  Her mother came over laughing and said her little girl wanted to know if Boomer was in my purse!  I love that children associate me with the library.  Each month I get to read to over 600 children and adults in the community – – that’s a lot of books – songs – fun!

Sherry Hess

sherry hessLibrary Superpower:
My library superpower is noticing the unique or special qualities of a young person and then telling the young person or their adult.

Likes to read and recommend:
I love to read!  I like to read historical non-fiction; I like to peruse the N.Y. Times top list for possible titles to read.  I like to read favorite children’s books recommended by other librarians.  I like to read informational books related to the development of young children (especially research-based information).

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors to the library are the families.  I love the young children who walk about the kid’s library like it is an old friend.  I like the school-aged kids who totally know what book or author they are searching for –all the while their parent follows them in this search.

Theresa Girdler

Library Superpower:
My library superpower is the ability to imagine and act out stories with my voice, actions, and props. I have always loved to “become” the characters in the stories I read and want to bring them to life when I read to others.

Likes to read and recommend:
I was a teen in the 60s-70s, so I’ve always supported women’s rights. My favorite stories are by women authors of the 19th and early 20th century who wrote about strong woman characters. After being a preschool teacher for over 28 years, I also love picture books of all kinds.

A favorite library visitor:
While I was recently telling a story about bears, I told a short version of how teddy bears got their name from Theodore Roosevelt. One little boy, amazed, asked “Theresa, how did you know that?” I told him that when he learned to read, he could learn cool stuff at the library too. All kinds of books besides picture books, such as books on history and science. His answer- “Ok! I’ll do that!”

Judy Espinosa-Gonzalez

Library Superpower:
I am able to speak to customers in Spanish and English.

Likes to read and recommend:
I like to read and recommend picture books and historical books.

A favorite library visitor:
I really like when new Spanish speaking families come to the library.

 

LeAnn Brungardt

Library Superpower:
I am sort of like the Wonder Twins in that I am able to morph from thing to thing.  Part of my job is staying flexible and taking the shape of whatever is necessary to help things run smoothly.

Likes to read and recommend:
I read to know more, so I am typically reading nonfiction.  I enjoy books related to my faith, parenting, health, food, nature, my job and human growth and development.

A favorite library visitor:
Onlookers to the aquarium often give me pause to play for a moment.  As I pass through the space on my way to a meeting there is frequently a smiling toddler pointing to a favorite finned friend, and I have to stop to see what’s happening.  I likewise like sharing with older kids that the thing they see on the sea urchin that looks like an eye, isn’t an eye.  It makes a good gateway for learning more about the wonders of the world.

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