The NetGalley community is rich with Librarians, Booksellers, Educators, Media, Reviewers and Bloggers who excel at helping books succeed and promoting a love of reading. We like to take a moment to highlight these members and share their stories with you.
This week’s spotlight is on. . . Kate Fais, a Young Adult Librarian at the NYPL Bloomingdale Branch in NYC!
Featured Librarian: Kate Fais
Library: New York Public Library, Bloomingdale Branch, New York City
Role: Young Adult Librarian
When (and how) did you decide to become a librarian?
I’ve wanted to be a librarian since I was five years old – and then one of my older cousins told me I had to read every book in the library. I was terrified of the Goosebumps series, so I did briefly consider other jobs.
Is there anything that your library does especially well that you’d love to continue and possibly expand?
My branch has an amazing weekly teen writing group that meets on Thursdays. It really is the best hour of my week! We have a wonderful volunteer who leads the workshop – the kids and I just love her. The teens have actually come in during random days of the week asking if Writing Club is that day! I’m also lucky to be part of an amazing team of young adult librarians with the New York Public Library. Every year we have the Anti-Prom at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (the Library on 42nd Street with the lions!), and the teens (and the staff!) have a blast.
You served on NYPL’s Best Books for Teens 2017 committee. Can you speak a little bit about this and other initiatives you’ve worked on to expose teens to great literature?
Serving on the Best Books for Teens committee was an absolute dream. Imagine, each month you meet with almost twenty of your peers for three hours to just talk books. I’m lucky enough to be serving on the committee for 2018 this year, and because of NetGalley, I’ve been able to read a good number of titles before their release dates.
Additionally, I have great relationships with the middle schools in my area. I always try to sneak in several booktalks whenever I have class visits! Plus, I just started hosting a monthly Free Book Friday for my teens – teens have the opportunity to come to the library and take home as many books (finished published copies and galleys) as they like, to keep forever. At my last Free Book Friday, as one of my teens was flipping through Grendel’s Guide to Love and War, I learned that they are a BIG fan of Beowulf and totally ships Hrothgar and Grendel.
In my prior job at Cold Spring Harbor Library, I also volunteered with the Authors Unlimited conference which connected teens with YA authors, and was a fact-checker for the Suffolk County (NY) Battle of the Books.
When it comes to motivating your patrons to read and enjoy reading, what techniques or strategies have you found to be most effective?
I’m a big believer in just stopping a book if it’s not gelling for you. Why torment yourself? I always encourage people to take home several books at a time, especially if they’re not sure what they’re in the mood for. One of their selections is bound to stick.
Do you have a favorite moment when you provided someone with a book?
It’s actually when they come back, find me, and tell me how much they absolutely adored the book I paired them with.
What is the most requested title in your library right now?
Holds wise, Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff. I actually have a copy checked out, but I have too many other things to read!
Has having access to digital galleys affected the types of titles you recommend to your patrons?
I think I’ve been able to actually read more galleys since they’re digitized! I take the subway each day to get to and from work, and honestly, it’s a lot easier to read from my phone when I can’t sit! Additionally, digital galleys are soooo much easier for me to travel with. I’m the kid who got in trouble for bringing fifteen hardcover books in her suitcase to Florida, so having a ream of digital galleys when I’m on the train, plane, or waiting in line for something has been a life-saver.
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