Friday, April 17, 2015

Aloha to National Library Week with Wendy Crutcher, the Super Librarian (the lost interview)

Bench outside my hometown library in Safety Harbor, FL

Did you celebrate National Library Week?  Let's go out with a bang with a salute to  Wendy Crutcher, RWA's 2011 Librarian of the Year and the creator of The Misadventures of the Super Librarian.   

Carrie Lofty (left) and Wendy from RWA 2012

I intended to host Wendy long before now ... but I just found the "lost" interview from 2010.

Kim: Who/what inspired you to become a Librarian?

Wendy: In part, my high school geometry teacher. After struggling through his class for a semester, I convinced my guidance counselor to let me drop it. I didn't need it to graduate, and frankly while I had no idea what I wanted to be "when I grew up" - I knew it wouldn't involve any math that was more complex than basic arithmetic. So, I signed up to work as a library page in our school library the following semester thinking it would be my slacker class. Ha! The high school librarian actually made me work, and taught me stuff. This was pre-Internet, so I learned a lot about researching, reference books, finding information etc. I was hooked. At 16, I had found my calling.

Kim: Who inspired you to become a blogger?

Wendy: I started doing reviews for The Romance Reader back in 1999, and was looking for a way to "highlight" my work over there. I started out doing a very basic web page using a free service, but I was never sold on that format. I found out about blogging via Laurie Likes Books (who used to run All About Romance and Rosario (a reader from Uruguay who started her blog to practice her English) and thought it sounded neat and easy! I especially loved that the archiving was automatic and I didn't have to know a bunch of HTML. I started my blog in February 2003 and it's been nothing but a rewarding experience for me - both personally and professionally.

Kim: Assuming the sky's the limit, who would be your dream guest speaker (and topic) at a program you coordinated for your local library?

Wendy: Do you realize how impossible this question is to answer? So many choices!

For me personally, either Barbara Michaels (AKA Elizabeth Peters) or Mary Higgins Clark - just because they wrote some of the first "grown-up" books I ever read as a teenager, and I'm got a massive soft spot in my reading heart for both of those ladies.

Now, I'm sure my library patrons would not scoff at either Michaels/Peters or MHC - but for them, I'd love to get Nora Roberts. Just because. I mean, she's Nora Roberts.

However, if I was designing a program geared towards librarians, I'd have to go with Jayne Ann Krentz. I've heard her speak before, to a room filled with librarians, and I'm not sure anybody but a librarian will understand this but....she just talks like a former academic librarian. I liked the way she presented the genre to other librarians, and she's had a very interesting career. Certainly there is plenty of snobbery about the genre still thriving in my profession (don't get me started) and the way JAK talks about the genre has the kind of passion, verve and intelligence that can sink through some pretty thick skulls.

Wendy and Rosie at RWA 2011 

Mahalo, Wendy, for blogging for truth, justice and the right to read what you want since 2003.  I look forward to seeing you at RWA 2015 in NYC, including Librarian's Day.  Oh, look, Jayne Ann Krentz is on the schedule:

Kiss Me or Kill Me: The Timeless Appeal of the Romantic Suspense Novel
Speakers: D. D. Ayres, Mary Burton, Laura Kaye, Jayne Ann Krentz, Carla Neggers, Wendy Corsi Staub, and Rebecca Zanetti.

and Wendy:

Creating Effective Partnerships: Librarians, Booksellers, and Authors in a New Publishing Era
Speakers: Wendy Crutcher and Laura Florand

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about a favorite librarian and/or library.  My favorite library is still the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) Library at this link

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, April 25, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 26.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

JBPHH Librarian Phyllis F. with Jane Austen!


  1. My favorite library is Connetquot Library. They are very helpful, friendly and very often order books for me. Janet Egan is my favorite librarian.


  2. I go to my favorite library (a San Diego county branch) many days of the week. It is close to our house and I check out books, movies, and music CDs from it. I Love my library.

  3. I have so many favorites and one of them is the Donnell Library of the NYPL.

  4. My local library

  5. I love my local library, there are so many things I can access online through my library card--including a music site and a series of online courses. Have a great time at RT!

  6. We are getting a new, much bigger library in town. I am very excited.

  7. My favorite librarian is my good friend Lynn who works at the Aurora Public Library!

  8. I like the army library on Brunssum, they have a coffee corner and loads of books. Including a bookswap area. Really enjoy visiting!

  9. I love the Connecticut State Library. So many old and treasured books.

  10. We've got two libraries where I live. I have a favorite librarian from each one, Andrea and Nancy. They're always so helpful, and go out of their way for me.

  11. I have to go back to my first one. Our town had one in this 100 yr. old brick building with the high ceilings and the ornate woodwork. As a child it was like being lost in a dreamworld.

  12. my local town library is my favorite - besides a lot of wonderful books on site they share with many other libraries and run wonderful programs - one of my favorites is the geneology group

  13. We had a wonderful librarian at the elementary school I attended as a young girl. She was such a big part in encouraging me to read :)

  14. I would have to say the local library. They offer wonderful programs for kids and adults.

  15. Favorite librarian is Jamie Frye. She is a friend and was the librarian at my kid's elementary school. She is dedicated to helping kids discover a love of reading. I was book fair coordinator and we had tons of fun doing creative things to draw the kids into the fair and more importantly get them reading. :-D

  16. Our main library. It has many books, great librarians, and many programs.

  17. Our local library has always been a wonderful place to visit. They have many new books and also a lot of places to read and a bunch of computers for people to use.

  18. I am in incredibly lucky to live in Phiily - the Free Library of Philadelphia rocks !

  19. I have only ever been to the library in my hometown and one town over! I'd love to do more library exploring :-)