ALSC Profile | ALSC Faces @ Midwinter
Martha Edmundsen, Denton, Texas
Where do you currently work?
I retired from the Denton Public Library in 2008 after 29 years as children’s librarian, branch manager and children’s coordinator. Currently, I manage the Texas Bluebonnet Award for the Texas Library Association. I also teach children’s literature to pre-service teachers at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.
Where did you attend library school?
Texas Woman’s University, Denton.
What, when and where was your very first library position?
My first library position was as a library assistant (paraprofessional) in reference/adult services at the Denton Public Library. I began my work just after completing the MLS at TWU. I hoped to apply for the first professional librarian opening that occurred at this library. That job happened to be the children’s librarian position. I applied and the rest is history!
What is your favorite (or funniest or strangest) ALSC /ALA memory?
I have participated in many ALSC events and committees over the years. I think one of my favorite memories is winning the BWI Summer Reading Program Award. (I don’t think this award exists now). Kate McClelland was the chair of this committee that year. I remember being very impressed with how she treated me as a newcomer. She was gracious and welcoming. I have never forgotten this and was very sad when she left us too soon.
The funniest/strangest thing about ALA has always been the hotels. In the early years, my roommates and I stayed at some very interesting hotels. I remember two: one in Chicago and one in Washington, DC. (I also don’t think these hotels exist now!). The hotel in DC was near Dupont Circle. Our room was located very far from the elevators. We were shocked to see that it was an interior room with no windows! Very strange, indeed.
If you could give one piece of advice to library school students or new librarians, what would it be?
I often tell beginning librarians to join a professional organization and become active. My work in the Texas Library Association and ALSC has given me so much professional knowledge and insight. And, best of all, I have found many life-long friends in these organizations that I will treasure forever!
If you weren’t a librarian, what would be your dream career?
I have my dream job right now! The Texas Bluebonnet Award Coordinator oversees one of the largest children’s choice awards in the country. I am very fortunate to have been able to serve a three-year term. I’m sad that it is almost over. Now, I’m searching for my next “dream job”!
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books (children’s, YA, and/or adult) and one food item do you want with you?
The three books I would need if marooned on a desert island would be:
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – To encourage me and remind me that one can survive even against impossible odds.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis – To remind me to find the humanity in adverse circumstances.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – To take me to other worlds so that I can forget about my predicament.
Choosing a food item to have on the desert island is more difficult than the three books! My instinct tells me to take something nutritious or even to take water. But, I know I will be craving peanuts, almonds, or Cheetos. Living in Texas, I never go very long without a Tex-Mex meal. I would choose to have an endless supply of nachos and taco salad delivered to this desert island!
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies have been beaten back by the time required for reading many children’s books for the past few years. I hope to resume quilting and gardening very soon. Of course, there’s always reading to do!
What three words best describe you?
I can be described as quiet (until you get to know me). I am loyal to my friends and my profession. I have a sense of adventure. I love to travel.
ALSC Faces - 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting
Our roaming photographer, Dan Rude, caught up with ALSC members at several major Midwinter events.
The ALSC Past President's Breakfast was held on Saturday morning.
Shown above, left to right: Caroline Ward (1999-2000 president), Peggy Sullivan (1976-77), Ellen Fader (2005-06), Mary Fellows (2011-12), Julie Corsaro (2010-11), Barbara Genco (2002-03), Lillian N. Gerhardt (1978-79), Kathy East (1992-93), Linda Perkins (1991-92), and Barbara Immroth (1989-90)
ALSC President Carolyn S. Brodie (l) and Sue Polanka (r), Wright State University Libraries and No Shelf Required®
Sue presented on "E-books, Children, and Digital Issues" during the Leadership and ALSC meeting on Saturday morning.
ALSC members discuss e-books at the Leadership and ALSC meeting on Saturday morning.
ALSC members Kate Houston (l), Roxanne Feldman (c), and Barbara Scotto (r) stop for a photo before the ALA Youth Media Awards (YMA) Press Conference on Monday morning.
Ellen Riordan (l) and Rhonda Puntney Gould (r) are awaiting the YMA announcements on Monday morning.
Ellen and Rhonda are ALSC's candidates for vice-president/president-elect on the spring 2013 ballot. Don't forget to vote; polls open March 19!