ALSC Voices | February 2019

Celebrating colleagues with 25 years or more years of ALSC membership

Laurie Reese, hiking in mountainsLaurie Reese
Hollywood Area Children’s Librarian III
The Felipe de Neve Branch, Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles, California

LAPL is divided into 6 regions, or areas, each of which has a Children’s, Young Adult, and Adult Librarian III. In addition to my duties and responsibilities as a Branch Children’s Librarian, I perform those of Librarian III in the areas of Leadership, Mentoring, Training, Coordination, and Communication.

ALSC membership: 26 years

Where did you attend library school?

UCLA’s Graduate School of Library & Information Science, now the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

What was your very first library position?  

Unpaid:  At my middle and upper school library of the Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, Maryland, the summer after I graduated.  Paid:  At the Pentagon Library the four subsequent summers in between years of college.

What do you love most about your job?  

I love reading aloud. I love singing. I love being in a position to foster an environment of learning and development of practice among my colleagues—together to build capacity, reinforce foundational skills, and engage in reflective practice.

Do you have any pets?  

Yes.  My partner, Pam, and I have a magnificent, all-the-colors-of-autumn-hued, yet built for winter Golden Retriever mix whose name is Scotch.  

What’s your favorite book of all time?  

The books about Pickles, Jenny Linsky, and the Cat Club written and illustrated by Esther Averill. The Fire Cat was the first book I read on my own. Over and over and over.  It was the book that set me on a course of reading.  To this day, the notion of cats dancing the sailor’s horn pipe, working for the fire department, and wishing to do big things with their big paws makes perfect sense to me.

What do you remember about your favorite teacher?  

In addition to being our Upper School Librarian, Anna Smink was my 12th grade Philosophy teacher. She loved the Greeks. The day she introduced Plato’s Symposium to us, she cried. When I saw her years later at my 20th high school reunion and told her I had become a librarian, she cried. She was emotional. She was kind. For her, passion, feeling, and learning were one. I think of her every day.  

If you could close your eyes and be anywhere on earth when they opened, where would you be?  

I awaken to many places in my mind’s eye, each with its own beauty and sense of meaning, so I’ll divide the answer into awakening outdoors and awakening indoors. Outdoors: skating miles and miles and miles along mirror-smooth paths, especially in the Netherlands, in Minnesota, and near home along the Pacific Ocean, and hiking (the photo above was taken in the Julian Alps of Slovenia in September 2018).  Indoors: on a morning off in our living room, a cup of strong coffee in one hand, my books in the other, and Scotch very close by.

Back to top