ALSC Voices | May 2022

ALSC Profile

Celebrating colleagues with 25 years or more years of ALSC membership

Photo of Maren Ostergard

Maren Ostergard
Early Learning/Outreach Librarian
King County Library System
Issaquah, Washington

ALSC Membership: 25 years 

Where did you attend library school?

I attended the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, now known as the iSchool.

What was your very first library position?

My first paid library positions were as a student employee at the University of Washington. As an undergraduate, I worked at the Health Sciences Library. I was working on my biology degree and the opportunity allowed me to contribute to a research project being conducted by staff in the department. My first librarian job was as a children’s librarian at the Bellevue Regional Library. I was hired by Judy Nelson who was a talented mentor and whom I now consider one of my dearest friends.  

What do you love most about your current job? 

I love the great colleagues I get to work with and learn from. I also appreciate the opportunity to sit at the table (virtually and in-person) in the community to build relationships and to represent the library and its programs and services. My greatest enjoyment comes from working with partner agencies to provide outreach programs and services to the families they serve.    

What's your favorite season? 

The second season of Bridgerton is my current favorite season! The costumes! The drama! (I couldn’t resist. I was looking at previous ALSC profiles and saw that Marie Aspinwall had answered this question with a television show.)  

Do you have any pets? 

I have three cats, Flareon (named after a Pokemon) and two kitty sisters Mary and Winifred (named after characters in the movie Hocus Pocus, due to the time of the year they were born.) We adopted Flareon during Meow Fest, an event at our local library that included a visit from a mobile cat adoption van.

What is your favorite family tradition?

I have three grown children. In the last year, we started a daily family text chat around our Wordle games. It is a chance to check in with each other, share our game boards, and sometimes even to boast or commiserate.

Do you prefer being the driver or the passenger? 

I love being the passenger! While I prefer not to drive, I  am an excellent navigator. I have spent many days off during the pandemic on driving adventures with my husband. We have explored many parks and trails in our area.

Where is your favorite place in the world?   

I feel very fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest. I love being near the mountains and the ocean. I am lucky that I can see Mount Rainier on any given day (if the skies are clear). While Mount Rainier is literally in my backyard, due to the nature of Washington weather, I can go weeks without actually seeing the mountain! Did you know that Mount Rainier can also be used as a weather forecasting tool? Lenticular clouds over the mountain usually mean rain is on the way! Also, if I want to see the ocean, I can be there in a few hours. One of my favorite things in the world is to drive on the beach and watch the sunset over the ocean. I find visiting the ocean to be incredibly soothing. The sound of the waves is calming, and I have fun walking on the beach and looking at shells and sea critters.

The Shrinking of TreehornWhat's your favorite book of all time?

My favorite book from my own childhood is Mother Goose illustrated by Gyo Fujikwa. Some of my favorite memories of being read to by my parents include this book. Also, my father taught fifth grade for most of my childhood. Our dinner table conversation often touched on what I was reading and what he was reading aloud to his class. He introduced me to The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide, and I always was tickled when I shared a book with him that he ended up reading aloud to his class.

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