ALSC Voices | May 2023

ALSC Profile

Celebrating colleagues with 25 years or more years of ALSC membership

Susan Lempke
ALSC Membership: 25 years

Where do you currently work? 

I am adjunct faculty for Dominican University, and I spent a year at the University of Chicago Lab School subbing, but most of my career was at the Niles-Maine District Library. 

What is your position title? 

My last title at Niles was Executive Director, but I was head of Youth Services for many years.

Where did you attend library school? 

Indiana University School of Library and Information Science

What was your very first library position?

Chicago Public Library, Edgebrook Branch, from 1982-1987. I was the Children's and Young Adult Librarian, plus in a branch you handle whatever needs to be handled. I can't think of a better starting point in a career, especially for a 23-year-old like me.

What do you love most about your current job? 

The course I teach at Dominican is Picture Book Illustration, and what could be more fun than that? The students bring so much insight to books I have been looking at for years, and of course there are always new books.

What's your favorite season?

As I write it is Spring, and the flowering trees are gorgeous so that is my favorite today, but probably overall I love Fall the most for its colors, and the chance to stop and take stock a little.

What's your favorite book of all time? 

That might be the hardest question, but it might be Where the Wild Things Are for its utter perfection in capturing the inner life of a child in text and pictures and book design.

Who is your favorite superhero? 

Batman. When I was a kid, we lived near a drugstore, and spotting a new issue of a Batman comic was very exciting. I liked the mystery of it--trying to figure out all of the parts that were left unspoken.

Are you most comfortable in your kitchen or in your living room? 

Kitchen for sure. Cooking is soothing and creative and a chance to show someone you love them. My reading chair is not in the living room, or the choice might have been more painful.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Sitting on the front porch of my family's tiny cabin, which is completely surrounded by pine trees, reading/stopping to watch the silly squirrels and chipmunks and the wee birds swooping in and out of the bird feeder. 

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