Call her a natural-born librarianAs a little girl when Monica LaVold misbehaved her mother didn’t take away TV or playing outside privileges. Instead LaVold was likely to be forbidden from reading her precious “Anne of Green Gables” or some other favorite book series.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
As a little girl when Monica LaVold misbehaved her mother didn’t take away TV or playing outside privileges.
Instead LaVold was likely to be forbidden from reading her precious “Anne of Green Gables” or some other favorite book series.
“Taking away my books -- now that hurt,” she said. “Books have always been my escape, my refuge.”
LaVold was the kind of child who read under covers at night -- by flashlight.
“I was the flashlight kid,” she admitted. “Even today, I still live and breathe reading.”
Those testimonials alone are pretty good credentials for hiring LaVold as the new youth services librarian.
A former third-grade teacher and stay-at-home mom, LaVold exudes passion for libraries.
“Public libraries are the last true bastion of democracy in this country,” she says. “You have free, unbiased, open access to literary hundreds of years of wisdom, stories, folklore, philosophies, ideas and general information.
“We’re giving it to you here, and that’s why I have a lot of passion for libraries and their purpose. I get energized from people, helping to meet their literacy needs and making a difference.”
The River Falls Public Library was just where LaVold wanted to find herself someday.
For the past five years she’s shuttled between more than a dozen libraries throughout Hennepin County, Minn.
She’s been a long-term substitute (traveling) librarian, while also having specific duties:
--At the Champlin library, working in circulation
--At the Brookdale library, working as a teen librarian where she headed up Anime (a popular Japanese-style of animation) and Manga (Japanese-style comics) clubs for teenagers.
“I loved the work, but I was going from one place to the next, and sometimes it was hard to remember what hat to put on,” LaVold said. “It was like, ‘Who am I today?’ I was being stretched thin.
“I wanted to be a community librarian and be part of a community. That’s the No. 1 appeal of this job. It’s in one building, it’s only one position but it also has a lot of facets.”
Last May LaVold earned a master’s degree in library and information science from St. Catherine University in St. Paul.
After being an elementary school teacher in Minnesota, the Atlanta-born LaVold stayed home to raise her two sons with her husband Tim in Eau Claire.
“Maybe that’s where the librarian urge took hold,” she said. “At the time, I was reading stories at home with the kids, going to the library with them and volunteering at their school library.”
For more on this story, please see the April 25 print edition of the River Falls Journal.