Library closed on Juneteenth

All locations of the Des Moines Public Library will be closed Wednesday, June 19 in commemoration of Juneteenth. We will reopen at the regular time on Thursday, June 20.

Meet Miss Emily the New Youth Librarian at the Forest Avenue Library

Meet Miss Emily, the new Youth Librarian at the Forest Avenue Library! Find her working behind the desk or on Wednesdays at 10 AM at her weekly Family Storytime. Keep an eye on our events calendar for more programs that Emily will be hosting.

Tell us about the first book or a book you remember loving as a kid. 

The library has always been a safe place for me, and I have been an obsessive reader my whole life. I remember reading Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Bridge to Terabithia, and The Hobbit in elementary school and those books changed my life.  

Your mom was very beloved as a youth librarian here at DMPL for many years, known by many as Miss Mary. Did her career have any influence on wanting to become a librarian?  

My mom was and is to this day my greatest teacher. She taught me to read, and both of my parents nurtured my love of reading. My mom also has an art background and firmly believes in the role of the arts in early literacy. We were always reading, singing, dancing, talking, playing, and drawing. Many of my core memories are from my trips to the library with my family and both of my parents reading to me.  

When I was deciding to pivot careers, my mom actually suggested librarianship and as soon as I started to work on my MLIS I knew I had found my people and that this was the place for me.  

Do you have any favorite memories of observing your mom as a librarian that influenced your career choice?  

Miss Mary was absolutely amazing with early learners. A few favorite memories of my mom during her library career would be when she made my kids their first library cards, and the Toddler Dance Parties! They were always so much fun.  

My mom taught me that showing kids you care about them is the most important part of the job. Once you build that trust and sense of safety, you can learn and have fun! She also taught me to get on their level and be silly. She was a pro at making the kiddos laugh.  

What is your favorite part of storytime?  

My favorite part of storytime is getting to know the kids and making them feel safe and loved at the library. I also like incorporating all of the things I am passionate about into storytime, like arts and crafts, music and dance, songs, and silly stories. Recently I've been practicing my ukelele so I hope to play music for the kids as well!  

What is a fun fact you would like people to know? 

I love art as much as I love books. I make and sell pottery, love to take photographs, and am an avid knitter. I also love music. I have a collection of vinyl records, used to DJ, and was a classical musician!  

What are you looking forward to about being the Youth Librarian at the Forest Avenue Library? 

The youth! I am excited to meet the kids in the neighborhood, design meaningful programs for them to enjoy, and facilitate a collection that amplifies diverse voices. I hope to provide a safe space for kids to explore their interests, be themselves, and discover new things. I want to focus on connection to the community and involve local groups to partner with the library to provide quality programming. I hope to show kids that libraries are more than just books (even though we LOVE them) and that there is something for everyone at the library! 

What are some children's books you would recommend to parents? 

I can't pick just one, so here are a few of my favorites for a variety of ages:

Picture book: Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel 

Middle Grade: Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte 

YA: Me (Moth)by Amber McBride 

YA graphic novel: The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen 

What is a recent book you read and would recommend? 

The Seed Keeper  by Diane Wilson was my favorite read of last year! A few other books I also loved areWe The Animals  by Justin Torres, The Reformatory by Tananarive Due,Death Valley  by Melissa Broder, Enter Ghost  by Isabella Hammad, Prophet Song  by Paul Lynch, Sundial by Catriona Ward, and Chain-Gang All-Stars  by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.  

I am currently reading the fourth installment of the Thursday Murder Club  series by Richard Osman and the Foundryside  fantasy trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett and enjoying them immensely. 


Published on February 05, 2024
Last Modified June 17, 2024