Meet Miss Minsu, the new youth librarian at Central Library! You will see her smiling face behind the desk in the children's area, leading storytimes and programs, and out in the community. Make sure to stop by and say hello to Minsu during your upcoming visit to the library.
Tell us about the book that made you fall in love with reading.
The first books I remember calling my favorites were Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. What drew me to these books were their strong, independent, and, most importantly, weird protagonists.
They were role models I didn't know I needed. Seeing strong women characters who didn't fit in was incredibly eye-opening as a first-generation Korean-American woman. At the time, it was less likely you'd see a POC protagonist who didn't fall victim to just about every stereotype, so I loved seeing characters who were considered different embracing those differences.
What inspired you to become a librarian?
When I first started considering library school, many friends and family members said, "Oh, that's perfect since you love to read!" While I do indeed love to read, what drew me to librarianship was the ability to instill in others that same love of reading—in short, creating community.
Being a librarian goes beyond creating a community of readers—lots of people still think of librarians as the "keeper of the books," but there are so many amazing resources libraries provide! Not only online resources like Libby, Kanopy, and news sources, but also things like notaries, test proctoring, and the Library of Things! This list sounds like the library told me to say this, but these are the real-life things I gush to my friends about!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are so many things I adore about librarianship. One of my favorite experiences is seeing regulars come in and make a beeline toward their favorite part of the library, whether that's a collection like graphic novels, scavenger hunts, computers, or toys. It reminds me that we create this welcoming space where people become familiar and comfortable.
What is one under-the-radar children's book that you recommend parents check out?
One picture book that I absolutely love recommending is Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies by Christian Trimmer. On the surface, it might look like a generic Snow White retelling. The book gives me Mo Willems vibes in terms of being enjoyable for children and adults. Trust me, parents and caregivers will laugh out loud while they read this at bedtime.
What is a recent book you read that you recommend people check out?
As a youth librarian, I try to read pretty broadly. Below, I will share recommendations for a picture book, a middle-grade chapter book, and a teen novel that I read recently.
- Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight
- When sisters Usha and Aarti look up at the stars, they see different things. Aarti sees the Big Dipper, but Usha sees the Big DIGGER. And cousin Gloria sees the Big Kite! I love that this is a picture book that sneaks some STEM learning into the story.
- Pax by Sara Pennypacker
- Pax is a middle-grade chapter book for animal lovers—though fair warning, you will want to have a box of tissues nearby while you read. After being forced to give up his pet fox Pax, a young boy named Peter decides to leave home and get his best friend back
- The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho
- This book is a teen novel that is, again, a "tissue book" that takes on topics like race, mental health, and difficult family relationships. In the year following their son's death, May Chen's parents face racist accusations of putting too much pressure on their son and causing his death by suicide. May attempts to challenge the racism and ugly stereotypes through her writing, only to realize that she still has a lot to learn and that her actions have consequences for her family as well as herself.
Last Modified May 30, 2023