Monday, November 5, 2012

Kate Kite

I started at Wood River Public Library as a page in 2002 while pursuing my B.S. in English at SIUE. After a couple years at the library, I realized I was much better suited to a career in Library Science than in High School English education. I graduated from SIUE in 2005 with a B.S. in English, and from GSLIS at UIUC with a MSLIS in 2007. I was an on-campus GSLIS student, and through fortuitous timing I was able to return to Wood River Public Library after graduating. I was the Youth Services Librarian for both Wood River and neighboring East Alton Library until May 2008, when I became a full-time staff member at Wood River.


I am the Assistant Director/Youth Services Librarian for Wood River Public Library. My responsibilities include all programming for youth, collection development for books in the Juvenile and Young Adult sections, cataloging all print and nonprint materials for the library, coordinating Homebound services, and numerous other duties. I am currently a member of the Illinois Library Association's Youth Services Forum, the iRead Summer Reading Program Committee, and an active member of my regional Southwest Advocates for Youth Services (SWAYS) group. No two days are ever the same!

Who is your greatest ally and why?

Wood River Public Library's Director, Diane Steele. She aided me in my pursuit of a Library Science degree, and her values of collaboration, cooperation, and involvement in the library community have shaped my views as a professional. Diane's support of new ideas and programs at the library challenges us to grow as an organization and staff. She welcomes outreach relationships within the community, encourages staff to be active in regional and state committees, and her guidance in pursuing grants has been indispensible.

How do you measure success?

When measuring success, I opt for qualitative rather quantitative. Every time I have a positive interaction with a patron, that is a success. Every time a child or teen has a great time at a program, that is a success. Every time I am able to find the answer to a patron's question, or connect a patron with a book or author, or provide a service to our community, I consider that a success. By measuring accomplishments in these terms, I almost always feel like a day has been successful!

What's the best part about working with young people?
The best part about working with young people is their honesty and creativity. If they are enthused, you'll know it, and if something isn't grabbing their attention, you'll know that, too! I try to choose crafts and activities that allow children and teens to express themselves creatively, and I am constantly amazed at what they come up with.


How do you decide what's important?

Anything that directly affects the patrons is important - programming, new materials, outreach, services.  Providing these things to the best of your staff's ability should be the highest priority at your library.

How can you get the most out of attending conferences?

Get social! One of the best things about going to conferences is the face-to-face time you get with colleagues. Take advantage of the social events and mixers and don't be afraid to take the initiative in talking to people. Also, learn the watch words in the program descriptions to find what will be beneficial to you. For example, sessions that advertise innovative programming using "creative staffing" may not be beneficial if you're the only staff member in the Youth Services department. 


What fictional character would you most like to be for a day?

Harriet M. Welch from Harriet the Spy, BEFORE everyone finds her notebook. I've always wanted to ride in a dumbwaiter, and wouldn't mind living on the Upper East Side in New York City.

How do you hope to spend your retirement?

I hope to purchase an RV and spend my retirement travelling around the country and world with my husband. That's a long way off, though!

E-mail Kate at

No comments:

Post a Comment