Librarian Reads Entire YA Collection

To those of you who have the curmudgeonly attitude that librarians don’t have time to read… meet Karen Yingling.

In just over 9 years, Middle School librarian Karen Yingling read all 6,000 hardcover fiction books kept in the library.

“I wanted to make sure that all the books were good,” she said.

Her journey began in 2002, when she cracked open The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

In the years since she tore through three or four young adult novels daily, reading for three hours each night after work.

“The kids ask me how I can do it, and I tell them that I’m like a marathon runner of reading,” she said. “It shows them that the more you read, the more you develop those reading muscles.”

Last Wednesday, Feb. 16, she crossed the finish line, reading Roots in the Outfield by Jane Zirpoli.

I’m in awe. That averages out to nearly 2 books per day. I’m a huge fan of YA literature, and wish I could churn out books like this in addition to work and my course load. My goal for 2011 is 150 books, and I am well on my way to meeting it.

But I think what I love most of all about this story is that Yingling found a creative way to engage her students.

Yingling prides herself on her ability to help students find a book that won’t put them to sleep during daily silent reading sessions.

“When the kids get the right book, they’re not going to struggle, and they won’t have to keep reading the same pages over and over,” she said. “A lot of kids say they don’t like reading … until just the right book hits.”

She doesn’t put a new book on the shelves without reading it first. This woman knows her stuff.

I would have loved a librarian like her way back when I was in middle school.



Posted on February 23, 2011, in Libraries in the News, Reading. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. And I love having students like you! Good luck on your goal to read 150 books– remember, the more you read the better you’ll get! Thanks for the shout out!

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