Q&A The Reading Room

By Shelby Deering | Photo by Holly Leitner

Last spring, Wendy Finley was promoted to the role of Youth Services Librarian at the Lake Geneva Public Library. With the completion of the recent $1.3-million-dollar renovations at the library, Finley says she’s excited to make use of the refreshed spaces to bring literacy and community-building opportunities to young learners in new and fun and ways. We asked her a few questions about her role at the library and her plans for the new school year.

ATL: What are things you do every day as the Youth Services Librarian?

WF: I communicate with teachers to schedule visits from local schools. During the school year, I usually have one or two class visits a day. I also talk to families and community members in the library to understand how I can better serve them. Then, I plan and offer programming. Programming is where I get to interact with our youth and see their imagination, creativity and problem-solving at work. That is what I love most.

ATL: What do you have planned at the library over the next school year?

WF: I will continue with the programming that consistently draws large attendance, such as storytime, STEM night, Chess Club and Sensory Playtime. I plan to highlight our exuberant community and talented youth, working with groups such as The Combining Cultures Dance Club, The Dynamic Dolphins Choir and Arts Clubs at Badger. My goal is to shine a light on the wealth of resources we have right here in Lake Geneva and the surrounding areas.

ATL: Why is it important that kids start experiencing a love for reading at a young age?

WF: I want children to develop a love of the library as a place of learning as early as possible. When children come to storytime, they learn that the library is a warm place where we tell stories, we play with toys that spark our imagination and where we learn new things like how to finger knit. Those are the building blocks for a well-developed sense of belonging, curiosity and knowledge. The library becomes a place to go to be part of the community.

ATL: How does the Lake Geneva Public Library make life better for area kids?

WF: The library is a place where all kids and families are welcome. Everyone can come to our programs and take advantage of our offerings and services free of charge. It never ceases to amaze me how many kids and adults light up when I say that everything at the library is free. Even at such a young age, the school-age children that come for visits have a hard time believing that they don’t have to pay anything for a library card. They have access to the Internet, top-notch musicians, performers, educators, art, STEM activities, books and one of the best views you could ask for anytime they want.

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