Although he's only been a paid employee of the libraries for a year, Wyatt has a much longer history with the Gere Branch Library, as you'll see from his comments below. His reviews first appeared on our Customer Reviews page(s), and since April 2013, his reviews have been showing up regularly on the Staff Recommendations pages of the BookGuide web site, and on the Staff Recommendations display at Bennett Martin Public Library. Meet Wyatt P., in his answers to our profile questions:
Would you care to share any personal info with our readers -- such as where you grew up, what you read as a child, how long you've been with the libraries, etc.?
I've lived in Lincoln all my life, and have many memories of going to Gere Branch and just browsing the shelves. I have had the unique experience of being home schooled since second grade, and as I now enter my Senior year of high school, I look forward to going to college and earning my degree in Library Science. I, like so many others, learned to read with the wonderful Dr. Seuss books, and then expanded into the juvenile chapter books. I did go on a kick in third or fourth grade where I read everything by Beverly Cleary.
How long have you been an active reader, and were there any particular books or authors or other people that "made you a reader"?
I've been a reader for most of my life. Reading is a joy to me in my day, and even when work and school keep me busy, I still manage to have at least one book going. A few of the series that made me a big reader are The Deltora Quest series by Emily Rodda, and The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, both of which I read in middle school and are wonderful fantasy adventure stories that I would still reread today. Most recently the novel that has influenced me most has been The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which is a fantastic story regarding childhood and memory, and is one of my favorites.
How important are books and reading to you, currently?
Books are very important to me. I believe the written word holds such power and allows us, as readers, to experience something so intensely visceral. It can be used for escapism, learning, or just entertainment. Not only do I read for my own entertainment but also to become more acquainted with a wider range of subjects to better help patrons find that perfect book they may not have been expecting.
How do you select what books to read next?
I often look through the BookGuide site as well as talk to coworkers and friends. Book bloggers have also become a daily source of book recommendations and information. I will also take a look at my ever increasing bookshelves, where the things I have yet to get to reside.
What do you enjoy about writing book recommendations?
I like that people are able to find their next good read through my review. Sitting down to write a review also puts me in the position to better analyze the text and story, making me think of the dynamics of characters and settings harder than I would otherwise, and opening up different elements of the story and writing.
What is your history with the Lincoln City Libraries – how long have you been a customer, and how long have you worked for LCL? Which locations?
I have been going to Gere Branch since I was a small child. I then had the wonderful opportunity to become a Summer Reading volunteer and then a member of Gere’s Teen Advisory Board. After several years of volunteering I was thrilled when I was able to become a Library Aide at my favorite branch! I have now worked officially for a year at Gere Branch Library and have enjoyed the experience greatly.
Do you have a favorite literary-related website you like to visit or that you'd like to recommend?
Goodreads.com is a great source of book information and is a wonderful tool to use in keeping track of what you have read and own. You are also able write and read reviews of just about every book you can think of, making it a great way to pick out a book others are recommending.
Are there any interesting book- or reading-related stories or bits of trivia in your past that you’d like to share with our readers?
I did get the great experience to meet Rainbow Rowell, Omaha author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, at an author reading where I was able to have my books signed! We exchanged book recommendations and briefly talked about some of our favorites. It was my first time meeting an author and Rainbow is just great! I also just recently got lucky and won a signed copy of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, who grew up in Lincoln and graduated from East High School. I always get excited about Nebraskan authors.
If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:
I can narrow it down to two authors currently, but that's it! Neil Gaiman has such a way with words and creates fantasy stories that are just so amazing, though they read like a fairy tale you can't help but relate to his characters and be sucked into his fantastic worlds. I do not read a lot of contemporary fiction, so it says quite a bit about Rainbow Rowell's novels when I say they are just great!
Booklists from Book Talks presented by Wyatt:
Fiction With a Twist [October 2013]
Posted to the BookGuide site in September 2013 sdc