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Mary Kuehner

April 11, 2012

Mary Kuehner

It’s National Library Week!

Here at 12?s we believe in libraries. We think the mission of providing access to books and information for free to as many people as possible is one of the great engines of Democracy. We believe that librarians’ dedication to expanding literacy, ensuring access to information, and opposing censorship is not only laudable, but downright heroic. So today on 12?s, we’re celebrating National Library Week by featuring one of our favorite librarians.

Mary Kuehner is a Children’s Outreach Librarian in Colorado.  She’s an early literacy advocate and tries  to get children excited about books and to educate their parents about how they can help their young children get ready to learn to read. She knows a lot about picture books, is pretty good with puppets, plays a few notes on the ukulele and knows how to make a fool of herself in front of preschoolers.  They seem to appreciate it, and we know you will too.

1. What is your hometown?

I was born in LA, but we moved to Aurora, Colorado when I was 5. The Denver metro area is home.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Wow, that’s a tough question for a librarian to answer. Anne of Green Gables? Yes, we’re both redheads, but as much as I wanted to, I never dyed mine green (intentionally or otherwise). But I admire her passion and probably over-dramatize life just as much as she does. I would like to identify more with Pete the Cat. Look him up.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

I was told, by a guy I went out with once, that I looked like Elisabeth Shue. Huh. I’ll pick Julianne Moore for two reasons: Obviously, there’s her gorgeous red hair, but did you know she writes pretty decent children’s books? In the amazingly sucktacular (yes, it’s a word!) world of celebrity picture books, hers stand out as right decent (plus, the illustrator is one of my favorites, LeUyen Pham). 

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

I grew up singing in choirs and find singing, and music in general, very cathartic. I have a playlist on my ipod of “singalong songs.”

I was in a choir once that sang several Marten Lauridsen pieces – including Lux Aeterna and O Magnum Mysterium – and I get goosebumps every time I hear them. Listen at least until you get to the dissonant chord – that’s my favorite part.

I also adore his Dirait On:

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I am currently 2/3 of the way through John Green’s latest Young Adult novel “The Fault in Our Stars.” I have already cried once, and expect to do so again. I haven’t loved a book like this in a long time.  There is some amazing YA and Kids’ literature out there (yes, LITERATURE) and I will fight with anyone who belittles it because it’s written for KIDS.

My favorite books of all time are: Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”; Dodie Smith’s “I Capture the Castle”; Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies”; Ellen Raskin’s “The Westing Game”; and picture books too numerous to mention (ask me if you want a recommendation – I love talking books for kids!)

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

The Bird and The Bee “Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: Hall and Oates”. Don’t judge it ‘til you’ve heard it.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

I’m just gonna say it, and own it: “The Muppets”.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

In the grand stereotypical tradition of librarians, I am a crazy cat lady.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Truth is a kindness.  So, both?

10.    How do you define sin?

Knowingly harming others – physically or otherwise.

11.    How do you define virtue?

The opposite of sin?

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I will not be buried. I will be cremated and my ashes scattered in the mountains somewhere (shh…don’t tell the forest service). I hope that if I am remembered, it will be for my stories, work, and the way I treated people.

Connections:
@daisycakes
Miss Mary Liberry 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2012 10:34

    Yay! Great interview. Mary is a doll.

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