Loren Long

Loren Long: 'as cool as going to gym class'

"Story hour was sort of like almost as cool as going to gym class"

I have to go back to the start, my elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky. Clays Mill Elementary. I guess one of my earliest memories is just going in for storytime with Miss Creedcraft (sp?) who was my elementary school librarian.

It was...I was like a normal typical boy, I liked sports and all that stuff, but going to Miss Creedcraft's story hour was sort of like almost as cool as going to gym class because we would all sit around in the room and she just had such a warm way about her. And that just sticks with you for your life.

I think it goes back to that experience where she...as well as many other librarians in my lifetime had such enthusiasm for it. For them it was as exciting as sharing a movie with us or sharing...you know, like...the Cincinnati Reds World Series game.

For her it was...we're here for books and...it was fun. It was fun to learn the library system with her and she was.... for me, in my young life, she was just this personality. Part of the family, in a way.

My sons now are  fourteen and  sixteen. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and we have an amazing Cincinnati Public Library. I go down there on occasion, but I more use our branch library which is just two blocks away. Interestingly, it's kind of fun because my sons are teenagers and they...there's this neat little trend where they walk, some of them, walk from the high school over to the branch of the Cincinnati Public Library, and they do some studying. It's almost like a college environment, but maybe not quite as serious.

So, for our family,the library still means a great deal to us.

[On library budget cuts]

Yeah, it's terrible. It hits me most, again, going back to my elementary grade, and you know, I'm a picture-book guy, so I'm all about those tender early books and the elementary grades, the early elementary grades...And if your cutting the library in the school and cutting library staff, and all that, you're cutting the heart out of, obviously, early childhood education.

[On banned books]

I'm not a fan of that. I mean, I'm against that. I'm against it. I believe that if you don't like a book, you don't have to read it. You don't have to ban it.

I have a book called "Night Song," which is a picture book about a little baby bat named Chiro. It comes out in September of 2012. My next book after that is another Otis story. I have a little tractor named Otis which are picture books that I'm writing and illustrating as well and we have "Otis and the Puppy"coming out in spring of 2013. 

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Library Name: 

Clays Mill Elementary,Lexington, Kentucky