This blog is part of an occasional series which will introduce employees of The Ferguson Library. Today, meet Caroline Ward, Coordinator of Youth Services.
Some people wander through life having no idea which career to pursue. Luckily, for Caroline Ward, that was never the case.
“I’ve known from the time I was a little girl that I wanted to work in a library,” said Ward, who grew up in Michigan and has been at The Ferguson for 12 years. “I became a librarian basically because I loved to read. And what better way to justify reading kids’ books and recommending them?”
Combining an encyclopedic knowledge of children’s books with a passion for teaching, Ward is a dynamic force who has been working as a librarian for over 40 years. During that time, Ward has seen lots of changes in her profession, but she thinks the most positive transformation has been the “explosion” in both the type and quantity of illustrations in children’s books.
“If you walked into the children’s section of a library 40 years ago, it would be very different,” Ward said. “There would have been a lot less color, no graphic novels and a lot less illustration overall.”
In the future, Ward sees the e-book gaining an ever greater influence in children’s literature. She thinks an important part of librarians’ jobs will be closing the “app gap” by offering access to new technologies to less fortunate kids.
This summer, Ward is recommending three great chapter books for children: Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Son by Lois Lowry. Her favorite book, however, is a classic that she teaches at the Pratt School of Information and Library Science every Spring semester: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
“I really feel that book stands the test of time… the basic themes of friendship and loss, and growing up and leaving childhood behind. They are timeless.”