Welcome to Shhh…Secrets of the Librarians, a new series (inspired by our long-running Secrets of the Book Critics) in which bibliothecaries (yes, it’s a real word) from around the country share their inspirations, most-recommended titles, thoughts on the role of the library in contemporary society, favorite fictional librarians, and more. Each week we’ll spotlight a librarian—be they Academic, Public, School, or Special—and bring you into their wonderful world.
This week, we spoke to Michigan-based children’s librarian, Randi Foor-Dalton.
Book Marks: What made you decide to become a librarian?
Randi Foor-Dalton: I have always been an avid library user, but I stumbled upon this profession completely by accident when I was looking for a new job. Almost a decade later, and here I am!
BM: What book do you find yourself recommending the most and why?
RFD: American Holocaust by David Stannard or An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. I am Six Nations and love sharing information about indigenous folks.
BM: Tell us something about being a librarian that most people don’t know?
RFD: Working in a library has nothing to do with books and everything to do with people.
BM: What is the weirdest/most memorable question you’ve gotten from a library patron?
RFD: I had an elderly woman take an online personality quiz, print each page of the quiz off individually, then ask where to mail the quiz so that she could get her results as soon as possible 🙂
BM: What role does the library play in contemporary society?
RFD: The library is a place of information. With the rise of fake news and confirmation bias on the internet, it’s becoming more and more imperative that we have the most up-to-date and well-curated sources of information, especially for poor and marginalized communities.
BM: Who is your favorite fictional librarian?
RFD: Bat Girl!
Randi Foor-Dalton grew up in a mixed family in rural Michigan. It is her goal as a children’s librarian to make sure other brown kids living in white spaces feel seen and heard, especially at their public library. She has worked in libraries for 8 years and has been the children’s director of the Caro Area District Library since 2015