About

Who are you?

I’m Ms. C. (You can call me Amanda.) I’m a sometime librarian living in Chicago, but I’m from Wisconsin and went to school in Los Angeles. I love my job. (I also love ice skating, the Green Bay Packers, festivals, cooking, concerts, camping in the desert, playing piano, and visiting unusual places – among other things.)

I don’t understand what a “sometime librarian” is.

Sometimes I’m a librarian! Sometimes I do other things. I have also been a web & graphic designer, a bear builder, an ice cream scooper, a debate coach, a copy editor, and a reporter, among other things.

Why does this website exist?

A few reasons! Originally it was a portfolio for grad school. Now it’s a handy spot to store things that I think are cool or valuable (and potentially useful to others). I like to share my lessons, and rather than emailing people .zip files (ugh, what year is it), I wanted to be able to just send my colleagues a link. Way easier.

Obviously this website is not comprehensive. I’ve been working in school and public libraries since 2008, and I’ve taught a lot of lessons and created a lot of programs — these are just some of my favorites.

Hello Library is a weird name.

A long time ago I did outreach storytimes for a public library. At one of the daycares we served, there was a little girl who greeted me each week with a wildly excited “Hello, library!!!” It was pretty great.

That’s not a picture of a library.

True.

What’s it a picture of?

The Urangan Pier in Queensland, Australia. For no particular reason except that the dimensions of the header image are very weird, and this was the best-looking picture for those dimensions.

What’s the deal with the alligator puppet?

I worked for a while in a school where this alligator puppet was the only puppet. Thus she became my go-to puppet. Her name is Dr. Alligator. She taught many of my K-2 classes and was beloved by all. She had some seriously magical abilities – one kindergartener would only follow directions when Dr. Alligator delivered them directly to him. She kissed all the students goodbye at the door, and my incoming classes – 5th and 6th graders – were very envious. When I left that school, I bought my very own Dr. Alligator.

But isn’t she from that book – The Teacher from the Black

No. This is Dr. Alligator.

What is she a doctor of?

Don’t worry about it.

Can I use your stuff?

Please do. If something goes really well (…or flames out, I guess), drop me a line – I’d love to hear about it.

(Caveat: you cannot use my stuff to, like, populate your own website. You can’t pretend you wrote these pages. But you’re entirely welcome to: show my video booktalks or read them to your students; teach and modify the lessons, units, and programs; print and copy the booklists & posters; and so on.)

But like, why would I trust your opinion? You’re just some person on the internet, and my librarian told me that I should only use “credible” websites.

Well, it sounds like your librarian gave you great advice! You don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some student testimonials from a recent school library survey (answers to the question “What is the best thing about the library?”):

“Mrs. Crowley is the best librarian ever and she’s the best at giving good recommendations. She will know what books you’ll be interested in, and is willing to put a lot of effort to help you find a book or really anything. It’s great.” (8th grade student)

“I love how it is easy to find a book I am interested in. Not finding the actual book, but knowing which one I want to read. For example, the book of the week is really helpful because I get a chance to know what the book is about along with Ms. Crowley’s opinion (which is reliable).” (6th grade student)

“I like that I can come up to Ms. Crowley and say I’m looking for a realistic fiction book about… and she will give me a perfect book in minutes.” (7th grade student)

OK, so maybe you do know about books. What are your favorites?

My three favorite books, because that is exactly how far I can narrow it down, are:

Lizard Music, by Daniel Pinkwater

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Dangerous Angels, by Francesca Lia Block

(Honorable mentions to A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. Maybe I can’t narrow it down to three.)

All of those are children’s books. For the most part, those are better than books for adults.

One of my life goals is to meet all three of these authors. So far, I have only met Mr. Chbosky, who is a really lovely human being. Daniel Pinkwater was kind enough to autograph my copies of Lizard Music and Ducks! through the mail, and he will probably do the same for you if you ask nicely. No leads on Francesca Lia Block, though. Let me know if you can hook me up.

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