Check It Out: Kathryn Neal, Tulsa City-County Library

Tulsa City-County Library - Skiatook Branch
Tulsa City-County Library - Skiatook Branch
Celadon talked with Kathryn Neal, library associate in Skiatook, Oklahoma, about favorite genres and a very unique reader request.By Jennifer Jackson

What is your favorite thing about your library?

I love the smell when you walk into a library. If you close your eyes it has a peaceful feel to it. The books are calming, and it feels like home.

What book has made the greatest impact on you?

I would have to answer NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. I am amazed and blown away by the information in this book. Society is changing with the abundance of neurodiverse individuals that are living in our world. It is an eye-opening and thought-provoking read about autism and what we deem in our society to be “normal” thinking patterns. Our world is changing from hunters and gatherers to a world behind a computer screen. NeuroTribes delves into what it is to be valued in a click-and-send society. It changes how I value my opinion and emotions toward others. We need to be more understanding of differences and more accepting of those we don’t quite understand, but should.

What book do you recommend most and why?

Since, I am a young adult librarian and love fantasy, I have to say that Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass is probably one of the few I repeatedly recommend. It has a little of everything in it for a reader. Throne of Glass has the underdog character that must champion herself out of a horrible situation with grit and determination. I love that about Sarah J. Maas’s characters: They are young women, who have to rely on themselves to make change. I like determination; it’s an admirable quality.

What’s the last great book you read?

I have to say the last e-ARC that I just read was The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires. It was creepy, page-turning, and just plain captivating. I am not a huge horror fan, but this one had me from beginning to end. I had to know exactly what was going to happen. It is a great deal of nail-biting, creepy fun!

What’s your favorite genre?

In recent years, my favorite genre has been mystery/fantasy. I like the idea of fantasy mixed with mystery; it adds another layer of interest for those who don’t really enjoy mysteries. It gives readers a more diverse amount of characters for stories without all the boundaries of contemporary mysteries.

What’s the most unique or memorable book request you’ve gotten?

I actually had a gentleman who was looking for a band that had heavy metal out in the mid-’90s. He was so bummed that no library carried it. I ended up finding one record for it that would loan it to our library, but it was in Australia. He was willing to wait for it. When it came, I played it while he was here in the library. I couldn’t understand anything that they were saying because the background music was sooo loud. He was so happy though, and it didn’t matter to me — I didn’t have to take it home!

What have been the biggest book trends at your library in the past six months?

I have been pleasantly surprised that LGBTQ young adult books have become more mainstream. We have always had the diversity on our shelves, but I can see that young adults seem more willing to check out titles that may be a little more diverse than what they are used to reading. It makes me happy to see material such as Dumplin’, The Hate U Give, What If It’s Us, Monday’s Not Coming, Sadie, and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns check out with their thought-provoking plots. I think this is the best time to be an author of young adult material. The subject matter seems more cutting edge, and the ability to intertwine genres has become a huge draw to many readers at the library.

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