Kris Zimmerman’s profession was within the books – Loveland Reporter-Herald
Kris Zimmerman spent so many years reading to the children at Loveland Public Library that many of her patrons asked her if she was Mrs. Runschmunkel, the fictional homonymous reading room in the library.
No, Zimmerman is not a Runschmunkel, although she is known to many children and others who visit the library.
Zimmerman recently retired after 35 years in the library. Today, she talks about her profession and her passion.
1) Did you choose this profession or did you choose this profession?
This profession chose me. My degree is in primary education with an emphasis on childhood. After graduating, I was an assistant teacher at the Thompson School District for about six months when I saw the to-do list for a library assistant willing to make history. I got the job and over the years went from doing one story a week to six to seven hours a week. It was the perfect app for me combining my love of reading and working with young children.
2) How has the purpose of a library changed as the Internet has become more dominant?
I’m not sure the purpose of the library has changed, what has changed is the way the library provides its services. It is also a place that provides access to information for all. When I started this was mainly through tangible objects that you checked and returned. These services are still available, but you can now check e-books, access online databases, and even watch real-time and other programs. You do not need to walk to the library and you can still use many of its resources. For those who do not have Internet access at home, they can use the computer lab and iCreate space.
3) What advice would you give to a parent who has difficulty getting their child to read?
I encourage them to allow their children to read whatever they want. There are so many graphic novels that do not look like traditional books but still incorporate reading. Another great option would be an audio book and then follow along with the book. The library has audio books available online or in person. They even have a kit that includes a player and book together. My last piece of advice is to read together as a family. Reading to your children can continue until high school and high school. Make reading enjoyable!
4) Who is your favorite author and why?
One of my favorite children’s writers to read to children is David Wiesner. His books are almost wordless, so it’s great to share the story with the children as we look at the pictures and decide what happens. For my personal reading, I enjoy both Ann Patchett and Sena Jeter Naslund. I really like stories that explore the lives of their characters. I like to enter their world.
5) If you could visit any library – from now on or since antiquity – which one would you visit and why?
I like to visit all the libraries! When we travel my husband may need to visit the library in this area. I have not yet visited the New York Public Library or the Library of Congress. They are virtual, both in the size of their collection and in the architecture of the buildings themselves.
Occupation: Children’s library (recently retired)
Years in Loveland: 44