The Keep Marin Marin project focuses on lifting up the work that each of us do to keep Marin clean, to keep Marin safe, to keep Marin healthy, or in other words, to keep Marin Marin. As part of this project, we will be bringing you interviews with county employees who do important work that sometimes falls under the radar. This week we are featuring Kathleen Fitzhugh Remitz, the children's librarian at the Civic Center Branch of the Marin County Library.
“The best part of my job is watching the youngest story time kids who are still in diapers grow up into voracious readers.” – Kathleen Fitzhugh Remitz, known to her readers as ‘Miss Kitty,’ Children’s Librarian at the Marin County Free Library
Educating our children is a responsibility Marinites take seriously, and reading, perhaps more than any other skill, is necessary to a child’s educational success. Kathleen Fitzhugh Remitz, or Miss Kitty, has been reading to kids her whole life – and for fourteen years as the Children’s Librarian in the Civic Center Branch of the Library. In addition to providing two story times each week, staffing the Children’s Reference Desk, and managing the facility and programs, Kathleen helps ignite a passion for reading in young children that sets them up for success in school.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH MISS KITTY
1. As a Children’s Librarian, what are your responsibilities?
I sit at the Children’s Room Reference Desk full time and help children and families with all the questions that get asked of a Children’s Librarian: homework help, research assistance, school reports, reading recommendations, special needs requests, library cards and more. And then there’s all the administrative work that comes with managing a busy department, such as meetings, committees, reports, etc. I also manage events and programs, such as our annual Summer Reading Game. I am the only children’s services librarian in my branch and rely heavily on my fellow Circulation and Adult Services colleagues to assist me running our busy children’s department.
2. What books get the best reaction when you read to children?
It really depends on the age of the audience. But I say this often: NO ONE is too old to be read to. There’s a reason folk and fairy tales have endured and that everyone loves them. Humans crave stories and we all want to know where we fit in on this planet and what our lives mean.
3. What is the best part of your job?
Watching a child make the connection with books and reading and being a facilitator for that connection. The moment when a child learns to read, or a struggling reader begins to enjoy reading, is very rewarding. I’ll be long forgotten when I’m old and gray (which I already am), but it’s nice to know I had a role to play in that child growing up a reader.
4. What books get checked out the most often?
Every age group has its favorites. Picture books for pre-readers, Easy Chapter books for beginning readers, Chapter Books for older kids and Board Books for babies. We have them all and they all circulate like mad. It’s my job to know what the best books are for each of those areas.
5. Are there any children you've read to over the years who you are still in touch with?
Oh yes. I see them when they are on break from college or in with their younger siblings. I always laugh when a handsome young man comes in (who was once a little guy obsessed with dinosaur books) and says “Hello Miss Kitty!” with this deep booming voice. My next though invariably is, “I wish I could get you to read aloud to kids with that great voice. You’d make a perfect giant for Jack and the Beanstalk.”
Visit us at www.KeepMarinMarin.org to learn more.