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Stetson Momosor, Youth Services Librarian, Samson-Dimond Library
By Stefan Marti

Stetson Momosor grew up in Long Island, New York. A vivid memory from her childhood is of a library she visited when she was nine years old.

"It was an old stone house," she says, "and climbing up to the second floor was an iron spiral staircase. There was something magical about the steps and I needed to know what was upstairs."

After slowly climbing up the cold black steps to the top, she wandered through the mysterious aisles of "grown up" books. She felt like she had ascended into a mystical dream. It is a similar feeling of wonder, she hopes, that children will feel when they enter the magical world of books.

Stetson Momosor and The Cat in the Hat
Momosor studied Elementary Education and earned a teaching degree at State University of New York at Cortland. She taught first grade for two years, then went on to get a Master's degree in Library Science from Long Island University in Greenvale. During this time, she started working as an elementary school librarian. "I wanted to interact with more students than one grade level," she says.

After being a school librarian for five years on Long Island, Momosor came to visit her brother in Alaska. She immediately fell in love with the state and moved to Anchorage. She's been working at Samson-Dimond since 1989.

"I enjoy dealing with the various people," Momosor says. "Also, as a librarian, you are constantly solving puzzles. People give you a little direction or an idea and you have to figure out where the information is."

Why are books important? Momosor thinks it is important for people of all ages to be exposed to language, ideas, and information.

"Reading fiction, one also learns a lot about history and life," she says. She feels that books are important for the imagination. The reader is given words, but has to use a creative process to see the world of the author and the characters that live in it. "The imagination fills in information that is not there," she says, " you think about things in your head that you don't see on the page." This is unique to books. In television and film, the entire fictional world is given to you.

Momosor believes it is important to get children reading early. "The older they are, the harder it is to get them interested," she says. "I like to see them excited about books. I want them coming back on their own, not because they have to for school."

Some of Momosor's favorite children's books include:

The Little House - Burton.
Nancy Drew stories
Henry Huggins - Beverly Cleary
Danger in Quicksand Swamp - Bill Wallace

Photo of Stetson Momosor is by Stefan Marti

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