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Cougar Query: "Librarians know cool people who tell amazing stories"

Name: Rachel Wadham

BYU employee since: 1996

My job at BYU is… to answer questions, but more specifically I’m here to guide students through the complex information universe.

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Currently I’m working on… tons of cool projects including a radio show for BYU Radio called "Worlds Awaiting," a book review journal called The Children’s Book and Media Review and a scholarly article on research detailing the strengths and weaknesses of historical fiction picture books, especially when they are used as educational tools for young children.

I’m currently reading… well, for me I guess the better question would be what am I not reading? Right now I’m reading 3 novels, 2 works of nonfiction and 4 professional books. I read about 400 books a year including children’s, young adult, adult, fiction, nonfiction, picture books, graphic novels, etc., etc.

I get most excited about my work when… I see that I’ve helped a student feel less stressed about a project, when their near-tears demeanor turns to smiles, I know that I’ve helped them feel empowered about their ability to accomplish an assignment.  

An event hosted by my middle school librarian where Leslie Norris came and read poetry to the library aides …sparked my interest in my field because… I saw that librarians knew cool people who told amazing stories with interesting words.

My go-to BYU Creamery ice cream flavor is… Coconut Joy or German Chocolate Crunch (with the theme being coconut).

My go-to comfort food is… spaghetti with Prego sauce (the only acceptable canned spaghetti sauce in my humble opinion).

You’ll never find me without… a book, or two or three, and thanks to my phone and tablet sometimes I’ll even have dozens on me.

My favorite quote is… "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." –Neil Gaiman & G.K. Chesterton

My fondest memory from my childhood was when… my dad would bring us up to campus to “teach” his classes. He taught educational psychology and child development and we were the object lessons, but it wasn’t ‘til I was grown that I realized that was his real purpose. At the time it was cool to hang out, teach his students and go to the old Cougareat for a cafeteria-style lunch.  

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