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 Danilo Figueredo
  (D. H. Figueredo) 

  Contact Danilo Figueredo through his publisher:
  Lee & Low Books
  95 Madison Avenue, Suite # 606
  New York, NY 10016

Authors Among Us - Children's Writers Who Are or Who Have Been Librarians

Featured Titles by Cuban - New Jersey writer D. H. Figueredo
When This World Was New cover   When This World Was New

  Lee and Low Books
  ISBN 1 - 880000 86 5

  Purchase this book from Amazon.com

Un Mundo Nuevo cover   Un Mundo Nuevo (Spanish version of the above title)

  Lee and Low Books
  ISBN: 158430006X

  Puchase this book from Amazon.com

  Find out more about  Danilo Figueredo's books at Lee and Low Books
What influenced you to become a librarian?

   As a young boy in Cuba, I met the librarian in charge of the Masonic Library in Havana.  At the time, I loved reading Jules Verne and this man knew a lot about the French writer.  He also looked so melodramatic surrounded by globes and old books that I thought this might a fan job.

   Years later, when I was graduating from college, there were no jobs available for teachers.  Also, my favorite professor told me that if I wanted to write, I shouldn't teach because performing in front of the class might satisfy my creative needs and stop me from writing, which was always a dream of mine.

  I took his advice and went to library school.  What I knew for a fact was that I wanted to be surrounded by books and it looked librarianship was the one to do this. I'm not, however, neither as knowledgeable nor as melodramatic as the librarian I met in Cuba long ago.

Do you have a library/information science degree?  

   I have a MLS and a Master in Comporative Lit.

What kinds of library positions have you held and where?

   Reference librarian; Latin American curators; Map Librarian; Executive Director of the
      NJ LIbrary Association; Director of a college library.

 How long have you been a librarian?  25 years.

Do you plan to continue in the profession? 

   I can't make a living as writer, so  I will remain a librarian for a while longer.

Which came first in your life, your career as a librarian or writing for children? 

   The career as librarian came first.

Did your library work have anything to do with becoming a children's writer? 

   No.  I fell in love with children lit when my children were small and my wife and I read to them.  I became a children's writer when I told my son a story and he told me that I should write.  Hopefully, I'll be able to publish a few more books.

Did your library work directly influence your work as an author?    No.

Did you ever set any scenes in your books in the library?  Not yet but will one day.

What are the greatest benefits of being a librarian to you as a writer?

   Lots of books around and attending conferences where I meet other librarians and authors who love children's lit.

Are there any drawbacks to being a librarian and also a writer?

   Not enough time to write.

If you write while working as as librarian, how do you manage the time-juggling act?

   I write during lunch-time (I haven't taken lunch during the last five years); I write in my head while commuting; I write when my family is asleep or I'm home alone --the latter seldom happens

Did you find any conflicts or job-related difficulties in being both a writer and a librarian?
For instance, how do your library/school administration and colleagues view your authorship? 
Is it appreciated and encouraged? 

   I keep a low profile when it comes to my writing. I have the sense some of the faculty resent it.  The fact is, no one at work ever talks to me about writing --when it comes to the faculty.  I find that the staff, on the other hand, talks to me
about writing and have bought copies of the book.

Do you feel that librarianship has specific benefits to you as a writer? 

   Just makes me aware the thousands of talented writers who are out there, working hard.

Special Quote from Danilo Figueredo:

   If you want to write children's book and you happen to be a librarian, it is better to be a children's librarian than an administrator.  Children's librarians are in contact with young readers all the time and an administrator is not.  In my case, I go to the library regulary just to sit in the children's room and watch and listen to the children.  I look at the books they're holding in their hands and try to guess what really appeals to them.  I also speak with the librarians all the time.

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Last Updated October 22, 2003