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   Young Alberta Book Society

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

Featured Titles by Canadian author Vicki Blum
Wish Upon a Unicorn cover The Shadow Unicorn cover The Trouble With Spitt cover
Wish Upon a Unicorn
Scholastic Canada, 1999
ISBN 0590515195
The Shadow Unicorn
Scholastic Canada, 2000
ISBN 0439987067
The Trouble With Spitt

Purchase this book from
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 Find out more at Deseret Book

Vicki's unicorn books are available through Scholastic Canada book fairs.
What influenced you to become a librarian, or to work in a library? 

    I always loved reading, and when I suddenly became a single mother with four children to raise, I used simple logic.

Do you have a library/information science degree? 

    I have a two-year diploma in Library and Information Technology from the Southern Alberta Institude of Technology.  I also have a Bachelor's Degree in English from Athabasca University.

What kinds of library positions have you held and where?

    For eight years I was a school librarian at Good Shepherd School in Okotoks, Alberta.  Now (for the past 1 1/2 years) I'm  the librarian at St. Mary's School in Okotoks.  I changed schools, but not school divisions.

How long have you been, a librarian?   Ten years.

Are you currently working as a librarian?  Yes.

Do you plan to continue in the profession? 

    Yes, until I can make enough money writing to support myself, or if I find that I no longer need to eat!

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

    Being a librarian is just a job.  Writing is what makes life worth living!

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

    No.  I was a writer before I was a librarian.

Does your library work directly influence your work as an author? 

    No, except that it showed me what kinds of books kids love to read.

Does you respond to the lack of certain kinds of books?

    There is definitely a lack of good fiction in certain areas, and that does give me ideas on what to write about.

Did librarianship increase your knowledge of children's literature and influence the kinds of things you chose to write?    Absolutely.

Did incidents from your library work ever make it into your books?
Did you ever set any scenes in your books in the library

    No, although in one of my books, two children fall into a magic book and end up in the Hansel and Gretel story.

What are the greatest benefits of being a librarian to you as a writer?  I know what's being published in the field.

Are there any drawbacks to being a librarian and also a writer?    Not enough time for writing.

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

    I have very little free time.

How does your employment impact on how much you write and when you do it?

    I have to write in the evening when I'm tired.

Do you find any conflicts or job-related difficulties in being both a writer and a librarian? 

    Yes. When I get asked to do author visits, it sometimes causes problems.

How do your library/school administration and colleagues view your authorship?   They're proud of me. 

Is it appreciated and encouraged?  Yes. 

Are the library patrons/students aware of your writing?

    Yes.  The parents buy tons of my books when I have a book fair.

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

    Mostly that it keeps me in touch with children.

Vicki is the author of these books:

The Trouble With Spitt,  Deseret Book, 1996. 
Wish Upon a Unicorn, Scholastic Canada, 1999.  ISBN 0590515195
The Shadow Unicorn, Scholastic Canada, 2000.  ISBN 0439987067

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Last Updated October 31, 2003