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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Quackers plans to stay put with Ms. Sue in North Logan's library

BIRD LOVERS: Kids at the North Logan Library adore Quackers and his human, librarian Sue Randleman.

By Erin Wadsworth

December 5, 2006 | NORTH LOGAN -- The city library comes to life on Thursdays and Fridays as Sue Randleman and Quackers delight kids of all ages.

Randleman has been a children's entertainer since her days working at a local library in her hometown of Long Island, N.Y. She originally discovered her talent for ventriloquism in the early 1970s with an old brown bear puppet.

"The kids really believed in him even though he was on my hand," said Randleman, "and the more that I saw that they believed in him, it encouraged me hone my skills as a ventriloquist."

She soon acquired a larger puppet, Firdie the Birdie, but it was in 1984 when she met and fell in love with Quackers at a library convention in Dallas, Texas. Randleman always enjoys the light that comes to a child's eyes when they get to read with Quackers.

"I wish I could have a camera with me so that I could see their faces," said Randleman. "I'm so busy thinking about what I am doing that I can't really pay attention to their facial expressions."

It was the job that brought Randleman to North Logan. The fact that it was a position that would still allow her to work with children and also direct the entire library, made her feel like this was where she belonged.

Her library career began at the age of 15 in an old Presbyterian church that had been converted into a library at the east end of Long Island. It was here she learned the ins and outs of the library workplace, everything from checking books out to shelving them. In the time following her first job she offered her services in a library in the neighboring town of Southold, N.Y. where she worked while she completed her college education. During her time finishing her masters in library science the library director offered her the position of full time children's librarian. From there she held many positions including branch manager in a library in San Antonio, Texas. She has been in North Logan since June of 1997 and has plans to stay put.

"I drive home and I see horses, I see cows, I see beautiful scenery and most other places you wouldn't see that," said Randleman. "I love it here. When I came here I felt like I had been here all the time."

Story time with Quackers remains a North Logan tradition, if you don't believe that just ask the multitudes of parents and children that show up to see the duo every time. A child's response to Quackers is what Ranldeman looks forward to the most, they both enjoy their little giggles.

"That connection that we make with children and with stories is, I think, something that encourages them to want to learn how to read, and to feel good about coming to the library."

Ms. Sue and Quackers can be seen on Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. in the North Logan City Library meeting room.

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