Gaffney Starts as Librarian

By: Valerie Velaquez ’20

Loretta Gaffney joined the middle school community this year as a new librarian. She previously worked at UCLA teaching classes in Young Adult literature and reading research.

Gaffney has been living in Los Angeles for 10 years after moving from Chicago. She already had some experience as a school librarian at the Chicago Lab School. There, she worked with a range of students from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Gaffney has never worked with only middle-schoolers before but said she enjoys the change.

“[Middle schoolers] are young enough not to be too cynical yet, but also have a lot to say,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney said she has enjoyed working at the Middle School and has been getting along with her co-workers in the library. According to Gaffney, one of the best parts of being a librarian is being able to recommend books to people that have an impact on their life, since books have had an impact on hers.

Gaffney has been getting along with her colleagues at work, including librarian Elaine Levia.

“Ms. Gaffney is cheerful and helpful. When I was in graduate school in UCLA studying to be a librarian, Ms. Gaffney was one of my proffesors. So it’s not only an incredible pleasure to work with her but a total honor,” Levia said.

This January, Gaffney will release a new book called “Young Adult Literature: Libraries and Conservative Activism.” Her book discusses topics relevant to the censorship of Young Adult literature. In her book, Gaffney analyzes all sides of the argument over whether YA is beneficial to readers. For example, she examines whether Young Adult is too dark for young readers and how much education one can get from a book of that genre.

“My main point is that there are different ways to look at YA. The point of my book is to make readers more conscious of what factors are at play,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney said books are important not just for herself, but for others too. Gaffney believes that it is important for kids not to just have educational or literary books, but ones that they actually enjoy and take pleasure in reading.

“I think other kinds of reading, like magazines and even reading online, are all positive,” Gaffney said.

 

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