How This Awesome Librarian Gets Kids to Read

Photo by: Queens Library
2013 Challenge: Read 4,000 books
Final Results: 4,595 books
Scatena made good on her bet when the children exceeded their goal. She read "There's an Alligator Under My Bed" ... more 
Photo by: Queens Library
2013 Challenge: Read 4,000 books
Final Results: 4,595 books
Scatena made good on her bet when the children exceeded their goal. She read "There's an Alligator Under My Bed" by Mercer Mayer to a crowded library last week. "Wally is an 18-year-old girl, by the way — and the kids loved her," she says.
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Fri, Sep 20, 2013 1:49 PM EDT
Queens Librarian Susan Scatena really wants children to read - so she enlisted the help of an alligator to get her point across. Scatena recently challenged 300 neighborhood kids to collectively finish at least 4,000 books over the summer. In return, Scatena, who works at the Whitestone branch, agreed to read a storybook to a six-foot gator named Wally, on loan from a local reptile trainer, while hundreds of children looked on last week. The stunt is just the latest in a yearly contest to get kids to read over the summer. "I'm not your typical librarian who wears a bun," Scatena told Yahoo Shine. "I want kids to think of library as cool." Here are some of her persuasion tactics. -By Elise Sole