Look Around the Kids Area
Welcome to the children’s department! We strive to provide exceptional service to children ages 0-12 and their families. In our department children can learn, grow, and spread their wings by utilizing interactive play areas, participating in programs, and of course using our wide and varied collection.
A Place for Everyone
Our children’s department is more than just our collection; we are also a place for people to gather and learn. Our special areas start with our board book room, designed for babies and toddlers. With a table just their size, a rocking chair for cozy reading together time, and books made just for this age group, this room is a perfect place to start a young child’s library adventure.
We have more interactive play areas throughout the children’s department. The puzzle tables are ready to help children practice fine motor skills and learn visual discrimination of sizes, colors, shapes and more. Our fan favorite train table is here to help practice gross and fine motor skills as well as social skills such as sharing and working together.
School aged kids have their own special places here in the children’s department. Scope out a seat in our intermediate seating area with fun furniture and spaces to work on homework. If you are 3rd grade and older check out KidsLab for fun STEAM activities and programs.
The space in the children’s department is constantly changing to fit the needs of the community and the needs of the library. Sometimes short term changes are made for programs. Youth Art Month, Harry Potter Book Night, IditaRead Winter Reading Program, and Summer Reading Adventures are examples of programs that bring fun decorations, art, and more to make the whole department feel exciting and festive!
Our collection holds materials for ages 0-12, meaning we have a lot of variety in our collection. Our book collection consists of board books for the youngest readers, bin books about popular characters, picture books for all readers, easy readers for our beginning readers, beginning fiction for those who are ready to move on to short chapter books, juvenile fiction for our chapter book readers, and graphic fiction that is enjoyed by all.
Our wide variety of materials beyond print books include audiobooks, DVDs, Wii and Wii U games, CDs, and a magazine collection.
Learn more here about check out periods and information about overdue fees on our materials.
Grab a book bundle to check out! A book bundle is a set of books that has been assembled based on a topic or theme. Book bundles are a great way to discover new books, read about a variety of topics, and check out a stack of books all at once.
Meet Our Staff
Valerie Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
Valerie Johnson has worked in libraries for just over forty years (!) and has been the children’s services manager at the Pauline Haas Public Library since summer 2014. Prior to Pauline Haass she managed the children’s department at the Oshkosh Public Library, and worked as a children’s librarian and language arts teacher in Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Marywood University, and a master of library science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. At the age of nine she decided to be a librarian when she grew up and now immensely enjoys her job, especially when she witnesses excitement for books and a growing love of reading in children at the library. She loves silly books like Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera and sweet books like This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary. She has read the entire Little House series eight times and can’t wait to start it again.
Teresa Douglas, Children’s Librarian
Teresa has been a children’s librarian since 2017. She holds a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and her master of library and information science degree from the University of South Carolina. Prior to the Pauline Haass Public Library, Teresa was the reference intern for both the children and adult departments at the New Berlin Public Library. Teresa enjoys planning and running some of our bigger programs such as Harry Potter book night, KiddieCon and our popular American Girl programs. She loves coming up with new program ideas so everyone in the community can find one they want to attend. She enjoys finding new books for all readers and loves when they fall in love with their new find. Some of Teresa’s favorite books are our large collection of spooky books, horse books, summer camp books, and, of course, Harry Potter.
Victoria VanZile, Children’s Library Associate
Victoria VanZile has been a youth services associate at Pauline Haass Public Library since the summer of 2017. She has an associate degree in early childhood education from MATC Madison and a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Wartburg College in Iowa, where her favorite class by far was Children’s Literature. Before joining the library staff Victoria was a K3/K4 teacher in Milwaukee. She also worked at the Wild Rumpus children’s bookstore in Minneapolis for many years (the one with the Manx cats and bantam chickens that run around the store—so she is used to chaos). Victoria is the mother of four active children (see previous comment about chaos). Her favorite read-aloud picture books are by Phyllis Root and her favorite illustrators are LeUyen Pham, Kadir Nelson, and Yuyi Morales. If you mention anything about Doctor Who, she will be your new best friend.
MJ Jorn, Children’s Library Associate
MJ joined the youth services team in May 2021. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s in architectural engineering degrees from Korea University in Seoul. She also holds a Ph.D. in architecture–environment behavior design, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. MJ has kept her passion for books from her childhood. As a child, she used to hide under her blankets with a flashlight to read books past bedtime, and that is how she ended up with her glasses. She loves delving into mysteries, horrors, and detective novels, but she also loves reading fantasy, mythology, and fables from around the world. Her favorite children’s classics are Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. Some of her favorite characters from children’s books include Calvin, Dory Fantasmagory, Olivia, and the new Amelia Bedelia.
Monica Weis, Children’s Library Associate
Monica Weis joined the Pauline Haass team as a children’s library associate in March 2023, after working as a substitute associate since the summer of 2021. Monica earned her bachelor of science degree in elementary education from UW-Milwaukee and happily taught first grade for 27 years. She especially enjoyed teaching reading and creating thematic units using high quality children’s literature. In 2016 she moved up to grade 3 which brought many new adventures including watching her students delve into the new graphic novel genre, especially Dog Man! In 2020 Monica retired from full time teaching to be Gigi (grandma) to her two adorable grandchildren. Monica’s favorite things to do include family time, especially vacations to the northwoods, and volunteering at her former school maintaining the school library and offering storytime. Her favorite books are by Eric Carle because they are colorful, creative, and fun.
Katie Mueller, Children’s Substitute Associate
Katie Mueller has been a children’s library associate at Pauline Haass Public Library since 2006. In March 2023 Katie stepped into the role of substitute associate for the children’s department. Previously she ran an in-home child care before transitioning to a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. Katie grew up in the area and earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Concordia University in Mequon. She helps to create the children’s department decorations, and particularly enjoys working with school age kids, whether in a craft program or in KidsLab, which she helped establish. Katie is a fan of fantasy books and loves the fantasy setting and action stories of author John Flanagan.