Horror librarian seeking accomplices
By Terri Spilman
Just the thought of reading horror books can be quite scary to even the most avid reader. As lifelong literacy advocates, Carmel resident Kirsten Kowalewski and her late husband Dylan demystified this stereotype when they conceived the website www.monsterlibrarian.com.
Monster Librarian is a labor of love that serves as a resource to thousands of school librarians, parents and authors on the genre of horror fiction.
“Research shows that scary books are high on the list of genres and topics that children and teens prefer to read,” said Kirsten, who worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school library media specialist with a research interest in reading engagement.
Monster Librarian contains hundreds of horror book reviews with information on age-appropriateness, and a blog “Musings of the Monster Librarian” that includes booklists, news, interviews, guest blog posts, and original articles.
The site is primarily funded by book sales through the Amazon affiliate program and has garnered up to 30,000 unique visitors a month with the most popular season being Halloween.
“While earning his MLS (Dylan) discovered that many librarians dislike horror fiction, don’t read it and have difficulty making recommendations to readers making requests for horror fiction beyond Stephen King and Anne Rice,” Kristen said. “As a devoted reader of horror fiction he felt that this was a situation that needed to be remedied.”
Kirsten hopes to continue the mission of Monster Librarian as a legacy to Dylan, who recently died at the age of 40. However, the site must support itself financially to cover the cost of hosting, professional fees and postage.
She said she is looking for volunteer reviewers to help fill the void in the areas of Young Adult and children’s books and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Facebook or at www.monsterlibrarian.com.
“Writing and editing reviews, creating blog posts, running review projects and administering the site is time consuming. But when we get positive feedback from writers, publishers, parents, teachers and readers, we know we are on the right path.”