Interview with RWA’s 2010 Librarian of the Year

For several years now, Romance Writers of America has selected a librarian of the year. According to their Web site, The RWA Librarian of the Year is awarded to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding support of romance authors and the romance genre. The 2010 RWA Librarian of the year was Jennifer Lohmann. Jennifer is a librarian in my area—I wrote about her Bookclub here recently—and a friend of a friend of mine. I emailed her, introduced myself, and asked if I could interview her for AAR. She and I met for coffee, sat down, and had an excellent chat about the books she loves, romance, and romance readers.

What appeals to you about romance novels?

What appeals to me about romance novels is the same thing that appeals to me generally about all books – the chance to lose yourself completely in a story. I can lose myself in any good book, but it seems to happen more with a good romance novel. I get wrapped up in the lives of the characters and whatever else is pressing on me for that day goes away. I also like the happy endings. I would like to believe that no matter what is in our past, a happy ending with someone to love is possible for our future.

Is there a typical romance reader you see in your library?

I don’t think so. The women I generally help find books are older and retired, but I know younger women check out romances because I see them; they just don’t think to ask me for help or they don’t need my help. I do have one male patron that I know of who reads romances regularly (he likes westerns and is happy his wife got him back into reading) and I work with a couple of teens who come in for their romance fix over holidays and vacations.

Do you have a favorite or preferred genre within romance? If so, why?

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