Mary Kinser is a fervent voice for diversity in literature who in 2013 achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a librarian. In her mid-thirties the former bookstore manager and health care worker became a mother, slogged through graduate school, and started a blog while working full time; she’s now an influential blogger for the Multicultural Kid Blogs group, which is "dedicated to raising world citizens." The self-described "late bloomer" earned a BS in Social Sciences from Washington State University and a Master of Library and Information Sciences from University of Wisconsin with 4.0 and 3.97 GPAs, respectively. We're convinced she doesn’t sleep.
Mary was a #WeNeedDiverseBooks advocate (before it became a hashtag)
Mary infuses her boundless energy into the #WeNeedDiverseBooks initiative and the social media feature Picture Book of the Day; in 2015 her blog site Sprout's Bookshelf will serve as one of seven national co-hosts for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Mary's son Solomon—aka Sprout—drives Mary's quest for multiculturalism, ensuring that Sprout and others will see themselves represented in the books they read.
She finds joy in a little person nicknamed "Sprout"
Sprout's winsome sobriquet was coined when Mary and her comic-book enthusiast husband selected Ethiopia as their adoptive child’s country of origin. "Like a seedling that started to grow elsewhere and was then transplanted into our environment, Sprout would start out in one world and grow up in another." Mary continues to give back to the country that gave them Sprout: The crafter recently crocheted a custom-hued blanket for a child living in the nonprofit Ahope for Children, which cares for Ethiopian children living with HIV/AIDS.
Now a preschooler, Sprout bikes alongside Mary through the trails and byways of their hometown Bellingham, WA in search of adventure, usually landing at the library, where he might start stocking up on cookbooks. The cookie-loving culinary kid whips up concoctions with a Kitchen Aid mixer like it’s his job.
Mary is currently ramping up her newest literacy endeavor, as Collection Development Librarian for Whatcom County Library System, a rural library district that stretches from northwest Washington State to the Canada border, and bringing diverse voices to Zoobean’s catalog.