February 17, 2018

Kaite Mediatore | Movers & Shakers 2003

Make Me a Match

Think of Kaite Mediatore as a matchmaker, since what she most enjoys is bringing together a book and a reader who needs what that exact book has to offer. The experience of reading isn’t complete, she says, “until we tell someone else how wonderful the book is.” She had been “matchmaking” unofficially for several years in her work at the Emporia Public Library and as a reviewer for several newspapers and library publications. When a readers’ advisor position opened at the Kansas City PL, she jumped at the opportunity to specialize in it.

One thing Mediatore has loved about her job right from the beginning is sponsoring book groups, both in the library and online. She likes the way book discussions encourage readers “to think about and learn to trust their own opinions about a book and then think about and have respect for the opinions others may have.” Taking that to a whole other level, when residents of greater Kansas City all read Kent Haruf’s Plainsong
under the United We Read banner, Mediatore created an online study guide.

It’s not just library users whom Mediatore serves but the world of books. She’s an active member not just of local and national library organizations but also of Sisters in Crime, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Association of Book Group Readers and Leaders. Mediatore’s expertise in readers’ advisory has made her a frequent and well-received speaker at library conferences and workshops throughout Kansas and Missouri, offering advice on topics like readers’ advisory “on the cheap,” book groups, YA readers’ advisory on the web, and popular reading for Hispanic populations.

From the numerous topical reading lists Mediatore has
created (many of which appear on BookBrowser.com ), it’s obvious that there’s no genre she doesn’t enjoy reading, from “Monday Night Murder” to “Friends of Bridget” to “Pure Glitz: Beautiful, Thin, Famous, Talented, Wealthy Women Have Problems Too.”

That doesn’t mean Mediatore promotes an uncritical worship of all books. “The point is the right book, for the right reader,” she says.


Current Position: Adult Services/Readers Services Librarian, Main Branch, Kansas City Public Library, KS

Degrees: MLS, Emporia State University, 1993; MA English, Emporia State University, 1995

Motto: Life is too short to read a book you don’t like