Skinny Dip with Gary Mlodzik

This time around, we’re Skin­ny Dip­pin’ with Gary Mlodzik, founder of the Grow Your Library ini­tia­tive with­in the nation­al lit­er­a­cy foun­da­tion Kids Need to Read.

Gary and Tina Mlodzik in Argentina
Gary Mlodzik and his daugh­ter Kody in Puer­to Madryn, Argentina

Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop?

Lee Child. I love his writing! I have read every one of the Jack Reacher books and love his storytelling style. Lee let’s your imagination fill in the blanks. A Joe Friday approach to writing, “Just the facts, ma’am.” No more than needed to capture the essence of the story, no less than required for a thrilling adventure. I have heard him speak at a book signing and he has a great sense of humor and he's very engaging.

Favorite city to visit?

San Diego. When you live in the Arizona desert, the ocean is a welcome reprieve from the summertime heat. San Diego is a six-hour drive and brings a welcome change of scenery. Great food, fun attractions, recreational opportunities, and an opportunity to relax by the gentle waves make for a great getaway.

What’s your dream vacation?

Iceland! God’s beauty in so many forms, all in one country! The Aurora Borealis, beautiful coasts, wildlife, caves, glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs are waiting to explore and enjoy.

Morning person? Night person?

Definitely a morning person! Get up and get ‘er done! I have a list ready and hit it hard. Once evening comes, productivity declines rapidly.

Best tip for living a contented life?

Discover who you are as a person, accept who you are, build your life into the best you that you can be.

Kids Need to ReadGary shares his pas­sion for lit­er­a­cy by volunteering!

I vol­un­teer with the nation­al lit­er­a­cy foun­da­tion Kids Need to Read (KNTR). I am hon­ored to serve on their board of direc­tors. In 2015, I devel­oped the Grow Your Library pro­gram for KNTR. For this pro­gram, KNTR pro­vides 200 books to four care­ful­ly select­ed, eco­nom­i­cal­ly chal­lenged libraries through­out the USA per year. Along with the book dona­tion, my wife, Tina, and I vis­it the library, con­duct a sto­ry time and explain how the kids can “donate” more books to the library just by email­ing KNTR with a short note regard­ing what they like about read­ing or what they like to read. Then, Tina and I donate a book to the library with the child’s name on a book plate inside the cov­er! It’s the child’s gift to the library! Each child in atten­dance also gets a book to keep and a High­lights for Chil­dren mag­a­zine to take home. Some­times the kids are in awe that the book is real­ly theirs for life.

I have been blessed with sup­port and encour­age­ment from many sources. I am hum­bled by the num­ber of peo­ple who, like me, believe that pub­lic libraries need our sup­port to pro­vide ser­vices for future gen­er­a­tions. If read­ers would like to sup­port this endeav­or, please make a finan­cial dona­tion. Or if they have a favorite children’s book they would like us to include in our pro­gram, they can send the books right from their favorite book­seller direct­ly to:

Kids Need To Read, Grow Your Library
Attn: Gary Mlodzik
2450 W. Broad­way, Suite 110
Mesa, AZ 85202

Mul­ti­ples of four books per title are usu­al­ly best so we can send one to each library.

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