You may recognize him from his MPL-TV/Channel 5 program “Mr. Taylor, Songs and Stories,” but now you can see him in person at the Musser Public Library (MPL) & HNI Community Center, Muscatine.
Emerson Taylor has joined the library staff as a children’s librarian, bringing a sense of fun and years of experience as an educator to entertain and inspire young MPL visitors.
“I’m super excited to join Musser Public Library and get kids excited about reading,” Taylor said. “I like the idea of being involved in our local community in a new and different way.”
“Mr. Taylor” has been singing and reading to local children on his show since 2020. Taylor said that while creating the show, he was so encouraged by the MPL staff that he started thinking about working for the library.
Taylor has credentials and a well-developed sense of fun. He has a bachelor’s degree in special education and severe developmental disabilities from the University of Central Missouri. He said he would like to apply his knowledge by starting low-stimulation Storytimes at MPL geared to special-needs kids and their parents.
“We can create a no-judgment zone where these kids are celebrated and their inquisitiveness is encouraged,” Taylor said.
Taylor plans to keep positive ties to the school district. He explained this will probably mean doing story times and bringing his guitar into classrooms, with a focus on pre-K and kindergarten.
The father of four, he enjoys interacting with all the young patrons of the library.
“That is the easiest and most fun part of the job because I’m a big kid myself,” Taylor said.
Taylor came to the library from the Muscatine Community School District where he taught special education for two years. In his 12-year career as an educator, he taught special education at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Previously, he worked in the Clinton (Iowa) Community School District where he developed an hour-long, musical, literacy-based program, singing and playing guitar for Read Across America Day.
Librarians at Clinton Public Library heard about Taylor’s talents and asked him to kick off their summer reading program. And so, his professional connections to libraries began.
Quad City magician/performer Rick Brammer, coordinator for the Iowa Library Talent Showcase, invited Taylor to perform for librarians looking for entertainment acts for their summer reading programs. Many of his bookings were canceled because of COVID, but in working on his online program, he created “Songs and Stories” and released the program on his Facebook page.