1. In Woody Allen’s short story The Kugelmass Episode, the protagonist discovers a magic cabinet that will allow him to visit his favorite books. Using this cabinet, which books would you absolutely visit? which would you avoid?
I would visit all the national parks and wilderness locations in Terry Tempest Williams’ books. I know these are all places in the real world I can actually visit. But having a cabinet portal would be both a convenient and efficient way of doing so.
2. If you could be a famous author for a day, who would you choose? Why?
Maybe Langston Hughes. Being in the head of a brilliant playwright would be thrilling and I’d love to experience the world through the eyes of someone whose race and gender are different than my own. Until then, I’ll just have to keep learning to see the world through the eyes of others as I read their words and experiences that they’ve written down for me.
3. What is your favorite question to answer at the library? Least favorite?
I’m new to the library so I’m thrilled when someone asks me a question, any question, I can answer. I’m filled with panic when I can’t be the one to answer a question. I of course want to be the most helpful librarian in every situation.
4. What do you love about working at the library?
I love the variety of tasks and assignments. Working in Outreach, I get to help plan and carry out library activities, connect patrons with information about the library and events through social media, and watch children experience the fun and wackiness of Shakespeare stories with Shakespeare for Kids. I get to see the joy on children’s and teens’ faces as they report the success of their weekly reading goals and learn with them as they experience hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math with our summer reading program.
5. What book helped you learn to love reading?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love stories. But I’m a bit of a slow reader. I’m dyslexic, and felt especially self-conscious about it growing up. I can’t remember the title, but I do remember the feeling of elation and accomplishment when I read my first chapter book! Somehow that milestone filled me with the confidence I needed to feel like I could and would be a successful reader in life.
6. If you had to live in a section of the library, which section would you choose?
Probably the puppet stage in the Storytelling Wing. It’s one of my favorite features in the library and the little backstage area is the public space that maybe affords the most privacy.
7. How many members of your family (including pets) have you named after characters in books?
Oh no, if I say none does that make me a bad librarian?! To be fair, thus far, I haven’t been in charge of naming any humans or that many creatures.
8. In order to save the world from the impending apocalypse, all but three novels must be sacrificed to the zombies; which three novels do you save?
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (I haven’t read it yet, and it feels like a real shame to sacrifice it to the Zombies before I’ve read it. I’m counting on it being a real gem.)
9. What is your favorite quote about books and/or reading?
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” -John Green
10. Favorite thing you’ve read in the past year?
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis. This play is breathtaking and human and transcendent and hilarious and wrestling with so many of the most important questions (I think). I worry that it’s maybe not finding its audience. It takes religious experience too seriously for some and has too many swears for some people that find religious experience an important part of their lives. So, if you don’t mind several f-words and crave things that challenge and humanize, entertain theatrically while exploring religion and morality, you might appreciate this play.
11. Please tell your favorite library puke story.
I’m new enough that I don’t have a puke story. But I’m sure with all the library programming we have this summer, I won’t last the summer without a puke story.
12. If you were a book, which genre would you be categorized in and why?
Memoir—I’m a walking overshare.