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Libraries Transform: Meet our Staff

What is National Library Workers Day?

What is National Library Workers Day (NLWD) is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

 

Sky Larsen,

Appaloosa Branch Manager

 

What do you do at the Library?
I am the Branch Manager of the Appaloosa Library

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
That we have we have SO much to offer them. That we “Are Their Library” as we work to continually be relevant to the needs of our community. That we offer a full range of services for all ages. That we have digital as well as physical materials available to our patrons. That we are here to serve them.

If not working at a library, what would you be doing?
Sitting on a beach reading a book. Oh, you meant professionally - perhaps a teacher, but I can’t really imagine loving a profession more than I love what I am currently doing.

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
Books – When I looked at my GoodReads reviews, I found that most of my favorites were historical fiction. Here are a few: These is My Words, Nightingale, One Thousand White Women, The Red Tent, The Poisonwood Bible. Other favorites are: Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man – because it made me laugh and Being Mortal – because it helped me adjust my thinking about how we provide health care to the elderly.

Movies – I like the sappy and sometimes happy stories – The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, The Family Stone, Mary Poppins, and from last year’s favorites – Lion and Hidden Figures. Why – because they made me smile, tap my toes, and for the last two – enlightened me and made me appreciate.

 

 
 

Carrie

Account Specialist, Sr.

 

What do you do at the Library?
My primary role is to order all of the books, movies and music that we put into the library collection, and I make sure that these items are paid for out of the correct pots of money. I keep track of what we are spending each month and make sure that we don’t spend too much or too little. I also balance our cash drawer in the mornings, and help out in other areas when needed (couriers, circulation, digitization, etc).

What do you love about your job?
So many things. I love that I basically get paid to shop. I love making Excel spreadsheets. I love cracking open a shipment of shiny new books. I love working with intelligent and good-hearted people. And I love working for an organization that helps all kinds of different people in all kinds of different ways.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
Right now one of my favorite library resources is Hoopla, which is a digital service that allows you to listen to audiobooks, watch movies, and read comics from your computer, phone, iPad, etc. It’s so great, especially for a comic book nerd like me.

If not working at a library, what would you be doing?
Wishing that I worked at a library.

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
I am incapable of picking a favorite anything because my moods and tastes change by the hour. But my favorite book that I read recently was Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. And my favorite thing that I listened to recently was the audiobook Shrill by Lindy West.

 

 
 

Willette

Knowing & Growing
Early Learning Program Specialist

 

What do you do at the Library?
I work as an Early Learning Program Specialist for the Knowing and Growing Program, a grant funded by the state library through the Library Science and Technology Act (LSTA). I present two six-week programs for preschoolers and their caregivers: Books Can…© to promote social and emotional development (0 to 4 years) and Fun with Math and Science to build mathematical and scientific skills (3 to 5 years).

What do you love about your job?
My career background is in early childhood education, so I am delighted to share these age-appropriate programs with both children and adults. We read books, sing songs, and provide hands-on activities to prepare preschoolers for learning success.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
Libraries are places where children and parents can learn together. I am continually impressed by the quality of the library staff everywhere I go. I can add it’s a privilege to work with them!

If not working at a library, what would you be doing?
If not working at the library, I would be gardening, enjoying nature, creating do-it-yourself projects, or serving in some aspect of early childhood education or in some capacity at my church.

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
My all-time favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird because Atticus Finch is a true hero. I currently like the Pete the Cat series for youngsters. ☺ My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption because justice prevails.

 

 
 

Michelle

Librarian

 

What do you do at the Library?
I am a librarian in Adult Services so my responsibilities focus on serving our patrons who are 18 and over. I get to help develop programs for adults, teach patrons about the library’s downloadables, and serve as a liaison for the Adult side of the Summer Reading Program.

What do you love about your job?
I get to work with great people, great books, and amazing FREE resources! I love having an excuse to talk to people about the books I'm reading and I enjoy writing book reviews for the Library’s Goodreads page.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
You can email us! On our website go to "Contact Us," then "Email Us." We can point you in the right direction to help with a research question or answer questions about our services and locations. We have a great team of librarians happy to help answer your questions!

If not working at a library, what would you be doing?
I can't imagine not working with books in some way! Maybe being a tour guide at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta! It seems like a challenging, but fun job that combines history and literature!

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is the first book I fell in love with so I still consider it my all-time-favorite! Other favorites include the Harry Potter series and anything by Liane Moriarty or David Sedaris, where I can just get lost in the story!

 

 
 

Richard

Metadata Services

 

What do you do at the Library?
I work behind the scenes in Metadata Services overseeing the library’s digital and local history collection as well as supervising the areas of cataloging, processing, and interlibrary loan.

What do you love about your job?
I love that every day brings new challenges in making the materials the library provides accessible to our patrons. And it is just a bonus that all the new library books, CDs, DVDs, etc. pass through my section so I get to see them all as they come in.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
They might not know that our library has a wonderful online collection of historic digital images, documents, and videos that tell the story of Scottsdale’s history through time. We have over 10,000+ entries and we add new entries to the collection every week.

Check it out at: www.scottsdalelibrary.org/historical

If not working at a library, what would you be doing?
Like most librarians, I would want to be off somewhere peaceful with my wife catching up on all those books I want to read. The Oregon Coast works for me.

Favorite book or movie or recording and why? My favorite book is On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Jack has a way in all his books of treating everyday life as an adventurous path. My love of history comes from my favorite movie – Lawrence of Arabia.

 

 
 

Nife

Digital Media Specialist

 

What do you at the Library?
I manage the digital media lab and teach digital media classes at Civic Center Library’s Eureka Loft. Patrons have free access to utilize the media lab to shoot videos, take photos, record audio, design marketing materials and create websites.

What do you love about your job?
I enjoy learning about all of the business and start-up ideas our patrons are developing. It is extremely rewarding to see patrons put into action what they’ve learned through our digital media classes.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
That we actually have a free digital media lab with lots of equipment that patrons can use on-site. We have cameras, lighting, a green screen, Apple iMac, a teleprompter and more. Patrons can book a one-on-one to learn how to shoot or edit videos or create marketing materials. Did I mention it’s all FREE??!

If not working at a library, what would you be doing?
Since this is a grant-funded one year position, I currently work as a freelance video producer and I’m also a small business owner of a beauty company. So I keep myself busy!

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
My favorite book of all time is the Holy Bible. It is a timeless book with real life practical advice, great hymns and it has truly been impactful in the way I live my life.

 

 
 

Roxanne

Library Aide

 

What do you do at the Library?
I am a Library Aide working in Circulation. This gives me the opportunity to do a multitude of things. I work the drive-up window, assist patrons with the self-check machines, find books, DVDs, audio books, access computers and printing and help them with their Scottsdale Library account.

What do you love about your job?
I work with wonderful people in a beautiful building. I am surrounded by books every day and get to help people find a book they would like to read.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
We have wonderful resources. There are terrific databases that you can access right through our website.

If not a librarian, what would you be doing?
I would be antiquing and traveling. I love to go to antique shops and find treasures for my family and friends. I have been on great family trips and my list of places to go in the future includes the Rockies through Canada on the Royal Canadian Pacific Train and to see Scotland by train on the Scottish Highlands Railway.

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
This is the hardest question for me to answer because I have so many favorites. I love children’s books by Jan Brett. Her illustrations are fantastic.You can spend a long time on each page just to see all the detail and get lost in the story. I am listening to the music of a young singer.

 

 
 

Lee

Branch Manager

 

What do you do at the Library?
I am the Branch Manager of Palomino Library. Palomino is a “shared-use” facility at Desert Mountain High School, so we get the best of both worlds, serving both the surrounding community and the school. I supervise an amazing staff that is passionate about public libraries. I plan improvements for the library.

What do you love about your job?
I enjoy learning what the residents of Scottsdale want from their public library. We live in a dynamic time, as far as how people access and use information. I constantly think about trends, emerging technology and its impact on society.This means I work in an atmosphere of continual education and growth, which is very satisfying because there are intellectual questions to consider and you never have to leave learning behind.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
We love hearing your thoughts and feedback about the library. Nothing is too strange or offbeat! You may think that you are the only one in your town who is a big fan of X or who nerds out about Y, but there are other people who enjoy it too, and the library is a great place to start conversations and build friendships.

If not a librarian, what would you be doing?
Developing healthy habits can be challenging, but everyone should be empowered to exercise in a way that feels safe and fun. As a personal trainer, I am able to provide knowledge, support, and encouragement (which is like being a librarian in a way, but with a focus on exercise).

Favorite book or movie or recording and why?
I like things with a gothic style. My favorite book is ‘Interview with the Vampire’ by Anne Rice. My favorite music group right now is Ashbury Heights, an electronic music duo from Sweden.

 

 
 

Jennifer

Librarian

 

What do you do at the Library?
I am a Youth Services Librarian and I get to do a little bit of everything! I answer questions at the service desks, do programs for babies, toddlers, and school-aged kids, and run the Teen Advisory Board for teenagers. I go to schools for outreach visits and I help run the library’s Summer Reading Program. One of the behind-the-scenes responsibilities I have is assisting the library’s Collection Development Manager by selecting juvenile fiction materials for kids. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy getting a sneak peek at upcoming titles!

What do you love about your job?
Everything! Mostly the great people I work with and the wonderful people who visit the library. Over the past few years, I have really enjoyed connecting with kids and their families. I love getting to know a parent and his/her child, and being able to watch the child grow from baby to toddler to kid.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the Library?
A question I get a lot is “How old do you have to be to get a library card?” The answer is “We don’t have a limit on age. Anyone, including newborns, can get a library card for free!”

If not a librarian, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine being anything but a librarian, but if I had to pick another occupation, I would like to think I would be working with kids in some capacity.

 

 
 

Brandon

Volunteer Supervisor

 

What do you do at the Library?
I’m the Supervisor of Volunteers for the Civic Center Library. Our volunteers sometimes refer to me as their boss, but it’s really the other way around—I work for them. We have about 150 volunteers at the Civic Center Library, and it’s my job to manage their needs, coordinate their schedules, and act as their liaison with the Library’s various departments. I also oversee the Library Shop, where we sell library merchandise as well as gently used books, magazines, and media.

What do you love about your job?
That’s easy—the people. The Library is fortunate to have so many people who are interested in volunteering here, and I get to sit down with all of them and learn about their experiences, interests, and talents.

What do you want to tell everyone that they might not know about the library?
For our patrons whose vision requires them to read large print books we have a service called Large Print by Mail. We checkout and mail large print books to them in their homes. When they are done with the books they simply mail them back to us in the same postage-free pouch that they arrived in.

To find out more about volunteering at one of our libraries, and to see available opportunities, visit our website at: scottsdalelibrary.org/volunteer-opportunities

 

 
 

Mari

Early Learning Coordinator

 

What do you at the Library?
I have the privilege of overseeing library programs for families with children from birth to age 8. Along with creating and implementing programs I’m also responsible for working with youth staff so that together we can ensure we’re meeting the needs of our youngest learners and their families.

What do you love most about working at the Library?
It’s fun…never boring! I get to meet and work with new people, be creative and innovative, and I have easy access to wonderful books!

What is your favorite Scottsdale Library service?
Our early childhood programming. It’s a great way for families to spend time together as well as meet and make new friends.

 

 

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