Friday, April 28, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Celeste Schantz

 Celeste is one of our newest employees here at the library. In her capacity as a clerk, you can often find her on the front circulation desk or down in the children's room. Celeste often comes up with clever ideas to help enrich the library. Just the other day, she worked on Poem in your Pocket day, an initiative to spread appreciation of poetry by giving out poems to patrons. I asked her a few questions to get to know her a little better.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: Since September 2016.

Q: What made you interested in working at the library?

A: I'm a researcher and educator. I love reference work, helping patrons to find the resources they're looking for, and I dearly love physical books - everything to do with authors and stories.

Q: Tell me one interesting or unusual fact about yourself.

A: I write creatively and have been published. Mainly poetry. I also sang for a fiddle band for 8 years at Johnny's Pub.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?

A: I moderate a book club on Facebook called The Wonderlings. Join us! Most book clubs read novels. We read everything else - short stories, essays, etc.

Q: What would you do if you didn't work at the library?

A: I would advocate more for equal rights and understanding of people in our community with Special Needs.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: One book near and dear to my heart is Betty Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". I really felt as though I were immersed in New York City in the early 1900s seeing life unfold through the eyes of little Francie Nolan. This is just a brilliant coming of age story. Very heartwarming.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at the library?

A: I love meeting people in the community who care about the value of creativity and the arts. The people who recognize the value in reading or learning how to draw or sing.

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I was a little girl, I got hold of some books about the Greek myths. Gorgons and Goddesses and mythic creatures. I was an avid reader from then on.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: My greatest achievement? My beautiful son.

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: Scout Finch. And a little Miss Jane Pittman.


Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: I'd love to spend a season in the UK traveling around.

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: Right now I'm listening to R. Carlos Nakai's Native American flute music.

Q: Pet peeves?

A: Ignorant people who use the "R" word to describe those who are differently-abled. We need to teach our kids to accept that there are people different in the world from themselves. We all have gifts we bring.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: Roget's Thesaurus.

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

A: Harmony.

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: As you age, that answer changes! I guess I'd play myself.

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: I want to publish a book of poetry, a book of short stories, and a book of essays. Hopefully they'd be good.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: I enjoy dancing and wish I was much better at that! Will take lessons.

Q: Favorite quote?

A: "The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who...burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles." - Jack Kerouac. He was really passionate.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

May Programs and Events

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Newark Public Library will be closed on Saturday, May 27th, and Monday, May 29th.

Adult Programs:

Crafting with Becky Sloane: Painting Flowers - May 1st at 6 P.M.
In this four month long series, our resident craft genius, Becky Sloane, will be teaching in-depth how to create beautiful flower paintings. Make sure to register for these classes as soon as possible, as space is limited, and remember that each class will have a fee for supplies. May's fee is $10. 
Mah Jongg - Tuesdays at 5 P.M.
The very popular Mah Jongg group meets every Tuesday. Whether you've played this addictive Chinese tile game before or not, feel free to join us!
Resume Help - Wednesdays at 1 P.M. and 4 P.M.
Your resume might just be the most important document you have. Whether you need to create a new resume entirely, or just update an existing one, we are here to help.
Voices and Views: 20th Century American Essays - May 3rd at 6:30 P.M.
 This series, facilitated by Joe O'Toole, examines short essays that embody the American experience. We've secured a New York State Humanities grant in support of this program.
Cards in the Library - Thursdays at 4 P.M.
Each month we have four different card nights: first Thursday of the month is Euchre, second Thursday is Cribbage, third Thursday is Hearts, and last Thursday is Dealer's Choice.
Newark Knitting Circle - Thursdays at 6:30 P.M. 
Come join us for a relaxing evening of knitting and crocheting!
 
Newark Public Library 2017-2018 Budget Hearing and Monthly Board Meeting- May 4th at 6:30 P.M.
NPL's 2017-2018 budget will be the subject of a vote on Tuesday, May 16th. If you'd like information about the proposed budget, or if you have any questions, there will be a hearing held on May 4th at 6:30, after the usual budget meeting. 
Gadget Guide - May 8th and May 22nd at 6 P.M.
Have a gadget, device, or piece of tech that's malfunctioning or just plain confusing? Bring it to the library and we'll see if we can help you out!

Beyond the Covers: Book Discussion - May 15th at 6:30 P.M.
May's book will be The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. This novel follows Beatrice Nash, a young teacher who arrives in a Sussex town in the summer of 1914, just before the beginning of the first World War. Join us to discuss this book, which has been named one of the best of 2016.
 

Child and Teen Programs:

Video Game Night - Mondays at 6 P.M.
We'll use the library's PS4, but feel free to bring your own consoles and devices, or even a board game. 
Preschool Storytime - Tuesdays at 10 A.M.
Join us every Tuesday for an hour of stories, singing, dancing, crafts, and fun!
Say Goodbye to Miss Krystina - May 3rd at 5 P.M.
Our superstar Youth Services Librarian, Miss Krystina, is unfortunately leaving us to move on to a new position at Victor Farmington Library. Anyone who would like to wish her good luck in her future is welcome to come to the library between 5 and 7 P.M.
LEGO Night - May 3rd at 6 P.M.
Use the library's extensive collection of LEGOs to stretch your imagination and create something cool!
 
21st Century Students Choose - May 5th at 3 P.M.
Students from the 21 Century Students Choose program in the Newark School District will be using the library. Other patrons are reminded that some library materials may be set aside for the program.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Shawn McConnell

Shawn is our Director here at the Newark Public Library. He's the head honcho, and he always makes sure to take care of all the behind the scenes running of the library, as well as occasionally helping out on desk. Additionally, this entire series of employee spotlights was his idea, so let's see what answers he had to the questions.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: Three years.

Q: What made you interested in working at the library?

A: When the Director position became available at Newark, the library had just started planning renovations. I could see that exciting changes were already in the works. I wanted to work at a library that embraced change. Additionally, I heard many good things about this library and its staff - all of which were true. I wanted to work in a community that cared deeply for its library. and with a staff that was dedicated to the library and its patrons. I found all of the above at Newark Public Library.

Q: Tell me one interesting or unusual fact about yourself.

A: My wife and I scuba-dived in Thailand - one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?

A: I like to spend time with my family - my wife, two-year-old son, and six-month-old girl. Hearing my kids laugh is the best thing in the world right now.

Q: What would you do if you didn't work at the library?

A: I would work for a non-profit or educational institution. I get job satisfaction only out of work that directly helps the communities I live in.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: That's a tough one. It's a toss-up between "The Great Gatsby" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", which makes sense since the former greatly influenced the latter. They both comment on the American Dream.


Q: What do you enjoy most about working at the library?

A: I love the fact that the library is one of the few public places left in our communities. Everyone can come in and stay all day if they want to. It's a place to slow down and gather with other community members to discuss books, movies, games, and organize activities. We are the public water cooler, and we serve the rich, poor, old, young - everyone. There's a great diversity of people who bring with them all types of opinions, questions, and needs.

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: The first response to this question that I can remember making is stunt man. Coincidentally, "The Fall Guy" was a popular show on television at this time.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: Renovating the library was a long, challenging process that took over two years to complete. There were times we closed sections of the library because we boxed all our books. Fortunately, the staff worked hard and provided great customer service no matter what was going on. I think getting through that unscathed and now with a much better library was an extraordinary achievement. I also have to give a lot of credit to the directors, board members, and staff before me who planned the renovations.

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: Growing up, I felt most connected to Kevin Arnold from "The Wonder Years". This is partly because we were always in the same grade as the series originally ran. However, I was also a bit geeky like him and had very similar tastes and thought processes. And I had a crush on Winnie Cooper. As an adult, I feel most connected to Arthur Dent from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Like him, I'm often randomly jettisoned to new parts of the universe where I find unexpected surprises. And next year I'll be 42.


Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: New Zealand.

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: My answer to this question would depend on the day you asked. Today I'll say "Carousel" from Iron & Wine is my favorite song, and Radiohead is my favorite band.


Q: Pet peeves?

A: People who do not use their turn signals. It takes a minimal amount of effort and makes driving a lot safer.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: Public spaces.

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

A: Patience.

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: I would like Ed Norton to play me.

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: I would like to travel across the U.S. by train.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: I wish I could speed read.

Q: Favorite quote?

A: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Lori DiSanto

Lori is another one of our clerks at the library. She can usually be seen at either the front circulation desk or down in the teen room, where she has a unique rapport with our patrons that makes it obvious how much she enjoys working with them. Lori also has a large part behind the scenes, where she makes sure that the day-to-day operations of the library run smoothly. I asked Lori a few questions, so everyone can get to know her a little bit  better.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: A little over two years.

Q: What made you interested in working at the library?

A: I always had a love of books, and love being surrounded by them.

Q: Tell me one interesting or unusual fact about yourself.

A: I went to a Christian school for three years.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?

A: Sleep, go to the thrift shop, get Mexican for lunch.


Q: What would you do if you didn't work at the library?

A: I've always wanted to own my own bookstore.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: I don't really have a favorite book, I just like a variety of genres.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at the library?

A: Being able to help our patrons.

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I grew up, I wanted to be a doctor. And then I realized I couldn't stand the sight of blood, so that was out.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: Surviving living on my own.

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: Garfield, because he likes to sleep and eat lasagna, too.

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: Sweden, because my pen pal that I've known for over 25 years lives there.

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: Chris Stapleton, "Tennessee Whiskey". I also love anything by Hill Song United.

Q: Pet peeves?

A: People talking loudly on their phones.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: I don't think there's anything I couldn't live without. You could probably stick me in a cabin and I'd be fine.

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

A: Time travel.

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: Angie Harmon, because she's got an attitude, like me!

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: I'd like to visit a place I've never been.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: I'd like to be able to speak sign language fluently.

Q: Favorite quote?

A: I can do everything through Him who gives me strength – Philippians 4:13 

Friday, April 07, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Rachel Wizeman


Rachel is one of our clerks here at the Newark Library. She usually works at the front circulation desk, and she also serves on several committees behind the scenes to keep the library running smoothly. Any time you see new decorations behind the circulation desk, like the garland of hearts that is currently there, it was most likely Rachel's idea. Back in December 2016, Rachel was NPL's Employee of the Month! I asked Rachel a few questions, so everyone can get to know her just a little bit better.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: One year and nine days (as of 4/4).

Q: What made you interested in working at the library?

A: Years ago, I worked at the library at Monroe High School with one of my best friends, and it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. Also, I love books!

Q: Tell me one interesting or unusual fact about yourself.

A: When I was a kid, I had a major crush on Kenny Rogers, and all I wanted for my birthday was his album. My second crush was Grizzly Adams.


Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?

A: I love to make stuff - I take other people's junk and make it into new things. I knit, hand sew, and quilt. I also love spending time with my kids and grandkids, especially outside, like camping.

Q: What would you do if you didn't work at the library?

A: Everyone always tells me that I should start my own business and sell the things I make. Either that, or I would have a taco truck!

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: The Agatha Raisin series by M. C. Beaton, or any British fiction in general.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at the library?

A: I love the patrons.

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: I wanted to be a teacher.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: My children (and grandchildren).

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: A combination of Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and Elizabeth Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice).



Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: Mexico. I want to see where my grandparents lived, in a village outside Oaxaca

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: Dave Matthews Band is my favorite band of all time, but right now I'm listening to the album "Cleopatra", by The Lumineers.

Q: Pet peeves?

A: Busy bodies, or nosy people.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: Jesus. I'm a Jesus girl!

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

A: I would be able to just make rainbows everywhere!

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: It would probably be America Ferrera (from Ugly Betty) because everyone says I look like her. In my mind, though, its Salma Hayek.


Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: The last time I made a bucket list, it was six pages back and front! One thing I'd like is to take all my kids and grandkids on a cross-country road trip.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: I wish I could speak Spanish. Everyone thinks I can anyway, so it would make my life so much easier!

Q: Favorite quote?

A: "Junk is my spirit animal" - Junk Gypsy.