Friday, June 16, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Graham Tedesco-Blair

 This week's employee spotlight is on a man who wears many hats within the Newark Public Library: Graham. Graham's official title is Adult Services Librarian, but he is also known as our tech guy - he's the one you go to when your computer is giving you issues. Recently, with the news that our Director will be leaving us come July, Graham has also taken on the position of interim Director. I asked Graham a few questions to get to know him a little better.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: About a year and a half.

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

A:  I've loved libraries ever since I was a kid, and once I figured out that being a librarian was a job people could actually get, it became a career path for me. I grew up around the corner from one, and volunteered at one during high school, so getting my masters in Library Science was really the only choice!

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

A: I have about 1000 lbs of comic books. It was not easy moving them up from Texas!

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

A: I read a lot, as you might have guessed, and I like to walk with my dog and exercise. My wife and I also collect antique typewriters.

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

A: I write short stories and novels, so I'd love to do that for a living. Working in publishing would also be a blast! But I can't imagine my life not involving books.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: That's a toss up between Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon and Dissemination by Jacques Derrida.

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

A: I like meeting new people, and I love the questions that they bring me. Every day is different, and I get to learn so many things I'd never have even thought to look in to!

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

A: An astronaut. But they don't hire astronauts who are bad at math and wear glasses, so libraries it was!

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: Gosh, that is a good question. Right now, what pops into my head is being named interim director of the library. It's a real honor to have been chosen!

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: The Doctor, from Doctor Who. I like to keep an open mind about everyone I meet, and I love to travel to new places and meet new people. I believe in the power of intelligence and fairness over brute force and strength. And I look quite dashing in a frock coat and extra long scarf. Though I'm sure I'd actually end up being the bumbling companion who gets himself into trouble and needs to be saved, rather than the Doctor himself.

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

A: I'd love to visit Scotland, and see where my ancestors lived.

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: I've been listening to an Australian electronic artist named Pogo recently, and can't get enough of his remixes of Disney songs, video games, movie clips, and recordings from TV shows. "The Trouble" and "Living Island" have been on my playlist a lot lately. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that Manowar and Black Sabbath weren't also on regularly.

Q: Pet peeves?

A: It used to be people who don't rewind VHS tapes, but that's not something you see very often these days.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: Comfortable shoes. I walk a lot, and there's really no reason to suffer through something that doesn't feel good. I don't care how good they look or how well they match, if I can't wear them for 5-6 hours, they're gone.

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

A: Super recall, the ability to remember any strange fact or bit of trivia that might be relevant to the case at hand, kinda like Adam West and Bert Ward on Batman.

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: Jason Schwartzman or Jason Bateman.

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: I'd like to walk the Continental Divide, the Appalachian, and the Pacific Crest trails. Only 290 people have ever done all three, and even completing one would be a major accomplishment.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: I wish I could play the piano. Working on that one!

Q: Favorite quote?

A: "To be, in a word, unborable...It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish. " - David Foster Wallace, The Pale King.