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.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Employee Spotlight - Barb Simonse

Barb is another clerk here at the library, and she has been working here for almost 20 years! You will usually find her at the front circulation desk in the evenings. I asked Barb a few questions to get to know her a little better.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: 19 years and 4 months.

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

A: My kids were small, we needed a little extra money. I enjoyed the library and thought "why not?!". I was hired to work evenings and Saturdays, obviously it worked out pretty well!

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

A: My husband and I met in high school and we'll be married 35 years this summer!

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

A: I like spending time with my family, traveling (Next trips are to Seattle and Italy!!) and of course, reading.


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

A: If I didn't have to work ever? With unlimited funds?...I would take my entire family on a trip around the world. I would love to have them with me as I see the world.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Childhood stories were A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh and in recent years its The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.


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

A: I really enjoy the public, I like helping the people in my community. I work in the school district during the day and often I see the same people at the library. I have fond memories of so many patrons during my time here, I have seen babies grow up to be young adults!

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

A: I remember wanting to be a hairdresser! I definitely would not enjoy that job today.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: Definitely my children, I think they've become some pretty fine adults!

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: Some days I feel like Amelia Bedelia, does that count?

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

A: Italy! My husband and I are actually going there next summer. There's something about the culture and the history (also the food and wine are pretty good too).

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: My favorite all time band is Aerosmith, Steven Tyler is so much fun! I enjoy lots of different musicians though, and we try to see as many concerts in summer as possible.

Q: Pet peeves?

A: Folks who drive slower than the speed limit.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: My husband and children! And probably Italian food.

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

A: To be able to hear conversations from afar.

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: Maybe Sally Field?

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: Don't have one yet, but I guess it would be to travel around the United States, seeing all our parks and monuments.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: To travel back in time, see how my parents were as children!

Q: Favorite quote?

A: "Live well, laugh often, and love much".

Friday, May 26, 2017

Employee Spotlight Haley

This week's employee spotlight is on Haley. Haley can usually be found working at the teen or upstairs circulation desk. In addition to her regular library duties, Haley also manages the NPL blog (including weekly employee spotlights featuring her co-workers), creates the monthly NPL newsletter, and supplies the weekly staff update to help ensure that we are all kept current on library happenings.  I asked Haley a few questions to get to know her a little better.

Q: How long have you worked at Newark Library?

A: About 10 months.

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

A: I majored in English at college, and have loved books since a young age. I used to come to NPL all the time when I was younger!

 Image result for english

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

A: My left leg is a fraction of an inch longer than my right leg, meaning that my spine is crooked to correct the difference.

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

A: I like to knit, spin, play video games, run, and hang out with my family.

 Image result for knitting

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

A: If I didn’t work at the library, I’d most likely go back to school to get a Ph.D., and then teach English at a university.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: I don’t think I could pick just one favorite, but a few that I’ve really enjoyed are The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving, and The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood. That’s without even getting into the classics!

 Image result for the poisonwood bible

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

A: I like helping people - it’s the best feeling in the world when you can direct someone to find exactly the book they wanted, or to help them with something on the computer that they don’t understand.

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

A: For a while I wanted to be a veterinarian.

 Image result for veterinarian

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: I guess graduating college, although I like to think that my greatest achievement is yet to come.

Q: What fictional character best represents you?

A: I definitely identified with Hermione Granger as a kid, but I don't really anymore. Maybe Jessica Jones now?

 Image result for jessica jones


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

A: London. I lived there for four months in undergrad, and it’s my favorite place in the world.

 Image result for london

Q: Favorite song at the moment/favorite band?

A: My favorite band is Fall Out Boy. I’m mostly just waiting patiently for them to release their new album. 

 Image result for fall out boy

Q: Pet peeves?

A: Hypocrisy, or people who are unnecessarily rude to customer service staff.

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: I’ll be the cliché millennial and say my phone.

 Image result for cell phone

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

A: I’d like the power to manipulate time. I could go back to my favorite memories, skip lines, pause if I had a deadline coming up, redo awkward conversations…the list is endless!

Q: Who would play you in a movie?

A: Sarah Chalke, probably – you might know her as Elliott from Scrubs.

 Image result for sarah chalke

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: I’d like to run a marathon and/or write a book.

 Image result for run a marathon

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?

A: I wish I could sing – I try anyway, but I sound awful!

 Image result for sing

Q: Favorite quote?

A: “Do I dare disturb the universe?” From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.