karenthepasolibrarian

Small town public library life and library school topics of interest


12 Comments

A Little About Me

I guess you could say that I lead a full life.

I have been working in libraries for most of my life — as a student library aide in junior high, as a student assistant in the General Library at U.C. Irvine, as a substitute librarian in several school libraries back when I was a substitute teacher, and for the past twenty-eight years at the Paso Robles City Library (in Paso Robles, California). I have pretty much done it all as far as library service goes — circulation, reference, young adult services, technical services, periodicals, acquisitions, reserve books, library programming for all ages, and now my current position as Library Manager. I have also worked in bookstores, both academic and retail, so I have spent most of my life around books and other media. In my current position as Library Manager, I wear many hats, mainly due to the economic downturn of the past few years. Currently, I am the Adult Services Librarian (the job I was originally hired by the city to do), Reference Services Librarian (she retired), Tech Services Librarian (we almost hired one once), and Library Manager. I am fortunate to have a great staff and an amazing crew of 125 (or so) volunteers who work with me. Together we serve our community of 30,000 with three service desks, twelve public internet computers, a collection of about 60,000 items, and fifty-seven open hours per week. We have an offsite homework center that we staff that is open 10 hours per week as well. I am hoping to one day be the City Librarian for Paso Robles.

On the personal side, I have an almost-twenty-year-old son who is a student at U.C. Santa Cruz. He is an Eagle Scout, and we are both pretty involved with the Boy Scouts; he works at summer camps during the summers, and I am a Merit Badge Counselor. I would eventually like to be an Advancement Chair which is a perfect volunteer job for a librarian — putting scouts together with the resources to achieve their scouting goals. I have two dogs, a Beagle/Boxer (at least that is what we think he is) named Woody (after the station wagon) and a basset hound named Hoover (after the vacuum cleaner because of the way he eats). In my spare time, I enjoy crafting — jewelry making, sewing, needlepoint and embroidery, and paper crafts such as altered books and collage. Oh yeah, and reading of course. I am also active in my church choir.

I am pretty social and have a lot of friends and family spread all over the United States. Many of my friends I have known for most of my life, including one friend who I have known since fourth grade who is also a librarian. I love Facebook for allowing me to keep in touch with everyone, especially my cousins who are spread across the country. As an only child, my long-term friends and my cousins are like my siblings.

I absolutely love the arts. I have degrees in English Literature and Art History, and many of my friends and acquaintances are artists, musicians, and authors. I am interested in looking at our local art community and figuring out ways to better serve them at the library.

Woody

Here’s Woody at our local dog park.

Hoover

Hoover — gotta love that face!

Me Collage

Me getting crafty at a local collage studio.