Hi Margie! First question; why do you work in a library? I think I have just always felt at home in libraries. My first real job as a senior in high school was as a page in the children’s department at the newly opened Swanson Branch. It had only been open three weeks when I started and I worked my way through college there. So it just seemed natural to choose library science as a minor and area of certification for my education degree–the only type of library degree offered in Nebraska at the time. I was a school librarian in two schools in Houston, but mainly was a faithful weekly volunteer for many years at all my children’s grade schools and a sometimes substitute librarian.
Growing up, what did you want to be? A teacher. I played ‘school’ all the time with friends and with my younger brothers. When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, options for women were mainly limited to teacher, nurse, or secretary–or so I thought. Since then I have learned that many women, even then, had other fulfilling and interesting careers, but in my world, very few were not housewives.
Do you remember what your first experience with a library was? My earliest experience was with the Benson Branch Library–I loved that cozy stone building. Even as a fairly young child I was allowed to walk the eight or nine blocks there by myself. I spent many hours browsing, reading, and lugging home hundreds of books over the years. I don’t think I knew any other libraries existed.
What do you wish more people knew about working in libraries? We don’t sit around all day reading books, though sometimes I wish we did. There is a lot of behind the scenes work by a lot of people that make a library successful.
Alright, enough with the library questions: where would you most like to live? I have six children scattered all over the United States from coast to coast, so Omaha is pretty central. But if that were not a factor, I would definitely like to live someplace where I could be surrounded by gardens year round and never drive in snow again! Maybe in England, so I wouldn’t have to learn a different language!
When I ask people about what natural talent they’d most like to possess, they often say they’d like to be able to learn other languages easily. I also always wanted to be fluent in other languages, but just don’t have a knack for it. I took four years of Latin in high school which is not as useful as I was led to believe.
On the subject of being surrounded by gardens… I would garden all year round if I could. I have more gardens than normal, including a vegetable garden, a fairy garden, a secret garden, a couple of rock gardens, and other unnamed flower gardens scattered about.
Ok, time to ask you about a few of your favorites. Who are your favorite artists? I like Van Gogh (especially The Starry Night), Monet, and Renoir, but also surrealists like Dali and Miro. And I love Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures.
What’s your favorite era of music? Even though I should be sick of it by now, I still enjoy a lot of 60s music. Lived through it, so good memories, especially The Beatles, The Association, and Bread.
What sort of movies and television do you like to watch? I like a lot of the Masterpiece Theater series like Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes, and Victoria. I also enjoy This Is Us, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, The Crown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Outlanders–not into Game of Thrones though! I’m also a big fan of stop motion animation films, especially those from the Laika and Aardman studios, since my youngest daughter is an animator.
And of course, I have to ask–do you have a favorite author or book? No particular book or author, but I like good mysteries, historical fiction, and stories with an unexpected ending. Some favorite authors are Alexander McCall Smith, Bill Bryson, John Grisham, Nick Hornby, David Sedaris, JoJo Moyes, and Liane Moriarty. The last few years I have listened to a lot of audio books, which I used to dismiss as not really reading. But I have come to appreciate a good narrator who can bring the characters much more to life than I could in my head. Recent examples of that are A Gentleman in Moscow and Neverwhere, amazingly narrated by Neil Gaiman himself.