This blog entry is part of a series introducing LVA employees and exploring what they do day-to-day. If you are interested in reading more like this, entries in the series are collected under the tag 7 Questions. Other entries discussing the internal work of the Library of Virginia are filed under the category The Stacks.
What is your background?
I’ve lived in the Richmond area all my life, just outside of Sandston (where the airport is). The past four years I’ve been living in Fredericksburg while I was getting my English degree at the University of Mary Washington with a focus on British Literature. My past experiences in the library field include an internship at the Varina Area Library when it first opened back in 2016, and three years as a Reference Assistant at Mary Washington’s Simpson Library. I plan on getting my Master’s in Library Science at some point, but currently I’m enjoying not being in school for the first time in seventeen years.
How do you explain what you do to others?
I hunt down and reshelf books and other items for staff and the public, so that no one gets lost roaming around the stacks on the 3rd and 4th floors. New items are constantly being added to the library collections, so we also do a fair amount of shifting to accommodate.
Have you held other positions at the Library? If so, what?
This is my first job with the Library of Virginia, as well as my first full-time job ever, since I only graduated about four months ago.
How has technology affected your current job?
All of the requests we receive on the 3rd floor, be it from patrons or staff, come to us through a printer server. On the 4th floor, we have hand-held scanners that log when items are sent down and where they go when they are sent back. Sometimes, an item isn’t where it should be, so we can look up where the scanners have logged its location in the past to track it down.
Describe your best day at the Library of Virginia.
My best day would probably have to start with not getting stuck in I-64 morning traffic, something I have yet to experience. All jokes aside though, I’m definitely in my element when the library is at its busiest. Sitting still for too long is not something I’m a fan of, and I’d much rather be rushing about finding books. I also really enjoy putting the daily newspapers on their sticks, so I’m always excited when it’s my turn to do that in the mornings.
What was your first paid job?
My first paid job was working at the concession stand at the Sandston pool. I wouldn’t say I really enjoyed that job, since I left every day smelling like a grease oven, but I did get a lot of free candy and chicken nuggets. I was on the competitive summer swim team there, so also I conveniently got out of having to work during swim meets.
What would people be surprised to find out about you?
I obsessively collect facts. I have a Fact-A-Day calendar, listen to a ton of nonfiction audiobooks, and used to run a “random quiz question every Friday” element on the Simpson Library’s Reference Instagram page (our library mascot was an owl so they were called Know It Owl questions). I make sure my coworkers know things like that more people die in grain silo accidents than shark attacks every year, because that’s important and might score them points on Jeopardy one day.