Shining a light on the people who help make the Fresno County Public Library a place to grow
Shining a light on the people who help make
the Fresno County Public Library a place to grow.

Nominate a Staff Member

Staff Feature:

2020

      • Janet Rodriguez
        Library Assistant
        Central Library
        Number of years you've worked for the Library: Three, almost four!

        Janet Rodriguez

        Describe your current job.

        I work at different desks around the library, helping people find what they want. I also check in lots of books and movies. Although I do make mistakes and can't always find the right answer, I try to help with what I can (unless it's legal questions-those are better answered by the Law Library, 559-600-2227, or Central California Legal Services, 800-675-8001).

        What do you like most about your job?

        I'm happy when I find an item someone wants, and being able to answer someone's questions. I also like how the library gets a lot of wonderful people who use it. And the people I work with are awesome! In other words, pretty much everything!

        If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

        Hmmm...I'm not sure. I like what I'm doing now.

        What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

        I think my greatest accomplishment is getting to know what programs and services the library offers, as well as how the library works (I have a few more, but this is the only one I can think of off the top of my head). The library is a lot more than "just books and computers," and I think everyone should take advantage of that!

        What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

        When I was younger, I loved to browse through the library and see what book looked interesting! I found a lot of great books like that!

        What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

        I still love the Harry Potter series! I enjoyed visiting Hogwarts and following everyone's adventures.

        What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

        I'm re-reading books by Donna Jo Napoli, specifically Breath and Crazy Jack! I also enjoy looking through art books and knitting/crocheting books (even though I don't know how to knit or crochet). I'm always reading manga: To Your Eternity, The Promised Neverland, Dr. Stone, and Skip Beat! are some of my current favorites! I'm still waiting for Hunter X Hunter to come back from hiatus, but I'll keep patient for that one.

        What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

        I guess that would be any shōjo manga, since I usually read shōnen titles.

        What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

        I definitely recommend reading a series called Aria (earlier published as Aqua). It's a science fiction/slice of life manga with a main character named Akari, who looks on the bright side of everything. It takes place on Mars, in a city named Neo-Venezia. The story's lovely, and the artwork is beautiful!

        If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

        I would choose to be Mitsu from a series called Saturn Apartments. He works hard and always does his best!

        What would you name the autobiography of your life?

        I think The Life Cycle of a Bookworm would work.

        Where is your hometown?

        Fresno's my hometown! I've lived here my whole life!

        What was your very first paid job?

        My first paid job was as a field laborer. I worked in the grape fields, mainly.

        What would people be surprised to learn about you?

        I love manga, anime, and cartoons! I also like video games and horror/thriller movies.

        If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

        A Game Night party! It'd have both video and board games, and it'd be just for fun!

        If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

        I'd love to visit the world of Harry, Ron, and Hermione (and the rest of the cast of Harry Potter). That would be a fun trip!

        If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

        I'd like to learn to learn a new language. It would make communicating with people easier.

        What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

        I think I'd like teleportation. I'd get from Point A to Point B so much quicker!

        If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

        I'd have to choose Mexico, because it's a beautiful country!

        What is the best dish you can cook?

        B-b-by myself? *Sweats* Probably fried rice, or any nice, simple dish.

        What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

        Chocolate brownie is one of my all-time favorites. Neapolitan is a close second.

        What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

        Definitely when I went to Mexico! I got to see family I haven't seen in years!

        When I'm not at work, you can find me...

        In a book! Or random places around town.

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        • Janet Murphy
          Library Assistant II
          Betty Rodriguez Regional Library
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 10 years

          Janet Murphy

          Describe your current job.

          Helping customers find materials and use computers, printers, and photocopiers. Listening to customers for clues on which products would enhance their Library usage.

          What do you like most about your job?

          Seeing customers get excited about reading, especially young children, and seeing the joy that radiates from their faces when they check out books.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          My dream project would be to travel to all our libraries and inventory all their items to make sure what we have on the shelves is accurate.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          Going to a school library where my great-aunt worked. She let me pick out three books.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          When I was a child, I read the entire Nancy Drew series. I've purchased all the older books from used bookstores. Mystery is still my favorite genre.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          Anything by Jan Karon.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Not a book or series, but the most guilty pleasure I have is reading People magazine when I go to get my hair cut.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          The Bible.

          What was your very first paid job?

          Watering my grandparents' and another neighbor's lawns and plants.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          Many things, but one would be my husband proposed to me on top of Mount Whitney after backpacking the John Muir Trail with family and friends.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          We have a monthly soup night from October to April at our house. We prepare two different soups. Everyone else brings bread, salads, drinks, or desserts. The best type of party is sitting around a big table with family and friends and conversing.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Super-speed, so I could get everything done that I wanted to get done in a day.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Chicken marsala, meat loaf, or spaghetti.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Generally, vanilla - it's so versatile. You can add fruit or chocolate sauce to have a different ice cream every day.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          Tooling down Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, through small-town America. We ate at mom and pop restaurants and non-chain motels, including a Wigwam in San Bernardino/Rialto.

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        • Joy Robbins
          Library Assistant II
          Woodward Park
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 3.5 years

          Joy Robbins

          Describe your current job.

          I create library cards, assist patrons with their accounts, holds and fines, and also help locate their desired materials.

          What do you like most about your job?

          Helping people/children locate their books/media.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          Making decorations for events and/or displays.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Putting together a display.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          Oh, dear, just one? I have too many favorites. Little Golden Books and Dr. Seuss.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          Cookbooks, pet care, family tree, and the Bible.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          I never feel guilty reading!

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          The Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          The Many Colors of Joy.

          Where is your hometown?

          I was born in Southern California, but have lived in the Clovis/Fresno area since I was seven years old.

          What was your very first paid job?

          Babysitting and working at Fresno State's Kennel Bookstore.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I love to sing!

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          It would be a tea party with lots of decorations, fancy hats, and food. Just because it's fun to be with friends.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          To type. It would make my job so much easier.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          My husband says it's my rice pilaf.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Depends on where I am...RiteAid's Chocolate Malted Krunch or Baskin Robbins' Mint Chip.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          A cross-country trip across the United States with my husband. We went to so many special places. Every day was an adventure with lots of laughs. (Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Chicago, Charleston, Gettysburg, Biltmore Estate, Dallas, and the Grand Canyon.)

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          with my dogs and my husband.

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        • Karen Hankins
          Library Assistant II
          Auberry Branch Library
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 8 years

          Karen Hankins

          Describe your current job.

          I'm a Library Assistant II at the Auberry Branch Library. Since I work in a small branch I get to do a little bit of everything, which I really like.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I love finding the perfect author for the right readers. And, of course, I love working with my coworkers and supervisor-they're the best.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          I'm very proud of the teen and tween groups I started, and the volunteers I recruited to help run them. One of the volunteers is now our Auberry library aide. They've been going strong for five-plus years.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          During my first week on the job, a lady walked in and asked me for snake identification books. I showed her where they were, and asked her what the snake she was trying to identify looked like. She said she wasn't sure, but asked if I would come out to her car and help her. And sure enough, she had a snake from her garden in her trunk! Fortunately, it was a gopher snake.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, because it's based on a true story about a girl stranded on San Nicolas Island, south of where I grew up, in Santa Barbara. I'd look at the island and imagine her there. The story is amazing. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          Cemetery Road, by Greg Iles.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          No one should feel guilty reading.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, the Harry Potter series, and Watchers by Dean Koontz, but there are so many more.

          If you could be any fictional character, whom would you choose to be?

          Hermione Granger.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Is It Gluten-Free?

          Where is your hometown?

          I grew up in Santa Barbara and moved to Prather 15 years ago.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I did some roofing with my dad when I was a teenager. It wasn't fun.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          My house has burned down twice.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          It would be a gluten-free party for all the people like me who have to eat gluten-free, and have a hard time finding places to eat safely.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          It would be between Ferris Bueller for spontaneity and Indiana Jones for adventure.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Speak a foreign language.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          I'd be able to fly. I want to travel, and it would be easier if I could fly there myself. Plus, I'd feel so free!

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador or Mexico. I like tropical weather, beaches and a laid-back life.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Veggie lasagna.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Peppermint, which is usually only available during Christmas time.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          This is weird because I've been to some amazing places, like New Zealand, Hawaii and Mexico, but the best vacation I've taken was to Disneyland with my parents, my sister's family and extended family. It was one of those moments in time that everyone was happy, there were no family squabbles, and everything worked out perfectly for three days.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          At a baseball game, or watching a baseball game on TV.

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        • Mary Yamanaka
          Library Assistant I
          Floater
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: It's been about 9 months so far.

          Mary Yamanaka

          Describe your current job.

          I get to travel around to different libraries, helping people find books and media. I also pretend to know what I'm doing when someone needs computer assistance.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I really enjoy getting to float because it's allowed my life to intersect with so many wonderful people, whether they're patrons or coworkers.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          I'd love to do something that showcases local artists.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          When we did the winter craft, where kids made trains out of Rice Krispies, I got to take pictures of the event. I loved how the kids all wanted to show off their creations and have their pictures taken with them. Even the really bashful ones worked up the courage to talk to me for a picture!

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          The Giving Tree. That book taught me to be the type of person who doesn't take advantage of kindness and unconditional love. Don't be a kid who grows up and takes advantage of those who love and care about you.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm currently reading The Man in the High Castle. I'm trying to read all of Ursula K. Le Guin's and Haruki Murakami's books as well.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Retellings of mythology and fairy tales. I don't feel guilty reading them, but I definitely define them as my quicker, easier reads.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, because the writing is so beautiful.

          Where is your hometown?

          Inarajan, Guam.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I worked in a movie theater as an usher and moved up to bartender. Never thought that could happen at a theater job.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I'd love being able to speak and read in every language.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Ricotta and spinach-stuffed chicken.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Honeycomb and Whiskey Caramel Swirl from Ampersands.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          At home, taking care of my younger siblings.

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        • Chris Brown
          Library Aide
          Politi
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 3+

          Chris Brown

          Describe your current job.

          I feel like I'm, in a true sense, a 'Jack of all trades and master of none'. As a part-time aide I'm more than just the person who puts away books, and my wonderful colleagues at Politi help my work get better. Whether it's placing a library card in a new patron's hands, or helping a customer track down that 'one book that just came out with the red cover', it really is a labor of love (though I keep joking about tripping one of the 'full-timers' to snag more hours).

          What do you like most about your job?

          I feel like this is selfish to say, but I like that the position makes me a better person. I try to be an ethical person of faith, so what I like most about my job is that it teaches me that I can always be better, try harder, care more, and always be open to learning.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          I like shelving and putting things in order. Whether it's my record or comic book collection at home, or making sure the dang children's non-fiction collection at Politi is in the order Dewey intended, I like keeping things in order. In hindsight, that makes it sound like I'm the most uninteresting person to ever be featured in Staff Spotlight.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          I'll be honest here and say I'm not so much a person that looks at work accomplishments as touchstones in my life. I'm more of a follow-my-passion person. I love the Fresno community. I love how information can empower a community in a positive way, and anything I can do to facilitate that within our city and county is rewarding.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          At 48 I've already have logged many years in libraries before even joining the County of Fresno, so I was shocked by my current work assignment at Politi. I've never before worked with colleagues in a place where there's genuine affection for the customers, and a tremendous respect for other staff members. We're the personification of there not being an "I in Team." As much I do need better pay and more hours, I've found myself passing up other opportunities because I love going to a job where my co-workers have great mutual respect and professional affection for one another.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          I read Frank Herbert's Dune series in 7th grade, and I've gone back to it at least three times since then. I've also made a purposeful effort to re-read Shakespeare's "King Lear" every decade to see how my age reacts to the text.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I just finished up Angie Thomas' terrific new book, On the Come Up, and have just started The Beastie Boys Book. I've got a shelf-load of books left to read on Lou Reed, Kamala Harris, comic books, and American classics I didn't get a chance to read in high school and college.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          There's this music essay series called 33 1/3. Every book revolves around just a record of the author's choice. Each book is different. It could be complete fiction, or personal biography, philosophical, or documentary, but I love picking up a few whenever I travel and putting that piece of music on endless repeat as I read these small books. It's made me a big fan of music that might have been outside of my wheelhouse. I do need to get on the ball and recommend this fine series for purchase by our purchasing department.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          It's a hard book, but the book that 'changed my life' is Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. A much shorter backup, with similar themes, is Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

          Ziggy Stardust. Boy, could he play guitar.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Leftybrown: A Podcaster's Life.

          Where is your hometown?

          I lived in Suisun City, CA for most of my childhood, but the majority of my adult life has been spent in Fresno.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I wrote movie reviews for a very small local paper in Suisun City when I was in middle school....mostly just to get into movies for free.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I record five different podcasts on entertainment, gaming, soccer or living healthy: Hollywood Bacon, Gamerhusbands radio, VG Time Masters, The Married Gamers, You Lose! Podcast, and Fox Trot Pod.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I love theme parties! From everyone dressing up as a famous wrestler and watching Wrestlemania, to hosting a mystery dinner. Who wouldn't like dressing the part?

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          I guess the closest I could come to fictional is U2's Bono, who had a fictional character named The Fly-an outlandish personification of the ROCK STAR. That guy would be a blast to be with on a road trip!

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Boy, I seriously wish I could play drums.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          As someone who's had a serious freak-out on whether I'd be able to listen to the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" in the afterlife, I'd go with the power to cheat death.

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          England, if only to watch in person the greatest football club on the planet, Liverpool FC.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          My cooking and baking skills are very rudimentary.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Practically anything with some hot fudge, bacon or caramel in it. Yes, bacon.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          My favorite trip was a concert trip I took with friends. We drove to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado to catch two shows (one from the stage, no less) by the Allman Brothers. We then drove to Arizona to catch String Cheese Incident, with random stops at a corner in Winslow, Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          Watching our very own USL team, the Fresno FC, play at the ballpark. Seriously, if you haven't been to a match yet, as a friend of mine likes to say....fix yo' life!

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        • Angelique Barker
          Library Aide
          Gillis Branch
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: Three in June

          Angelique Barker

          Describe your current job.

          I'm the aide, which means I'm the person you're most likely to meet when you walk in the branch. I'm shelving, or helping customers, or designing new displays, or helping with programs. It's all very non-stop.

          What do you like most about your job?

          The utterly satisfying moment of being able to pair up a person with the perfect book.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          Redesigning and organizing the different areas of the branch to make them more inviting and fun. I'd love to see more art everywhere.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Not a specific incident, but signing someone up for a card and then watching them come back again and again. It feels like, despite anything else, we got that one right.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          The Little House on the Prairie series were the first books I can remember thinking of as my favorite, and that I set them aside so I could come back to reread them again in the future with fresh eyes. Still haven't done that.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I am always reading multiple titles at once. What I'm reading depends on where I am and what mood I'm in and which book I have closest to me. Though right now I'm very into From Here To Eternity by Caitlin Doughty, it's about death acceptance and death rituals across the world.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Any time I get distracted by a picture book I feel a little guilty. But I remind myself that this was created by somebody, someone put hard work into this, and isn't that wonderful?

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          Please, I need everyone to read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's about the end of the world except funny.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

          Howl Pendragon from Howl's Moving Castle. Though the book, not the movie. Undercharging the poor, over charging royalty, changing my hair with magic every few weeks, sassy talking demon friend? Ideal life.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          The Fatal American Need to Have A Pretty Good Time

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I would like to have a party where everyone I invite can actually show up. I don't care the occasion, I just want everyone there.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I wish I could read and compose music. My talents lie elsewhere, I'm afraid.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Regeneration or healing. Maybe just healing, so long as it worked on myself. I'm very tired of fighting carpal tunnel syndrome.

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          Is it cheating if I say Canada? Very similar to here but colder and with health insurance.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          I think you'd have to ask other people, opinions and all. I'm pretty good with soups, and any excuse to bake something is a good excuse.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Not to be dramatic, but Ampersand has a honeycomb ice cream that I would die for.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          At home, nursing a cup of extremely pretentious pour over coffee.

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        • Lyndsey Silveira
          Library Assistant
          Woodward Park, Park View Cluster
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: I've worked for the library a little more than two years.

          Lyndsey Silveira

          Describe your current job.

          Mostly I tell people to turn off their Wi-Fi and then try turning it back on again, and sometimes I show people where they can find the Dog Man books.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I enjoy talking to people from all walks of life, and helping them find what they need.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          That's a tough question, probably something creative but impactful.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Getting a cowboy hat to (finally) stay put on my Wild West display at Clovis. It took a lot of trial and error!

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          There are so many to pick from. For one of the Family Night programs at Clovis, Shonda Graham raised caterpillars. When they were all grown up into monarch butterflies, she released them out on the lawn one evening. It was an almost magical moment watching them fly off in all directions, and also a great learning experience for the kids.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          The Harry Potter series, probably. I read my copy of Sorcerer's Stone so much that the binding came undone. There was always something really appealing about the idea of this whole magical world hiding alongside ours.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm reading State Tectonics, the third and final book in Malka Older's Centenal Cycle. And because I can't read just one book at a time, I'm also reading Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar, and The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Any book that has interesting concepts, characters or world-building, and very poor execution.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          True Grit by Charles Portis is the one novel I'd recommend confidently to almost everyone. It's grim but funny, and doesn't take itself too seriously, while still somehow being a master class in creating a character's voice. Shel Silverstein's books are fun for all ages.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

          I would probably want to be the Luidaeg from the October Daye books. She's a grumpy and powerful sea witch, and I'm already two of those things.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          The Zyrtec Diary.

          Where is your hometown?

          Hilmar, California.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I babysat in high school, but I had my first paycheck job in college. I was an assistant at one of the dining halls. I learned how to make pizzas in an actual pizza oven, among other things.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          That would spoil the surprise...

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I'm generally not much of a party person, but I'd love to throw a nice Halloween party, to give the holiday its due. There would be a lot of food, some of it themed, and costumes would be mandatory.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          Is it cheating to pick my own characters? Because weird things happen to them on road trips, and they need all the help they can get to stay alive.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I would learn to play the pipe organ, probably.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Shapeshifting or flying. Or both.

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          There are a lot of countries I want to visit, but I'm not sure where I would choose to live.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Linguiça, which is definitely cheating because it's already so flavorful. I'm getting better at cooking chicken dishes, soups and curries, too.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          It's a tie between mint and chocolate chip and cookie dough.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          I went to Alaska once and it was amazing. Life is so different there.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          Holed up in my room/office, doing schoolwork.

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        • Diego Cadena
          Library Assistant
          Woodward
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: Four.

          Diego Cadena

          Describe your current job.

          I'm now a library assistant, and prior to that I was a library aide for three years. For both jobs, I shelve books and other items, help customers, and keep things neat.

          What do you like most about your job?

          Enjoying the different books and items the Library offers.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          Something that's art-related. I enjoy art and would like the creative challenge of that kind of project.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Supervising a kids' art program.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          Becoming friends with a customer who attended my art classes.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          Nancy Drew was my favorite book series as a kid (and Hardy Boys, too).

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          The Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard Williams.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Hmmm... Don't think I have one.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          The Chronicles of Narnia.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          How'd I Live This Long? My Story of Life and How I Got Here.

          Where is your hometown?

          Fresno.

          What was your very first paid job?

          My first official job was serving as a Library aide at the Cedar-Clinton Branch.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          Despite how much I like cartoons, I don't want to be an animator.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          It would be a very relaxed and casual party, with 90s cartoons as the theme.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          I'd choose Buddy Thunderstruck (of the cartoon series) and his sidekick, Darnell Fetzervalve. They'd be fun dudes to hang out with!

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          How to write music.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Shape-shifting. It's cool.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Sweet things, like cookies and cakes.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Cake batter.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          My high school senior trip vacation was the best. My Dad and I traveled along the coast of California and visited different places.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          At home, working on projects.

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        • Jamie Kurumaji
          Children's Librarian
          Raisin Vines - Gillis, Selma, Fowler, Kingsburg, Caruthers, Easton, Riverdale, and Laton
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: A little over 3 years! I started in 2014 as a Library Assistant, then left the county in 2016 for my first librarian job with Kern County. In July 2017, I decided it was time to come home and was offered another librarian position, this time with FCPL.

          Jamie Kurumaji

          Describe your current job.

          I'm the Children's Librarian for the Raisin Vines cluster. I currently (and with lots of help) prep and plan programs for kids from ages 2-12, including storytime, art, STEM, and anything else we think will be fun!

          What do you like most about your job?

          I do enjoy working with the different branches and communities! Being a children's librarian is truly all about having fun. Every program you have, you get a different reaction from every kid and their pure honesty is just amazing. I love seeing how their little minds work to solve a STEM problem, or when their storytime bunny craft turns evolves into a two-trunk space elephant!

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          Just one! I have a few ideas, but I've really been enjoying the photography program that we started at Caruthers. It's been such a privilege to view their photos, because it's like catching a small snippet of how the children view things. I can't wait for our end of the year photo showing, and would really love to expand this program to other branches.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          When I recently attended the Youth Media Awards and was present for the announcement of the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association's youth book awards. We were all screaming our heads off as our picks were flashed across the stage, because this was the first time ever for us to be included in the ALA's awards ceremony.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          One recent experience that made my heart swoon was at our second Selma Tween Council meeting. We're a small group, but they all told me "I wish I could stay here forever." I said, "You don't even want to go home or anywhere else?" Their answer, 'Nope!'

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          I have two. One is Blueberries for Sal, and the other was a Japanese board book. I still have no clue what the book was about, but I was drawn to the illustrations.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm reading Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Finding the time to read is a guilty pleasure!

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          I'm a little biased on this one, but the books I've been promoting lately are Drawn Together by Minh Le and A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Is it pajama time yet?

          Where is your hometown?

          Reedley, California.

          What was your very first paid job?

          Since I can't count working on the farm, my actual first paid job was when I was a student assistant at San Francisco State University's library, working in the periodicals department.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I speak Swedish.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          Pajama dance party! Everyone has to wear pajamas because, duh-you're already ready for bed when you get home from the party!

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          Road trip: Candice and Toni (Portlandia), Mindi Lahiri, Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development).

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I've always wanted to learn hand lettering. I have a book, but still haven't had a chance to practice.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Even though I really don't mind driving, having the ability to transport myself anywhere quickly would give me so much more time during the day.

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          London, England. I've been several times and loved venturing into the different districts and the art scene. I could stay at the Tate Modern all day!

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Oh man, does going to Whole Foods' hot bar count as 'cooking?'

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Coffee.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          A road trip I took with a friend from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Fresno. I had just finished grad school at Louisiana State University and convinced a friend to fly over and drive back with me. We really didn't have a plan and stopped randomly at many small towns along the way.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          Hiking, traveling, just hanging out with friends...or the complete opposite, being really lazy.

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        • Jose Romo
          Library Aide
          Clovis
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 11 months

          Jose Romo

          Describe your current job.

          I'm a library aide at the Clovis Library. I shelve items, check in items, assist patrons, and help with the front desk if needed.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I really like the people I work with. They are very supportive of my school work and photography, and are just great people to be around.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          Honestly, I don't know which project I'd pick, but would be glad to help with any if I could.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          My biggest accomplishment is this-being featured in Staff Spotlight!

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          I used to work at the Fresno City College Library, and my most memorable experience would be getting 'Student Worker of the Semester' award. It was a pretty cool accomplishment.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          I don't have a favorite book, but I have a favorite series-A Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm currently reading a Punisher graphic novel, Kingpin.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          The Godfather.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

          I'd be Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2. I think it would be fun to ride in the Wild West and be an outlaw.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          A Very Mellow Fellow: Hakuna Matata.

          Where is your hometown?

          Fresno, California.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I was a groundskeeper for an apartment complex.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          Along with my job at the Library, I'm also a full time student at Fresno State, where I graduate after this semester. I work as a photographer for the school newspaper, and have an internship where I photograph mixed martial arts events.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I don't really party, but if I threw one, I'd invite my close friends and we'd just hang out, play video games and chill.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          I'd probably go on a road trip with the gang from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, because any time those people are involved in something, it's never dull. I'd just sit back and watch them get into their shenanigans.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I'd like to learn how to play guitar.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          I'd choose super speed like The Flash, so I could go anywhere, any time, in just a second. I'll be honest: I'd probably get into places without being seen :)

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          I'd live in Italy because of the food!

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          I don't cook much, but I could make mac and cheese out of the box :) I could also pour myself a nice bowl of cereal and microwave some leftover pizza.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Vanilla.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          It was on Valentine's Day weekend in Las Vegas with my girlfriend. We got to see Mariah Carey, my girlfriend's favorite artist of all time. Just to see my girlfriend happy is what made the vacation the best for me.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          ...with my girlfriend, at school, with my friends, or shooting photos at an event or sporting event of some kind.

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        • Michelle Burton
          Teen Librarian
          Blossom Trail Cluster: Bear Mountain, Orange Cove, Parlier, Piedra, Reedley, Sanger, Sunnyside
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: I have worked at the Fresno County Public Library for a little over three months. I started September 24, 2018!

          Michelle Burton

          Describe your current job.

          I'm the teen librarian for the Blossom Trail Cluster. I try to offer exciting, fun, and creative programs that will appeal to teens.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I like being in different branches all of the time, interacting with so many diverse types of people from various backgrounds, and I also enjoy learning new things continuously, every single day.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          I'd try to increase or capitalize on ways to ensure that teens know what programs are offered at the Library, as well as making them more comfortable and confident when they come into the Library and make it their own.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          I haven't been here that long for many memorable accomplishments, but I hope to gain quite a few in my time here! One happened when I was doing a Misfit Toy Winter Program, and the teens were asked to sew together parts of stuffed animals to make a complete stuffed animal. I still laugh remembering how I must have looked to everyone while I was cutting off the animals' heads and limbs!

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          My college friends and I would meet up at the Library to do group projects and find an area to work together for hours. It proved to us that the Library is a fun and educational place.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          I don't really have a favorite book from childhood, but I really enjoyed the Dr. Seuss books because of the illustrations and rhymes.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber, The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, and Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          The Tower and The Hive book series by Anne McCaffrey.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, because it's about striving for success from our choices and how we all have the potential to be better versions of ourselves.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

          I'd be Gandalf (the awesome female version, of course).

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Work In Progress!

          Where is your hometown?

          Porterville, California.

          What was your very first paid job?

          My very first paid job was as a newspaper carrier.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          People would be very surprised to learn that I didn't always have purple hair.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I'd throw a costume party for Halloween. It would be a great time to have fun with friends and family, catch up, and have fun.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          I'd choose Samwise Gamgee, because he's loyal, noble, protective, and concerned about eating good food. He'd make sure we had an entertaining, fun, and memorable trip.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I think I'd learn to make tasty and incredible sushi rolls!

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          I'd choose the Force from the Star Wars universe, because I'd want to be able to wield a lightsaber, and I'd also use my Force powers to choose to be a Jedi or a Sith or both!

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          I don't know that I'd want to live in another country, but I'd definitely want to travel all over the world.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          I can make fabulous, delicious pancakes!

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          I don't really have a favorite flavor of ice cream, but I like vanilla ice cream mixed with root beer for root beer floats.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          I went to Italy over spring break several years ago. It was the best vacation because it felt like I was embarking on my first major adventure! I got to explore, go sightseeing, and enjoy historical places and areas like the Sistine Chapel and the Coliseum. That trip was also the longest I'd ever been cooped up on an airplane, which was very terrifying, but exciting as well.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          At home where I'm either reading, or plotting my next adventure in life.

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        • Noe Fragoza
          Library Assistant
          Laton
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 4

          Noe Fragoza

          Describe your current job.

          Currently, I am the Library Assistant in charge of the Laton Branch Library. I shelve items, greet customers, and try to create a welcoming environment.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I like meeting new and interesting people and getting to know the great community of Laton.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          I think my most memorable accomplishment in my library career would have to be last year when I was at the Tranquility branch: for each summer performer, I drew a display on a whiteboard that showed what fun and entertaining act we were going to have.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          I think my most memorable experience in a library has to be when I used to have debates with the customers in Tranquility about sports and our favorite teams (FLY, EAGLES, FLY!).

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          My favorite book as a kid was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff. I can still remember reading this book in first grade with Mrs. Kilbert, during quiet reading time.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm swamped with school and all the work that comes with that, but I want to read Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, by Piers Paul Read.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          I don't really have any guilty pleasures, because why should you feel bad about something that you enjoy?

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          The book that I'd recommend to everyone would be The 4-Hour Chef, by Tim Ferriss. That book is classified as a cookbook but it is much more than that. It's an incredible read.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be?

          If I could be any character from a book, I would be Shikamaru Nara from the Naruto manga series because in the series he's a genius that becomes an advisor to the Hokage and his mind and jutsu are incredible.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Laugh at my Expense.

          Where is your hometown?

          Burrell, California. If you don't know where that is, I don't blame you: you could drive by, blink, and miss it.

          What was your very first paid job?

          My first paid job was working in the fields, picking blueberries and cherries the summer before starting high school.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          That I am 100% Mexican (most people see me and think I am Irish or of European decent) and that I speak fluent Spanish.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I would throw another party like my 22st birthday party, where my family and friends came over and we just drank and ate good food while having a good time.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          There is no doubt that I would go on a race around the world with the one and only Deadpool.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          If I could learn anything, I would definitely learn to fly a plane and get a pilot's license.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Time travel, so that I could see and experience the different eras and see firsthand how different the world is now.

          If you were to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          If I could live anywhere I would choose France or Japan, because I love both of those cultures: I'm a foodie and France is the birthplace of modern cuisine and Japan has such a diverse food scene that I would love to explore.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Basically anything breakfast related is my specialty. If I have time, I can make an amazing golden egg hash with some sautéed onions and salsa.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Strawberry cheesecake is my favorite ice-cream flavor, but my favorite yogurt is plain with diced fruit.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          The best vacation I've ever taken was when I went with my family back to Michoacan, to visit my mom's side of the family. It was great seeing all my family and exploring the town my mom grew up in.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          When I'm not at work you can find me at school in class, at home playing videogames with my brothers, or at the gym with my cousin.

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        • Yer Vang
          Library Assistant II
          Literacy Services Center
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 4 years & 9 months

          Yer Vang

          Describe your current job.

          I am a library assistant in Adult Literacy Services, providing One-on-One Tutoring, English Conversation Circles, and Career Online High School (COHS). I've been with FCPL for four years and nine months. Some of my responsibilities in Literacy Services are data entry, interviewing tutors and learners, community outreach, facilitating conversation circles, and making referrals to community services (as necessary).

          What do you like most about your job?

          Being able to make a difference in people's lives, one at a time.

          If you had to work on only one project at the Library for the next year, what would it be?

          Incorporating a series of Bilingual story times.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          My three scholarship awards that I've received from Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), California Library Association (CLA), and American Library Association (ALA).

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          It was in second grade, when my teacher took the entire class to participate in story time with the school librarian. After story time, my teacher encouraged the class to check out books and take them home to read.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          One of my favorite books from childhood is Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White. He did a wonderful job portraying several themes in the story, such as innocence, friendship, love, growth, and loss or death. I would like to highlight the importance of Wilbur's and Charlotte's friendship, revealing that friends come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, as well as the purity of a friendship between two people.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          Currently, I am reading books that are assigned for my library courses.
          Some of the book titles that I am looking forward to reading are:
          1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
          2. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nyguen
          3. The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, by Viet Thanh Nyguen.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          Afterland, by Mai Der Vang.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be? (This doesn't have to be a character from a book; it can be one from a movie, TV, etc.)

          I would be Mulan. She was courageous in her 'fictional' lifetime.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          To Live in Three Worlds

          Where is your hometown?

          Fresno, CA.

          What was your very first paid job?

          The IRS.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          That I wasn't born in the U.S., but in the refugee camps in Ban Vinai, Thailand.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          It would be potluck style, for friends and family.

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          I would choose Princess Merida from 'Brave', because she goes against her traditional role, choosing to challenge societal norms by pursuing archery over needlework as well as winning her own hand in marriage.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I would learn how to embroider Hmong clothes, because I want to keep the tradition of Hmong embroidery for future generations.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          I would choose the superpower of flying, because I enjoy traveling and would like to see other areas of the world such as Asia, Europe, Australia, South America, South Africa, etc.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          I would like to live in Canada. Recently, I took a trip to Vancouver and was amazed by their public transit, libraries, and woodlands.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Stir-fry vegetables with noodles.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          I have several favorites; however, if I have to choose, I would go with Pistachio Nut.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          The best vacation that I've taken was a family trip to Kauai. The weather and landscape were beautiful, but the best part of it was spending quality time with my family.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          Spending time with my family and friends.

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        • Anthony Martinez
          Driver
          Central
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 9 months

          Anthony Martinez

          Describe your current job.

          I am currently in the Shipping and Receiving department of the Central Library.

          What do you like most about your job?

          The people I work with! They all have their own individual personalities, which keeps things interesting.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Well, I haven't been here very long, but I would say receiving my Above and Beyond recognition pin was pretty memorable.

          What is your most memorable experience in a Library?

          My first ride-along with Pete Hennecke while learning the North Valley route. This route includes Auberry, North Fork, Oakhurst, Mariposa, Merced, Chowchilla and Madera! It's the perfect route if, like me, you love the outdoors.

          What is your favorite book from your childhood? Why?

          I'd have to say The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, maybe because I can relate in some weird way.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          Right now, I am reading Jarhead by Anthony Swofford. However, Raman Bath recently recommended The Pillars of the Earth to me, so that might be next.

          What book or series is a guilty pleasure read for you?

          I don't really have one.

          What book you would you/do you recommend to everyone?

          I haven't read that many, but I'd definitely recommend The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be? (This doesn't have to be a character from a book; it can be one from a movie, TV, etc.)

          I'm not sure. I think I'd rather just be me.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Let's do this...

          Where is your hometown?

          Kerman, California.

          What was your very first paid job?

          KFC. I remember my first check being $6.75/hr.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I was an EMT at both American Ambulance and Foster Farms (yes, the chicken company has EMTs on staff).

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          Simply put, it would be the best party you've ever been to in your life! It would start in the evening and not end until the morning. Basically, like my high school graduation party, except this time there would be no reason: just party!

          If you could choose any fictional character to join you on a road trip or other kind of vacation, who would you choose and why?

          I would probably choose Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh. The poor guy always seems so down and I'd want to bring him along to try and cheer him up.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Maybe learn how to play the saxophone and sound cool like Kenny G.

          What superpower would you choose to have? Why?

          Definitely time travel. It would be cool to see how humans lived before us and how they will live in the future!

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          Canada. They seem to have it together up there and they've got beautiful woodlands, just like here in the States.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          I don't really have a best dish. I'm more into BBQ and smoking meats. I make killer ribs and tri-tip, according to friends and family.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Pistachio ice cream!

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          A few years back, my family and I rented a beach house in Oceano for the 4th of July. I was going through a lot and it was awesome to just get away and spend time with family.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          on a trail in the Sequoias, camping out in the Sierras or in any wooded area with a lake or river nearby!

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        • Gurdial Singh Dhesi [Dave]
          Library Assistant II
          Central Library, Water Tower
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 21 years

          Gurdial Singh Dhesi [Dave]

          Describe your current job.

          I work as a customer service rep, catalog Punjabi literature, and train new library employees. I feel honored to be in the position to do so, because I get to show them how to browse the integrated library system and use other techniques to make their jobs easier.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I enjoy communicating with customers and bonding with them through books and over common life experiences. Working at Downtown Fresno's Central Library is rewarding and challenging: every day comes with new lessons and experiences. I have learned to practice patience, because often I work with customers who have perspectives and life circumstances very different from my own.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          This environment offered the tools and space to expand on my mental growth, in contrast to my previous job which forced me to exert energy in other ways.

          If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

          I'd like to promote awareness of the resources available at the library, specifically for the Indian Sikh community. I want my peers to know that there are books catered toward the religion and culture that are easily accessible.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Recently, I received an Above and Beyond medal from our Fresno County Public library. On behalf of my Sikh Punjabi community, I received a separate reward for my service to the library and this made me realize the gravity of the role that I play in creating bridges between the library and the Punjabi Sikh community.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          My most memorable experience is my first day working at this library. Learning how to catalog was a milestone in my career of becoming a library employee, because without a cataloging system the library couldn't function. Also, I still remember the first time I worked on a computer, four years after I had gotten the job. It felt so intimidating, but my quick progress gave me more faith in my abilities.

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          The Woodcutter and the Axe, which is a Punjabi folktale, which teaches the importance of being honest and making your earnings by working hard. This is a value I incorporate into my life that trickles into the quality of my work on the job.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I want to read Around the World in 80 Days, because I have always been curious about the lifestyle of a traveler. I love experiencing the world through someone else's perspective, since I am not able to do so currently with my busy lifestyle.

          If you could be any celebrity, who would you choose to be?

          John Oliver, who can say anything he wants and gets paid for it.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          How Age and Family Changed my Life. My family has had a huge impact on shaping my values and priorities in life. I believe that as I have aged, religion has become more meaningful to me and how I see the world.

          Where is your hometown?

          Sang Dhesian, which is located in Punjab, (North) India

          What was your very first paid job?

          I worked in the fields at age 14.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I used to be bald and shaven and now I am bearded and wear a turban.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I would love to make a grand gesture for my nephew after he receives his masters degree and gets married, to show him how much I love him.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          My father, to show him everything I've built with the help of my family.

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          Honey Nut Cheerios.

          Which electronic device do you use most?

          iPhone definitely. Any Apple products, really.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          India. My heart still lies there, since it's where I was born.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Anything that can be microwaved, since my wife does the cooking.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          I went to Michigan and Toronto during one trip. I met lots of family and ate some really nice food.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          Enjoy the little detours in life.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          At home, or on the road. I am almost always accompanied by my family and by other religious members of my community.

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        • Susan Mann
          Principal Librarian (a.k.a. Support Services Manager)
          FHQ (Central Library)
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 17

          Susan Mann

          Describe your current job.

          I currently manage Support Services, which covers all the book ordering, collection development, delivery and Library ITSD.

          What do you like most about your job?

          The people! We have a great crew in Support Services, and also an amazing team spread out over the county. Everyone is so dedicated and this constantly inspires me.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          I love learning and I love serving the community, so it's a win-win because I get to help people access information.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          When I got my first LSTA grant. I had never applied for a grant before. It was for laptops for job seekers at Gillis Branch Library. I saw a need and I wanted to fill it. I came up with an idea that was innovative at the time, and we got the grant! It was a lot of work, those of us involved learned a lot, and it was even more successful than I expected.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          My first FCPL memory is when I got hired as the branch librarian for Kingsburg, sight unseen (I was hired over the phone). I moved there from Sacramento, and a few days before my first day I stopped by to see the branch and meet the staff. One of them said to me, "Nice to meet you. I have a grandbaby; are you going to do lapsits?" I said, "What's a lapsit?" (at the time, I had no training at all in children's services and no one had mentioned I would be doing storytimes!) There was a librarian who had been coming there every week, and I shadowed her and visited other storytimes for several months before I got up the courage to do one. Once I got going, though, I absolutely loved it! I couldn't believe I was lucky enough to get paid to do this! This experience taught me that if you decide you want to do something, and you throw your heart into it, you will succeed and probably have a wonderful time!

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          I can't remember my first book, but the first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm currently reading T.E. Kinsey's Lady Hardcastle series. It's a cozy mystery series, and I'm really picky about which cozies I like, so I read very few. This one hit the spot, so I decided I'm going to read the whole series.

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Anything in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series. But if I need some laughs, then it's Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum series. Or if I want to feel like all's right with the world, then I read anything by Jane Austen.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

          Hm! I'd love being Kinsey Millhone! She eats junk food but stays slim, doesn't care how she looks but is gorgeous, has lots of adventures, and gets to solve the crime every time.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          She Tried a Little of Everything

          Where is your hometown?

          I grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois.

          What was your very first paid job?

          It was a summer job stuffing envelopes with marketing literature for a company this family ran in their basement.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          After some years of being a librarian in Illinois (first at a law library, then at a public library), then in Tennessee (at a university library), I decided the profession was boring. I dropped out and lived for a little while in a commune; then later worked as a restaurant shift manager; then for a family business that did energy-saving retrofits; then as a property manager; then I managed the office for a sales trainer and also helped him put on his workshops; then, when Fresno County Public Library was hiring, I decided to try being a librarian again. I came here in 2001 and my job has changed so many times over the years that I have NEVER been bored-well, except for a couple days in 2002. 😉

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          It would be a mellow party at the open restaurant/bar at the Royal Kona resort in Kailua-Kona, for everyone I know just to hang out, enjoy each other's company, and watch the waves.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Golf, then fly a plane.

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          Gandhi.

          Which electronic device do you use most?

          I multitask between my iPhone, my iPad, and my Kindle.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          I'd love to live in England, so I could listen to those accents all day and visit castles and cathedrals.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          My favorite is a slow-cooker vegetarian paella dish.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Cake Batter from Cold Stone, with marshmallow sauce and chopped pecans over it.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          Several years ago, Richard and I took a trip to Hawaii, the Big Island. We had both wanted to go for many years, and it was magical! The air was amazing and the scenery was spectacular. What surprised me most was how much lava there was everywhere. I thought it would all be beaches and palm trees! The most unexpected experience was when we stayed at a small hotel in Volcano (near Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea is), and our room had a whole corner of picture windows with tree-sized ferns all around. It was like sleeping in a magical forest. We spent a lot of time in the Park, so we are watching the Kilauea eruption news with a lot of interest.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          Always made plans. Always got surprised.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me...

          Multitasking again! Watching a movie, texting with friends, checking e-mail and the news, shopping and playing games on my iPad-all at once.

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        • Brittany Cameron
          Teen Librarian
          Sierra Gateway: Clovis, Betty Rodriguez, Mosqueda, Auberry, Big Creek, and Shaver Lake
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 4 years in July

          Brittany Cameron

          Describe your current job.

          I design exciting programs for teens and young adults that cater to their interests. If there is something that my teen council tells me that want to do, I work on making that happen. I also serve as an advocate for teens in the library, and work hard at getting teens to visit the library.

          What do you like most about your job?

          The people. I get to work with some pretty amazing people, and I love working with the public and helping people find the information that they are seeking.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          When I finished my BA in Modern Literary Studies, I didn't know what I wanted to do, teaching sort of fit, but I wasn't too fond of all the homework. Someone suggested becoming a librarian and it clicked, it was the perfect job for me. I applied as a library assistant and moved up from there.

          If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

          Going into the high schools and talking to teens about what they want to see in their public library, be it the physical space, the materials we have, or the programs that we provide. I want to work on making my libraries as teen friendly as possible, so they make the library one of their top places to go and hangout.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Unsuspectingly getting Rookie of the Year, I totally did not cry.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          I was in second grade when I found the book On the Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I wanted to read it. When I brought it to the librarian to check out, she strongly suggested that I check out a different book, as her own fifth daughter had just started reading the books. I insisted and I read the whole series throughout my second and third grade years. From that experience I learned that if a child is excited to read a book, I shouldn't be the one stopping them from attempting to read it.

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          My mom always read to me, but the book I recall making her read over and over again was called Anna Marie's Blanket. It is the tale of a little girl and her blanket as they babysit all the dolls and stuffed animals each day. I still have it on my shelf at home and I can't wait to read it one day to my future children.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I just finished the first two books in the Witchlands, and I have moved onto A Court of Thorns and Roses.

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Reading shouldn't make you feel guilty. That is why there are public libraries, to allow people free access to information; meaning free of judgement as well.

          Where is your hometown?

          Fresno

          What was your very first paid job?

          John's Incredible Pizza Party Hostess.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I am SCUBA certified. I love to go diving.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          A puppy party, with lots of puppy kisses!

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Graphic art, I have dabbled in it, but I really want to sit down, study, and create!

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          Jane Austen.

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          I don't eat cereal, it's really not a great start for the day for me. Instead I try to opt for high protein breakfasts; on the weekends I make eggs, sausage, or bacon, and during the week I usually have some string cheese and a yogurt protein smoothie.

          Which electronic device do you use most?

          My iPhone and iPad, but I am trying to cut back on my screen time.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          Venice, Italy. I just visited there last month for the first time and it was a completely different atmosphere. There are no cars or bikes; rollerblades are not even permitted. To get places, you simply walk or take a water taxi. Life is slower, art and history are abundant, and there is plenty of delicious food!

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Spaghetti, Gnocchi Soup... I love to cook!

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Mint Chip for every day and when I am in Santa Cruz, Marianne's 1020 yumminess!

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          I recently went to Africa, and visited several countries there. We got to go on safari and see animals right outside our tour truck, it was amazing. My favorite place was Rwanda. There, we trekked the mountains to find a family of gorillas, traveling with them as they ate, walked, and played; nothing between us and them. I also, got to see a country healing from a tragedy twenty years before; we saw how people lived, listened to their stories, and I for one was amazed by the strength of forgiveness in the Rwandan people.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          Recipes/Directions are more like guidelines...

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        • Mike McDermott
          Library Assistant II
          Central Library
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 28

          Mike McDermott

          Describe your current job.

          I'm an LA II in the Central Library's circulation department.

          What do you like most about your job?

          It's a toss-up. I get to work with such a wide assortment of talented, enthusiastic and quirky people; it really makes the days fly by. And sometimes it's a bit of a scary free-for-all, but at the end of almost every day I feel like I was really able to help at least someone in a concrete, substantial way.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          I've always loved the library. I was a library aide in the fifth and sixth grades, and took library science in junior high (it was an actual course)! I had the opportunity to work at Central and Gillis as a part-time extra help aide when I was going to school in 1988, and it really seemed to suit me.

          If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

          Only one project for an entire year? It's really OCD, but I'd like to do inventory on Central's collection and find out what's really here.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          That leads me to something memorable: Years ago, I participated in a total inventory at Central and wound up with Karen Cobb (who was Associate County Librarian at the time) as my inventory partner. We had some fascinating talks about the history of the library and how Central had changed over the years.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          Well, let's see... I remember going on the bookmobile in Alexandria, VA when I was six, but my first clear memory of the library is at 7, sitting in the children's area reading Spaceship Under the Apple Tree at the old Cedar Shields Library (it was on the Northwest corner then.)

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          The first book read to me was Lightfoot the Deer (Thorton W. Burgess, Green Forest Series, 1921), and I still own it! That book and Old Mother West Wind's "How" Stories were given to me for my 6th birthday.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm reading The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, and just finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Guilty pleasure reads? Don't pass it around, but I've gotten hooked on manga of the romantic comedy, slice of life genre. My latest favorite is Sweetness & Lightning, which is about a widowed father learning to cook for his family.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? (Doesn't have to be a book character - can be from a movie, TV, etc.)

          At this stage in my life, I think I want to be Samwise Gamgee, from the Lord of the Rings. He got to happily retire to a peaceful Shire!

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Wait...What?

          Where is your hometown?

          I was an Air Force brat: Riverside, CA; Madrid, Spain; Alexandria, VA... But I count Fresno as my home town, because I have lived here since I was 7.

          What was your very first paid job?

          My first paid job was as a watchmaker's apprentice in my uncle's business.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          If could, I'd throw a giant family reunion in Balboa Park, San Diego, like the get-togethers we had when I was a kid. With a croquet field. (My grandfather loved croquet.)

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I would love to be actually fluent in any foreign language. I learned to read German and Latin, but I can't speak them to save my soul.

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          I would love to meet L. Frank Baum. I'd ask him what the original ending to Rinkitink in Oz was. Did I mention I love the Oz books?

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          Life cereal. "Let's let Mikey try it." "He won't like it; he hates everything." "He likes it. Hey, Mikey!"

          Which electronic device do you use most? (computer, smartphone, e-reader, TV, etc.)

          I definitely use my PC the most. If I don't have WASD + mouse carpal tunnel syndrome, it's not for lack of trying.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          New Zealand. The fallout shouldn't reach it, and it's too far for the zombies to swim.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Tea. I can boil water like a master chef. Anything else, you eat at your own risk.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Baskin-Robbins Daiquiri Ice. So refreshing.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          I spent two weeks in San Francisco. We hit plays, museums, bookstores and tourist traps, but we had so much time that we never felt rushed or burned out. It was awesome.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          Stop me if you've heard this...

          When I'm not at work, you can find me…

          Somewhere in Tamriel, usually hanging around the Ebonheart Pact's capitol, Mournhold. (Elder Scrolls Online. Ask for @BlackMikhael.)

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        • Jill Potter
          Senior Library Assistant
          Central
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 17

          Jill Potter

          Describe your current job.

          I've worked in several positions within FCPL and I've taken away so much from each job. Currently, I am working in the Marketing department. I help manage the marketing and promotions of events and programs throughout the Fresno Library system. I'm the Library's photographer and videographer, documenting the wonderful things that happen around our huge county library system. I also help with the Library's social media accounts. I love the diversity of my job!

          What do you like most about your job?

          I have to list two things. First, I really like my coworkers. They are such a fun, creative and energetic bunch of people and I'm honored to work alongside them. Second, I like that I get to help promote the Library and all the wonderful things we offer to people in Fresno County!

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          The Library had openings for a few new Tech Support staff and I had just received my A+ and Net+ certifications. I applied, interviewed and proved I knew how to take a computer apart (and put it back together), as well as install various operating systems and software, and I got the job! I enjoyed my years in Tech Support, as I got to travel to each branch and see parts of the county that I would never have visited on my own.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          My oldest daughter was an early talker and had a very good vocabulary by about two years old. We were at a library in San Diego and she pulled a picture book off the shelf and sat down on the rug and began turning the pages and 'reading' the book. She was making up a story as she went along and it was very convincing. An older, grandmotherly woman stopped and stared, open mouthed, at this itty bitty girl reading. She asked me if she was reading the book and I just nodded and said, 'Yes, she is!'

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          I don't remember specific books being read to me, but I devoured every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on when I was in elementary school.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I'm currently reading our Big Read book, The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang.

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Guilty? About reading? Never! But I did say I would never, EVER read a cozy mystery. Well, I've recently discovered how much fun they are to read and I can't get enough!

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? (Doesn't have to be a book character - can be from a movie, TV, etc.)

          I'd like to be any companion of Doctor Who. I don't think I could be the Doctor himself, as the weight of his life would be too much to bear.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Well, that didn't turn out like I thought it would!

          Where is your hometown?

          I grew up in a few different towns in San Diego County, but I call Encinitas my home. It's a beautiful little beach town, right alongside the 101 Highway.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I was a day-camp counselor for the YMCA when I was 15 years old.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I craft handmade items and sell them regularly at shows. I try to vend at one or two shows a month. My favorite events are ComicCon-type shows! It's so much fun seeing all the costumes that people come up with.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          We're going big! Let's have a destination party for my family and 100 of my closest friends! See you in Hawaii!

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I'd like to play the saxophone-like totally jamming, rock and roll sax!

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          Carol Burnett would be a blast! In fact, let's get Tim Conway, Harvey Korman and Vickie Lawrence in here as well! What a hoot that would be!

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          When I was a kid, about once a year, my mom would treat me to a box of Captain Crunch Peanut Butter. Now, I opt for steel cut oats, cooked with just about any kind of fruit. Yum!

          Which electronic device do you use most? (computer, smartphone, e-reader, TV, etc.)

          It's a toss-up between my smartphone and my desktop PC.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          Is there a country with old castles and tropical beaches? If so, then that's where you'll find me!

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          My daughters tell me I make the best soup in the world: chicken noodle, split pea, bean and ham, and more!

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          I'm not picky when it comes to ice cream. Just no walnuts, please.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          I've spent a lot of time in Colorado Springs with my Great Aunt Velma and each vacation was wonderful! Those vacations were filled with family time and sightseeing adventures.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          When in doubt, add more glitter!

          When I'm not at work, you can find me…

          Hanging out with my new grandson, born just a few weeks ago in March!
          He's definitely the most incredible little man in the entire world!


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        • TaMara M Mattos (Tami)
          Library Assistant II
          Riverdale Branch
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: Just shy of 25 years, in a few different locations. Before accepting a job with the Library, I volunteered for 15 years.

          TaMara M Mattos

          Describe your current job.

          I manage a small community branch library.

          What do you like most about your job?

          The people and the community.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          I've always loved the Library and I began volunteering at the Riverdale Branch at the age of 10. I needed a little something to do when my children started Preschool and I eventually progressed to a full time position, with little detours here and there along the way. I came back to Riverdale full time, because I decided that it was a job that I could continue to do as my mobility decreased. And I like finding answers.

          If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

          The expansion and promotion of the Riverdale Branch and its services.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Changing the attitude of children who claim that they do not like to read and helping to create avid readers.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          Sharpening pencils and straightening shelves for Mrs. Wyrick.

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          Dick and Jane, from my mom's classroom, and a collection of fables at my grandmother's house.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          4th edition of Digital Marketing, Quilt as You Go, Forever and the Night

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter and The Chronicles of Nick series.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? (Doesn't have to be a book character - can be from a movie, TV, etc.)

          Scarlett O'Hara.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          And Then She Did It.

          Where is your hometown?

          Riverdale.

          What was your very first paid job?

          Waitress at the Camden Café, at about age 10.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          My disabilities.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          A costume benefit ball.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Play guitar and woodworking.

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          Queen St. Isabel of Portugal (1271-1336).

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          Corn Chex.

          Which electronic device do you use most? (computer, smartphone, e-reader, TV, etc.)

          Smartphone.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          San Jorge Island, Azores, Portugal, because of the beauty, the peace, the serenity, the history, the people and the climate.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Hamburger soup.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Vanilla.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          Portugal and the Azores Islands with my mother and great aunt. I was able to spend time with my mother and visit a magical historical world.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          Be careful of what you wish.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me…

          At home, on horseback in the river, on the coast, or in the mountains and foothills.

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        • Amber Andrade
          Library Assistant I
          West Fresno
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 2 years.

          Alan Greenhaw

          Describe your current job.

          I do a variety of things, including helping the patrons find or request a book, helping with the computers, creating new library cards and making sure our little branch looks its best at all times.

          What do you like most about your job?

          I love helping a patron find the book or item they've been searching for and seeing the look of excitement on their face; it's good stuff.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          The library has always been my sanctuary and happy place. I was at my local branch almost every week and when I saw that there was an opening I knew I had to get it.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          Since working at the library, I have learned so much more about computers and technology in general. I love that people are able to turn to me for help when working at the computers.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          My favorite and earliest memory of the library was when I was in kindergarten and we took a class trip to the school library. The librarian was so sweet and read us a picture book. It was then that I fell in love with being at the library.

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          Currently, I'm reading lots of Dr. Seuss and board books for my daughter. This new mom has no time for herself these days.

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          The Twilight Series: I became sort of obsessed in high school.

          What would you name the autobiography of your life?

          Amber's Journey into the Abyss.

          Where is your hometown?

          I was born in Fresno, but I grew up mostly in Sanger and the surrounding foothills.

          What was your very first paid job?

          My first paid job was Jamba Juice in high school. I quit after a week.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane when I was sixteen and, just after high school, I worked up in Kings Canyon National Park.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I would throw an artsy party, just to celebrate life, creating and being different. There would be endless amounts of art mediums, including paints, clay, cameras, paper, etc. and good music.

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          I would love to learn how to play an upright bass, or even the drums

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          Terence McKenna or Jimi Hendrix.

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          If I had to eat cereal, I would choose Cheerios.

          Which electronic device do you use most? (computer, smartphone, e-reader, TV, etc.)

          My Android is my best friend.

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          I would probably choose Canada; they seem to have it somewhat together.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          Bacon and egg fried rice, or anything breakfast. I love breakfast.

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Cookies & Cream and, when in season, Fresno State's pumpkin flavored ice cream.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          When I was a freshman in high school, my family and I flew to Hawaii for our family reunion. It was my first time going and I immediately fell in love with the energy the island put off: everyone was so nice and the weather was perfect.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          I have no idea what's happening.

          When I'm not at work, you can find me…

          On the go with my one year old, either headed to the foothills or shopping in Target.

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        • Alan Greenhaw
          Senior Library Assistant
          Central Library
          Number of years you've worked for the Library: 4 years.

          Alan Greenhaw

          Describe your current job.

          I am a member of the team that serves the customers at Central Library. As a New Senior Assistant I am still finding out what my new job includes. Like most Library Assistants, I find I wear many and varied hats throughout my day. My primary focus is on periodicals, information services, and organizing public displays. On a daily basis, however, you can also find me among the shelves helping a customer look for a book, explaining to a customer how to photocopy a two-sided paper, taping together a large poster for hanging on our walls, or sending a maintenance report in on a working alarm that insists on displaying "Service Required".

          What do you like most about your job?

          I guess I have to say it's the "people"; that way I can include both the customers and the staff. I have recently moved to Central from the Sunnyside branch where my coworkers were a great team, and I am finding the staff members at Central are a great team, too. At both branches, our customers are so varied that I never get bored serving them.

          Why did you decide to work for the Library?

          I had worked in a different industry for many years and was looking into changing careers when my wife, then a Library Assistant herself, suggested I apply for an opening with the Library in order to get experience at being interviewed. I applied, expecting to be rejected, but somehow I passed the test and, later, the interview. My "learning experience" became the start of something great!

          If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

          I enjoy preparing displays, posters, and in other ways encouraging our customers to understand and utilize the Library. I have a binder full of my posters that I would like to find a way to share with other branches, and organize a shared resource for the work of other staff members doing the same thing. Such a resource would be inspiring to those wanting to create their own work, very useful for those who are just wanting to have something to display, and a way to maximize the results of everyone's efforts.

          What is your most memorable accomplishment during your Library career?

          That's easy to answer, but hard for me to understand because I am still stumped as to how it came to happen. I was honored with the Circle of Excellence Award at this year's ALM. Since it is a peer award, I have to see it as another indication to me of how great our staff is. I am humbled, but honored. Thank you.
          Aside from that, the one activity I have been involved in that has been both a source of pride and accomplishment is conducting bi-weekly Builders Club sessions at both Sunnyside Regional and Sanger libraries. I am not sure who enjoys them the most - me or the kids.

          What is your first/favorite Library memory?

          My father was a helicopter pilot for the U. S. Forest Service, doing firefighting and rescue work. The summer I was seven years old he was stationed at a place called Pozo, California, on the other side of the coastal mountain range, southeast from here. For a few weeks that summer, my mother, sister and I stayed with him in a small trailer home. Pozo had nothing but a fire station, an odd store/bar/restaurant and a small library. That summer kindled my love for books and libraries. I walked to the library with my sister almost every day.

          What was the first book that you read or that you remember being read to you?

          I don't know which one it was, but the first book I can remember was one of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit books. It was just my size, and I could actually read it myself.

          What are you reading now or what titles are on your reading list?

          I am just starting the nineteenth Jack Reacher Book, Personal, by Lee Child. Along with the Jack Reacher series, my reading list includes a lot of science fiction, westerns, cozy mysteries, and anything interesting that I keep seeing our customers reading.

          What book became a guilty pleasure read for you?

          On a whim, a couple of years ago I read a copy of "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith after seeing how it was popular with both my wife and our customers. I shouldn't admit this in print, but a few weeks ago I finished Blue Shoes and Happiness, the seventh in that series.

          If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

          I would like to be some kind of a superhero with an alter ego. I have always liked the type of character who looked like everyone else most of the time, but could rise to the occasion when the time came.

          Where is your hometown?

          Sanger, California.

          What was your very first paid job?

          I was a small, skinny kid in high school, so I got to be the one inside the bin as freshly picked oranges were dumped into it. I would chuck out the bad oranges as they came in.

          What would people be surprised to learn about you?

          I was a stone carver for 36 years.

          If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

          I know this is going to sound creepy, but my own funeral. A local business man asked me to do some design work for him a few years ago, and as we talked one afternoon what he said made a lot of sense. At his funeral, people he hadn't seen in a long time would gather together, those that showed up would be the people that truly cared about and loved him, and because it would be in bad taste to do otherwise, everyone would be saying good things about him. And the best part? He would be there to enjoy it!

          If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

          Fly. Flying with my dad in his helicopter as a kid gave me an appreciation of the freedom that flight gives. But, knowing myself, and seeing what can happen when you aren't paying attention, also taught me it is better that I ride along and leave the piloting to someone else.

          If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet?

          It is a tough call, but my first choice would probably be the first President Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush. I read his autobiography, as well as his wife, Barbara's, and I just feel like he is a great guy at heart.

          What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

          Fruit Loops-Cheerios with style!

          Which electronic device do you use most? (computer, smartphone, e-reader, TV, etc.)

          My cell phone, but that is only because it is the one with me all the time. I have always had some kind of electronic thing on me, even before the Palm Pilot. I remember having a small pocket calculator that had the "miraculous" ability to store phone numbers!

          If you had to live in another country, which would you choose and why?

          One of the British Isles. I wouldn't necessarily have to learn a new language and I usually like their accent.

          What is the best dish you can cook?

          I am known for my chocolate chip cookies, but I think my best dish is called "Chicken Mexicana".

          What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

          Although I am a confirmed teetotaler, my favorite is Baskin Robbins' Daiquiri Ice.

          What's the best vacation you ever took? Where was it to and why was it the best?

          It was the second week of a two-week vacation on the Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten. The first week was good too, but we were busy running around seeing all the sights and doing all the activities. That second week, I learned the true joy of just sitting on the beach under an umbrella-like palapa and doing absolutely nothing.

          What's your six-word memoir?

          Hey, It's Me! What's-His-Name!

          When I'm not at work, you can find me…

          I am usually at one of the big three places in my life: home, church, or work.

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