Where were you born?
I was born on Long Island and lived almost my entire life in Suffolk County. I spent a few years in Westchester and now live in Chelsea.
What languages do you speak?
I’m working on learning Italian, but I’m better at reading (with a dictionary on hand, please) than speaking.
How did you become interested in Library and Information Science?
I grew up frequenting my local public library and always liked to read. But actually working in a library didn’t occur to me at first—after all, reading is not actually what librarians do all day. But in college, I realized that I enjoyed researching and that there was a whole field of helping people with that!
I was even more excited when I found a dual degree program through LIU and NYU that let me get both my MLS and a second degree. I knew I wanted to be a librarian, but there were other things I wanted to study, too (I think it’s fairly common for librarians to be interested in a lot of things). May 2018, I will complete my thesis for my MA in English Literature, writing on female warriors in Renaissance literature.
What is the name of your site and where is it located?
I work at the Midwood/Flatbush library on Avenue J. The Midwood area has many very delicious bakeries; we are also just down the street from the Midwood location of Brooklyn Public Library. I stop by there before work many days to read and work on my thesis.
What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?
I love helping people learn how to research. Research can be overwhelming—like when a search gets you 300,000 results or 3 unhelpful results. I’ve been in that boat, and it’s not fun. Learning how to use all the research tools available, and to use them well, and to know that too many or too few results is sometimes part of the process, makes life a lot easier. Research isn’t just an aspect of academia—it’s something that everyone will use no matter where they go in life. And when people ask for help with research questions, not only do they (hopefully) learn, but I do too, about whatever they’re researching.
I also have a personal nerdy enjoyment of citation rules and like to help people understand the theory behind what looks like a bunch of arbitrary formatting rules.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes research is hard! If I run into the same research challenges as a student, it’ll preoccupy me for quite a while as I try to figure out what strategies would be more effective. Those moments are challenging, but still something I really enjoy.
Your ideal vacation?
I’m very fond of medieval castles and would love to go on a European castle tour. Of course, put me anywhere with a sufficient quantity of books and I’ll be pretty happy.
I love to read! My go-to books tend to fall in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but I don’t limit myself to that. I am quite geeky and enjoy RPGs of almost any kind. Of course, right now my main “hobby” is researching, writing, and editing my thesis—fortunately, I love the topic.
Cheese, of almost any kind, is delicious, as is ice cream.
When you travel, what do you never leave home without?
Something to write with and something to write on. I’ve always got to have paper and pencil with me.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably don’t know.
My favorite book in the entire world is the Lord of the Rings, which I first read when I was eleven years old. Since then, I’ve reread it quite a few times and am slowly working my way through Tolkien’s other writings. My love of the shield-maiden Eowyn is probably to blame for my thesis topic, even though I can get quite critical about how few women Tolkien decided to put in his writing!
Contributed by Emily Rose Johnson, Librarian at Midwood (Ave J.) in Brooklyn