Q1. Why is the library important to you, personally?
I grew up in libraries at school and in the community wherever we lived. We moved around a lot but I always knew I would feel at home in a library. Being surrounded by books as a child and knowing I had the freedom to learn anything and experience any adventure was empowering and exciting. My parents read to my siblings and I and imparted a voracious love of reading and learning. I have been a lifelong reader and an aspiring writer for most of my life. I had always hoped I would end up working at a library or bookstore, surrounded by books and knowledge and people who valued them. I treasure the fact that this dream came true.
Q2. What is your favorite reason to use the library?
I love that we serve the community and are able to make services available for free or at very low cost to people who might not otherwise have access to them. I love that we are able to stay current with technology and reading trends. I love that we offer a multitude of avenues for obtaining knowledge, whether checking out audiobooks, paper books, e-books, accessing information on one of our many databases or websites. I love that we offer programming for children, teens, and adults, and offer a safe, positive environment for all these ages. I love that we maintain a peaceful, welcoming environment for gatherings and study and solitude, that all ages can discover and learn in so many different ways. I love that we make technology and meeting space available to the community and facilitate gatherings for such a variety of interests and concerns. I love that our book collections are just the tip of the iceberg of what we have to offer. I’m constantly impressed at the ways we are always expanding our offerings from cooking classes to the tools library and the toys library to our art gallery, used book store, theater, maker space, genealogy studies, and more.
Q3. Who does the Library serve?
The library serves everyone in the community. The library is for the young and the old, the rich and the poor, people of all colors, all religions, all abilities, all orientations and genders. The library may be one of the last places in America where you don’t have to buy anything to have “permission” to take up space. The library is for the homeless, the elderly, parents, kids, teens, introverts and extroverts, groups and loners, public and private and home-school students, the traditionally employed, unemployed, and the self-employed. The library is for everyone.
Q4. Why is the library important to those people? What will new funding do to help them?
The library offers access to reading and listening and watching materials, education and entertainment, current news and data, access to databases and apps and streaming. The library has the ability to aid people in internet use, printing and copying, gathering for study groups and meetings. The library has the availability to be of use throughout the week and on the weekends. The library offers programming in a hugely diverse range of topics from book clubs and specialty interest groups to mindfulness and meditation to fandom clubs and video gaming to puppet shows and sing-alongs to art groups, creativity groups, and writing groups. The library even transitioned seamlessly between virtual and in-person programming as dictated by COVID safety concerns. Continuing to fund the library will continue to ensure that we are able to provide in these myriad ways, while new funding will enable us to serve even more robustly than we already do.
Q5. Who is going to be uncomfortable if you ask for new funding?
I would hope that no one is uncomfortable being asked to continue to fund libraries as we are so obviously benefitting the community in such a huge way and in such diverse ways.
Q6. What community groups do you belong to?
I’m a gamer, a reader, a writer, an artist. I’m interested in music and food and cultures around the world. I’m interested in languages. I’m an LGBTQIA+ and Black Lives Matter activist. I’m a UCA alumni. I’m neurodivergent and the parent of a neurodivergent kiddo. I’m a coffee enthusiast. I love buying local and supporting Black-owned businesses. I’m an amateur Arkansas history buff. I love stickers and planners and office supplies and art supplies and arts and crafts. I love teaching classes and leading group discussions. I wear glasses. I take medication. I try to exercise and eat healthy. I love rainbows and unicorns. I love junk food and sweets. I’m interested in satanism, wicca, Buddhism, yoga, tarot, numerology, astrology. I play Dungeons and Dragons and Vampire Larp and more board games than I can count. I love science fiction. I love animals, I have two dogs and three cats. I love swimming. I watch cartoons. I’m pansexual polyamorous cisgender and my pronouns are she/her.
Q7. Where do you live and where do you spend your time?
I live in west Little Rock and I spend my time all over. I love going out to eat at restaurants all over Little Rock. I love spending time downtown. I have lived in the Central High Neighborhood Historic District. I spend time in SOMA, Argenta, North Little Rock, and further out. My husband has friends and family in Benton, Bryant, Cabot, Sheridan, East End.
Q8. Who do you know who knows everybody?
Honestly, I’m one of those people. I’m also connected with a multitude of poets, writers, and professors.