. . by Rachael Altman, Head Editor, INALJ Alabama
Meet Fantasia Thorne, Learning Commons Librarian at Syracuse University Bird Library
Fantasia: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. I recently visited this library during a conference, and I was in awe. The layout is wonderful, the Friends of the Library Gift Store is something I wish all libraries had, and the staff are great! Even the décor outside the library is amazing, and the statue of books featuring a fountain is definitely picture worthy. The various floors in the library are clearly labeled, and the separate entrance into the children’s floor will help the young people feel like there is a space in the library just for them. Overall, if I were ever in Cincinnati again, I would definitely revisit this library.
Rachael: Favorite book?
Fantasia: The Bible is my favorite book. Reading it from beginning to end is a fulfilling “adventure” and the stories, parables, warnings, and promises this Book contains is what I was raised on, and it’s truly still close to my heart today. It’s my opinion that believing in something helps us live this tumultuous life. The Bible gives me the principles to stand on and helps me make it through every day.
Rachael: Favorite website/blog (it doesn’t have to be library related)?
Fantasia: Engadget.com is a great website if you are into technology. It offers a great mix of incredibly technical articles and reviews of the latest technologies. If something new is coming out in technology, Engadget is sure to give it a review, which can really help a consumer who would like to know more about a product. Though they aren’t specific to libraries, there are technologies that are mentioned that can relate to many fields.
Rachael: Favorite thing about libraries/library technologies?
Fantasia: Their accessibility, patrons don’t pay when they check out books, DVDs, etc. There aren’t many places you can enter and leave with something in your hand without paying for it! The computers and Internet are a huge draw, and a necessary and important resource for so many public library patrons. Libraries are a warm building, a safe place my mother used to take us kids to when we were young. Traditions are created when generations upon generations visit a library; it begins to feel like home.
Rachael: If you could take any of your hobbies and create a job of it or integrate it into your job, what would it be? And how?
Fantasia: Shopping! If I had the means to shop all day I would. Being part of the decision making process when it comes to buying books or furniture for the library would be a great way to integrate my love for shopping into my job.
Rachael: You have been working in libraries for a number of years–what positions have you held? How did you get these jobs?
Fantasia: I’ve been working in libraries on and off since I was a teenager. I began working in the children’s room putting books on the shelf and assisting with programs in the public library when I was younger. I’ve worked as a student worker at a rare book library, and in a number of special collections. I’ve been in my current place of employment almost 4 years. I began as a Resident Librarian and soon after that I was given a promotion track position. I obtained these jobs through hard work, and I made sure my employer always knew my goals, and that I would do my best in any and every opportunity I was given.
Rachael: Best piece of job hunting/career advice?
Fantasia: Keep trying, and don’t give up! It took me two years to get a professional position after I received my MLIS, but I didn’t give up looking for a librarian position because we spend so much time and money on a degree that we should absolutely get a chance to use it!