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Naomi House’s interview with success story David.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
David: My favorite library is more of a private collection. In college I studied television production and was incredibly interested in puppetry of all sorts. At the time I was living in Los Angeles and looking to volunteer somewhere that involved puppetry. Somehow I stumbled upon a small organization called the Conservatory of Puppetry Arts, now called The International Puppetry Museum. After getting to know the staff, they had me photograph and catalog their enormous puppetry collection so that other museums could determine what pieces they would want to borrow. The museum also had a very large private library owned by puppeteer Alan Cook, consisting entirely of books on puppetry—everything from books on Punch and Judy to making and manipulating marionettes. Alan Cooke is famous for being one of the original puppeteers on the stop motion television show Davey and Goliath. There were many rare books in the collection that I was able to browse through on a weekly basis.
Here is a link to the International Puppetry Museum’s webpage: http://www.puppetrymuseum.org/
Here is a link to a short video that I created about puppeteer Alan Cook: http://bit.ly/SWyfEP
Naomi: Favorite book?
David: I’m such a fan of children’s literature, urban fantasy, and comics that this is an incredibly difficult question. My favorite author is Steven Millhauser. I love his collections of short stories and his novel Edwin Mullhouse. I also adore the voice of A.A. Milne, the art of Sendak and Dave McKean, the characters created by Baum, and the outlandish writing of comic genius Grant Morrison.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
David: My favorite thing about libraries is that I use them. I spend most of my days off inside the café of my local public library in Alameda, where I write and conduct research for the various novels and children’s stories that I’m working on. I love seeing members of the community interact while I work, whether it be the older men in the corner playing their weekly chess game, the teenager showing the younger kids how to play the latest handheld video games, or the preschool children learning and interacting with one another at storytime as they prepare for kindergarten. There is something about the library as a community space that I am continually drawn to, and happy to be a part of both behind the desk and as a patron.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
David: I follow boingboing.net and School Library Journal consistently for news on new library technology and also all things nerdy and interesting. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are a fan of picture book illustration, I would also recommend following the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. They have had some really wonderful exhibitions highlighting the art of Maurice Sendak, Martha and H.A. Rey, and Ezra Jack Keats.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
David: I think many of us entering the field of Library and Information Science come from alternative backgrounds and professions, and I feel that often it is our skills from outside of the library profession that will help us in the future. I am a former video editor and my knowledge of video editing and technology have helped me in my library career to develop library promotional videos, children’s video book reviews, literacy training videos, and at my current job the setup and maintenance of classroom AV technology. I’ve learned the importance of promoting previous skill sets in addition to those skills learned during the course of library education.
David Brown is a video editor, children’s author, and Library Assistant at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, California. He has previously worked in Library Public Relations and Marketing for the Solano County Library, where he performed weekly storytimes and created digital media for library programs and events. David is passionate about library services for youth and the power that video can play in shaping library perception and participation. David’s library videos can be seen at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrDavidthelibrarian/videos