Monday, February 24, 2014

Not So Frequently Asked Questions with Rosy Milburn!

Rosemary Milburn, Library Associate

Think the library is all about the Public Services desk? There is actually a small army of dedicated librarians and library assistants who work behind the scenes to make sure things run smoothly for our patrons. In this interview, we showcase one of our Technical Services staff members, Rosemary Milburn

Rosy is in the business of acquisitions; which is library speak for making sure the library has all the resources that the students and faculty need. She makes sure Chattanooga State students have access to thousands of articles, books, and magazines; everything from the JSTOR database to the latest copy of Vogue. In addition to her job in Acquisitions, Rosy takes time to create beautiful and intricate quilts. You may have seen her quilt on display in the library earlier this year. She also knits (her favorite project: socks!) and is looking forward to the gardening season. She does it all! Next time you're in the library and find just the book you were looking for or a database FULL of helpful articles, be sure to think of all the people in the back of the library that make that happen.

1. What is the last movie you went to see? The last movie I saw in the theater was The Desolation of Smaug. I especially enjoyed the landscape of New Zealand as a subplot to the story. I have several friends who are kayakers. I found it fun to watch the extended scenes where the fellowship escaped by barrel down a river. My friends usually have a more dangerous trip-even without arrows end elves chasing them. I’m drawn to movies that explore layers of good and evil that strive for supremacy.  The most recent “fun” movie I enjoyed was Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler (it as a surprise to me, too). I enjoyed the fanciful story line and his character’s thirst for “relationship done right”.

2. What inspired you to want to work in a library? I have always enjoyed the variety of subjects that a librarian can explore. Initially, I was inspired to work in a library because my sister was a librarian and I needed a job. I knew a little about the work from conversations with her. It sounded interesting, so I applied and was employed at the Chattanooga Public Library. From that job, I managed a small bookstore while raising my children and then was able to work at Chattanooga State. The people I have worked with over the years have become friends, mentors, and valued advisors. I think that whatever inspires one to search for a particular job is almost as important as what inspires one to keep that same job. In my experience, it’s always been a healthy work atmosphere that is necessary to support my day-to-day life.

3. What is the biggest change you’ve witnessed at Chattanooga State since you started working here? Over the past 25 years, Chattanooga State Library has been led by deans devoted to exceptional service to students and faculty. The form of that service has changed over the years. I think that previous models of library support were more transactional where I think they are more relational these days. The emphasis on supporting students to think more deeply and explore more widely will keep them learning and growing despite challenges from changes in technology and the general economy.

4. Favorite antagonist?
Raylan Givens on Justified. He's based on a character written by Elmore Leonard. He's good AND evil.

5. If you were a superhero, what would your power be?  
My first response is that I don’t want the responsibility of being a superhero. If I can express externally who I believe myself to be internally-that’s good enough for me. That challenge will take all my strength and focus as far as I can see.

6. Who is your favorite author? “My favorite author” is not a one-name answer. I especially enjoy speculative fiction, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, to name a few. Early every summer I read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. So many of Bradbury’s themes are now part of our general cultural conversation, e.g. book burning, racism, evil, living with some stigma, etc.

7. What’s something you hope to accomplish by the end of the year? My daughter is engaged to be married in October. This summer our family will be spending a good deal of time getting to know our new in-laws and visiting with cousins.

8. What was your favorite class in high school? My favorite subject in high school was Latin. I was intrigued with word etymology. I loved the possibilities of deciphering the meaning of a word by understanding its roots. I had planned to be a classics major in college but was diverted into sciences with a required science course, Astronomy.

9. Favorite part of the new library? The mobile classroom area presents a fascinating new pattern for library engagement. As I walk by the area, it changes throughout the day to meet the needs of single users, group users, people who are working on group projects and people who are playing games and visiting.

10. If you could be any animal for a day, what would it be?
I am fascinated with birds and turtles. Several summers ago I found a turtle was living in my backyard. Every year so far it has turned up. Turtles are a strong barometer of the health of a local ecosystem. I’m trying to make my yard more wildlife-friendly. Their ability to survive depends on basic food and habitat requirements. Most of the necessary requirements for turtle habitat also support wildlife habitat for birds as well.

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