Friday, September 12, 2014

Library Limelight: Vanessa Cowie at Hampton Park

Library Limelight is intended to be a quick read to help FCPL patrons get to know our librarians and staff.  We hope you enjoy learning about the people who make our libraries great!

Vanessa puts on her goggles and
lab coat for Summer Reading
Outreach at Chestatee Elementary.
Vanessa Cowie
Information Specialist, Youth Services
Hampton Park Library

Where is your hometown?
I was born here in Cumming, in a small hospital on the square, and was raised in Coal Mountain.
How long have you been at FCPL?
I worked in the Cumming branch briefly in 1992, then returned in 2001, so 13 and half years now.
What other jobs have you had at FCPL?
I’ve worked in circulation, as an Information Specialist, as a supervisor, and as Programming Coordinator.
Why did you choose to work in a library?
I always loved to read, so I wanted to work in a library since childhood. But, in college, I was persuaded to become an agricultural journalist because there were more jobs available in that industry. I edited magazines and newspapers for several years, but then I had an opportunity to work part-time in a library while raising my children. 
Describe your job in five words or less.
Young People, Empower, Delight, Portal, Imagine
What is unique about your job?
I’m into amateur acting and community theatre, so it’s wonderful that I get to tell stories on the job. I enjoy the occasional odd question from a patron. And I also understand the inner workings of our bubble machine.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love matching the right person with the right book. I love the look on a child or an adult patron’s face when they get what they need, whether it’s a book, or a sticker, or giving them a chance to talk, or simply remembering their name or something they like.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve lived or traveled?
I taught English for a summer in China in the 1980s. I lived in Lushan, in central China, and was surprised how much it reminded me of north Georgia. Mountains, pine trees, red clay, and misty mornings.
What are your hobbies?
I love to travel and just got back from a trip to Vancouver. I like hiking and camping, cooking, and, of course, reading. I’m involved in community theatre and have had roles in The Sound of Music and To Kill a Mockingbird at The Cumming Playhouse, as well as Steel Magnolias with the Dawson County Arts Council, and several roles at The Holly Theatre in Dahlonega.
What are you reading right now?
I always have several books going. I’m serving on the Georgia Peach Teen Book Award committee again, so some of the books I’m reading now are candidates for that honor. In the car, I’m listening to The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer. On my iPhone, I’m listening to A Town Called Alice by Nevil Shute. I’ve got The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner on eBook from our OverDrive library and Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo in traditional book format.
Paper books or eBooks?
Both. And audiobooks.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m grateful for our wonderful patrons and I’m enjoying the opportunity to interact with them face-to-face more often in this position than I was able to do in my last position.