Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Rhonda Pai.
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
For the past three years, I’ve served as the Mobile Services and Outreach Manager for the Cleveland Public Library. The department serves those that can’t make it to the library and focuses on Senior Citizens, the Disabled and the Early Childhood communities. Prior to my current job, I was a children’s librarian in a neighborhood branch.
2. Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?
I joined the American Library Services to Children (ALSC) because my passion is to help young children find the magic that is unique to the library. By being a member of ALSC, I get to be involved with committees and hear a variety of thoughts from other librarians interested in making sure that we continue to create places of wonderment for children.
3. Did you plant a garden this year? What is your favorite food to grow?
The Mobile Services Department has a 3,000 square foot community garden that we manage with the help of a local community partner. This year I have loved watching the eggplants grow, their flowers are this great purple color and the plants are big and leafy.
At my house I personally love to grow mint, and I have three different varieties. I also have a few citrus trees that I grow in containers and these are probably my favorite plants, though living in Ohio does add in a few challenges.
4. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 16. By that time I just didn’t care anymore to get it done. So I remain piercing and tattoo free, except for the occasional temporary tattoo. If I were to get a tattoo, it would be of a bird, my favorite animal.
5. If given the opportunity, would you prefer to be on American Ninja Warrior, Big Brother, Naked and Afraid, or The Amazing Race?
American Ninja Warrior, of course! Those individuals are amazingly strong and their dedication to training is intense. There’s nothing more fulfilling than pushing yourself and reaching a goal. If I did the Amazing Race, I’d have to be partners with my husband. He is undeniably the best travel companion in the world, but we have different ways of interpreting directions so it could spell trouble.
6. What is one thing you did as a kid that you wish you could do again?
I loved spending time with my Great Aunt Olga watching old movies from the 40s and 50s. She would treat me like a Queen, giving me anything I wanted to eat and spending hours listening to my elementary school drama.
7. What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
I don’t like anything scary! My imagination will take even the smallest thing and run wild. Case in point the scariest books I ever read were the Teen Angel Series written in the late 90s. I’m still haunted by Deep Six, the books’ version of Hell. In one particular campy, yet-scary scene one of the Deep Sixers confronts a Teen Angel in the bathroom by coming up behind the Teen Angel and looking at her in the mirror with evil intentions. I couldn’t use the school bathroom for almost three months without having slight panic. Plus it made me look at all the new students with extreme caution as these Deep Sixers and Teen Angels were always the new kids in school.
8. What’s your preference…butterflies? spiders? or lightning bugs?
Lightning bugs! They are amazing creatures and I feel like they add the finishing touch to a warm summer night when you can see them sparkling amid the darkness.
9. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
When I first entered the workforce years ago a co-worker told me “Not to let anyone steal my joy or my smile. I’ve taken this statement to heart and work hard to make sure that in life and work that I don’t let others control my internal feeling of joy.
10. What are you reading right now?
The books I like to read are varying depending on my mood. So I classify myself as an eclectic reader. Case in point,I’m currently reading The Crown by Kiera Cass and the Family Business by Carl Weber. I love the Selection Series and the world Cass created. Carl Weber has a way with setting up his characters that makes you want to know more about them and their life. As an avid storyteller myself, I live in the details.
Thanks, Rhonda! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!
Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll see what we can do.