Humans of Libraryland: The Driving Librarian

Welcome to another edition of Humans of Libraryland, where I get to introduce you to some of the spectacular folks who work for your public library! You might hear about favorite hobbies, secret dreams, adorable pets, and more! 

This week we're chatting with someone very special. If you have ever been on (or seen) one of our big red bookmobiles, then you may have glimpsed her. Say hello to Alison, an Outreach Services Specialist based out of Issaquah! 


Name: Alison L.

Position: Outreach Services Specialist

How long have you been in your current position?

14 years

How long have you worked for KCLS?

18 years

What are your job duties in a sentence or two?

I provide on-site library service to seniors, disabled and home-bound patrons. We visit skilled nursing homes, assisted living, retirement, and low-income housing. I also provide readers' advisory and book club service to the facilities on our routes and maintain relationships with life enrichment directors.

What is your favorite book? Why?

My favorite fiction book is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger. It was an epic, heartbreaking love story. Her use of language was so beautiful and the characters stayed with me for a very long time. Also, there is a special place in my heart for archival librarians.

I have two favorite non-fiction books. Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn

and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Wait Till Next Year. They are both wonderful historians. The writing is detailed, eloquent, and just lovely to read. Any of their books should be required reading for all of us!

Are you Team Book or Team eBook?

Definitely Team Book! I still prefer reading a physical book over reading a screen. I do however love listening to downloadable audiobooks during my commutes.

In which Hogwarts house would the Sorting Hat place you?

A car license plate with "Muggle" as the number.I am not a fan of Harry Potter…I know, I am an anomaly! So I don’t know how to answer this question!

(That's totally okay, Alison! We love muggles-- non-magic folks-- at the library, too. -The Editor) 

What is something you’ve learned in the last week?

That I like backing Kickstarter board games. I most recently backed a gorgeous game called Grimm Forest.

What’s the last book, movie, or TV show that made you cry?

I recently re-watched the movie Miracle. It’s about the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team that against all odds beat the Russian team and went on to win the Gold Medal.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been? Why do you want to go there?

I want to hike the Incan Trail to Machu Picchu with my kids. Backpacking is a way for us to connect with each other and the world. I can think of nothing more special than to experience this sacred place with my family.

If money was no object, what would you do all day long?

Macaron cookies in many different colors.
I'm with you there. Yum French pastries!

Very top of my list is to be with my kids and volunteer more at their school. I have always dreamt of attending pastry school in Paris.

What's your theme song? 

“Se A Vida E (That's The Way Life Is)” by Pet Shop Boys (Track 5 on the album Bilingual - The Editor)

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Why?

The return of the Apollo 13 crew. It was a remarkable testament to humanity, courage, science, and technology. The entire world was united in spirit to bring these three American astronauts home.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

Every single day I am instrumental in improving the quality of life for our Traveling Library Center patrons. I have the privilege of developing special relationships with our patrons because we visit them every month.  It is incredibly rewarding work that has affected me in profound ways.

How do you de-stress or maintain a work-life balance?

Knitting and kettlebell workouts 4-6 times per week really help me to take care of myself. I recently joined the competitive team with Seattle Kettlebell Club!


Thanks for the chat, Alison, and thank you for all the great work you do in our communities!

Do you have a question about the library you've always wanted to ask? Know someone who you think should be featured? Let me know in the comments!

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