Staff spotlight: Becky Bowers

In continuation of our popular “Get to Know Us” blog posts, I caught up with Princeton Public Library Lending Services staffer Becky Bowers for an interview. Becky works full time making sure the library’s many thousands of materials are cared for, and that the customers using them are happy. Becky also oversees the keeping of statistics within the department. If you visit the first floor checkout desk you’ve probably seen her around!

Q: How long have you worked at PPL?
A: I started working at PPL in March 2013. So, just under a year.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at the library?
A: I am terrible at picking favorites. Whenever I’m at a group event and the ice breaker involves coming up with a top five list I cringe… there are just too many factors to consider! That being said, if I had to pick a favorite part of working at the library, I would have to say that it is developing relationships with our customers. It’s such a wonderful feeling when I’ve gotten to know a customer well enough to suggest a new book, movie or TV series that I think they would enjoy.

Q: Did you use the library growing up?
A:  How do you define library? If you mean, did I use our town’s public library growing up? The answer is, not very often. In my defense, it was not for lack of wanting to. I’m from a very small town in northern New Hampshire, and our house was not within walking/bicycling distance of the library. What I did have access to was the “library” in my house. I have a large family, seven children including myself, and my older siblings decided to create their own library with a kit we received for Christmas one year. I have many fond memories of “checking out” books from our little Silofarm Library.

Q: What are you most likely to be doing on your days off?
A:  Currently, most of my days off are spent cooking, reading or watching movies with my fianc Dave and our inquisitive cat Ping. During the summer you’ll most likely find me at a farmer’s market, playing tennis (badly), hiking or exploring as much as I can.

Q: What was the last item you checked out?  Was it any good?
A: The last item I checked out was “The Black Count” by Tom Reiss. I’m on the last chapter and I wish it wasn’t ending.  Being an avid reader of Alexandre Dumas’ novels, I was immediately drawn to this book. It provides a wonderfully unique perspective on the inspiration for many of Dumas’ most loved characters, while delving into the complex history of the French Revolution and the rise of Napolon Bonaparte.

Q: If you could have lunch/dinner at any Princeton eatery, which would you choose?
A: Oh no, I can’t pick just one! For lunch: definitely Olives. For dinner: I went to Agricola for the first time a few weeks ago and it was love at first bite.

Q: Tell us a surprising fact about yourself.
A: When I was around eight years old, I wanted to be one of two things: an IRS agent or librarian. I know most kids say they want to be a police officer, fireman, president… really any number of things more interesting than the two professions I picked. But here was my thought process at the time:

IRS Agent: I loved math and part of me wanted to be a detective. When I learned that Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion, I thought to myself, “I should totally be an IRS agent. I can do math all day and catch gangsters at the same time!” 

Librarian: To be honest I really just wanted to be Marion the librarian from “The Music Man.” Not only did she dance and sing on tables but she also read “racy” authors like Balzac (not that I actually knew who he was at the time).

(Image taken by blog post author and used with permission.)

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