Joanne takes an active role in the library's Green Team, too, and was a huge help to me when we recently decided to create an online index of "Green" resources and an expanded business/career section for our new Web site. Say hello to Joanne the next time you're in the library, but in the meantime, you can learn more about her by reading her answers to our DPPL People Questionnaire, down below. Every month we spotlight a different library employee, so remember to check back at PlainTalk frequently!
Three words that describe your current state of mind are…
Only two come to mind and they seem to be opposites. Centered and questioning.
What is your most treasured possession? The 2 sharpest knifes in my kitchen.
What is your greatest extravagance? My garden.
Who are your favorite writers? I read a lot of mysteries, my favorites are those set in foreign countries. Years ago my favorite writers were Alice Hoffman, Isabel Allende. But lately I don’t necessarily have strong favorites. It is a little like asking a parent to choose their favorite child.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction (in writing, film, drama)? Well, I recently saw a copy of A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole sitting at the Reader’s Services desk and was reminded how much I loved reading this tragic comic book about the people you never meet when you visit New Orleans and was mesmerized by the main character Ignatius J. Reilly. Overweight, underemployed, living with his eccentric mother he falls into one adventure after another with a cast of other eccentric characters. It was like watching an accident yet I kept rooting for him.
Name three persons/characters from history with whom you would like to have dinner. Queen Elizabeth I of
Who are your heroes in real life? If I named someone it would be Billy Jean King who really changed the world of sports for women. It is one thing to strive to create a career for yourself but another to envision changes that others in the future will reap the benefit of.
In my personal life, one of my heroes is my sister-in-law. She is a great mother and was a wonderful daughter-in-law to my mother.
But I think heroes are often unnamed or unknown. A friend once told me a story about her boss who was the first woman who reached a higher, male only position at a major Chicago bank (Continental Bank, I think). She told my friend that being in that position gave you the privilege to eat lunch in a private lunchroom. She said that as she first walked down the center aisle of the lunchroom all the men gave her a frosty stare.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? “Greatest love” sounds so potentially tragic: like Romeo and Juliet. I can tell you about my latest love. My brother’s family have a new dog called Trixie. She is half Cocker Spaniel and half Dachshund and is always very happy to see me.
Who is your favorite artist? I don’t have a favorite artist but I do have a favorite painting. Jules Breton’s The Song of the Lark somehow seems to resonate with my personal ‘story’.
Who is your favorite musician? I like music but I am not possessive about it. I like many types of music but the “harder” the rock the less I like it. I like the soundtrack from the Chinese movie In the Mood for Love. It has Latin jazz, traditional Chinese, a mix of modern and old. I like the music of a modern Polish composer Henryk Gorecki, particularly Symphony 3 - Sorrowful Songs. I like a French singer called Patricia Kaas. My musical tastes are eclectic.
The quality you admire most in a man is… a man who really likes women of all ages, really likes the gender. Sort of the opposite of a misogynist.
The quality you admire most in a woman is… confidence in herself.
Biggest pet peeve? I’m sure I have peeves but I don’t think I have a pet peeve.
Favorite food? When I was younger I used to love cheesecake and blue cheese and I never ate beef. Now I like many different foods in moderation. What I really like is a well prepared food. I would much rather have smaller portions of well prepared meals than a lot of cafeteria food.
What three words would your closest friends use to describe you? Loyal, funny and curious. At least my husband thinks I am funny.
Why did you choose to work in a library? Well, as you can see from my answers. You can’t pin me down. I don’t like to have “one” favorite. I’m a generalist and a public library is a great place to be if you are a generalist.
What is your favorite thing about the Des Plaines Public Library? It doesn’t rest on its laurels but is always trying to improve.
Name one, and only one, "desert island" book, CD or movie. Only one. I would take a randomly selected volume of the World Book encyclopedia. But not the X, Y or Z volumes that are smaller. I’d like the variety of topics even in a single volume.
The movie of your life – who plays the role of you and what song plays over the closing credits? Someone with a French accent, maybe Catherine Deneuve or Juliette Binoche and some Debussy over the credits.