August is drawing to a close (how did THAT happen?) but don't think I have forgotten about "DPPL People," the monthly column where you get a close-up look at one particular Library employee. This month, I am particularly happy to introduce you to Bob Blanchard, a reference librarian in our Adult Services department.
Describing Bob in that way does him little justice, as you will find him at the Reference Desk on the 4th floor, the 3rd floor Readers' Services desk, and even occasionally helping out in Youth Services. Bob leads some of our book discussions and arranges some of our programming, specifically programs to enlighten and entertain older adults. You're also very likely to find Bob representing the Library out in the community, which might mean giving a talk at the Frisbie Center or wheeling a decorated book cart in the 4th of July parade. Bob coordinates the assistive technology we offer to patrons who need it - items like magnifiers and machines that read books aloud to people. Bob's dedication to serving people with disabilities recently earned him a very prestigious honor, the Alexander J. Skrzypek Award from the Illinois Library Association. To quote the ILA's Web site: "The award is given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library services for the blind or physically disabled in Illinois."
Bob will receive his award in September at the ILA conference in Chicago. To demonstrate our pride and gratitude for his work, here is a closer look at Bob Blanchard. Bob - thank you for all you do for us and our community!
DPPL People Questionnaire
Three words that describe your current state of mind are…
Happy, blessed and lucky.
What is your most treasured possession?
I am part of my family, so I don’t possess my wife or child. And our cats would vehemently deny that they are possessed by anyone (or anything). So, I guess it would have to be my replica Chicago Wolves hockey jersey. That and Starcastle's first album.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Eating out too often.
Who are your favorite writers?
Moses, the Gospel writers and the Apostle Paul. On the lighter side, Dave Barry's fiction is really funny, as is Garrison Keillor's. And I like Kinky Friedman's mysteries.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction (in writing, film, drama)?
Bugs Bunny, Spongebob Squarepants and the John Cusack character in “Say Anything.” (Ed. note: That would be "Lloyd Dobler." Girls dig John Cusack in that movie, too.)
Name three persons/characters from history with whom you would like to have dinner.
Jesus, Ben Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci. Individually or collectively, I think my brain would really hurt after conversing and dining with them.
Who are your heroes in real life?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife, Amy, and our son, Paul.
Who is your favorite artist?
Leonardo's interesting, but I’m currently partial to my son’s artwork, especially the escapades of “Hungry Guy.”
Who is your favorite musician?
Geddy Lee of Rush. There is no finer rock bassist.
The quality you admire most in a man is…
The quality you admire most in a woman is…
Biggest pet peeve?
Our cats’ insistence that their suppertime is during our siesta time.
Our homemade shrimp etouffee. Ooo-eee, I gar-un-tee it’s good!
What three words would your closest friends use to describe you?
Has a way with words, funny, persistent.
Why did you choose to work in a library?
To help people, and to learn things in the process!
What is your favorite thing about the Des Plaines Public Library?
Pretty much everything -- great coworkers, building, collections and patrons.
Name one, and only one, "desert island" book, CD or movie. Only one.
The Marx Brothers’ Silver Screen Collection on DVD.
The movie of your life - who plays you and what song plays during the final credits?
Guy Pearce. Remember him from L.A. Confidential? The song would be “Slow Turning” by John Hiatt.