This is the second year you made your nominations for the LW Vday Crush Contest. We had a *really* hard time selecting the winners because there were a lot of really great nominations. Sometimes contests will say that — that it was really hard to choose, because it’s a thing to say — but we really mean it. I think the most neurotic one of us in particular (no need to say who…) even lost a half hour or so of sleep over it.
Anyhow, we scrapped the categories this time around because there were a lot of very heart-felt submissions, so we just chose some of the best and most interesting ones.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination, and we are so pleased to see the excitement about this. We hope it has continued to be fun and will likely do this again next year.
Just like last time, keep some smelling salts nearby to bring you back to consciousness, here are your crushes in alphabetical order:
Trevor A. Dawes is a new Associate University Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis; he previously worked at the Princeton University Library. Dawes, a Jamaican transplant to the US, always considered the East Coast (NY and NJ) home and is looking forward to the adventures of being (becoming?) a Midwesterner.
"If you don’t have a crush on Trevor Dawes, you aren’t paying attention. He’s the epitome of cool with that beautiful, measured but expressive voice. And he always looks great, pretty much always in a suit, but never in any way ostentatious. He just looks composed in a way few of us ever achieve, and he *always* looks that way. Maybe that’s why you’ll do anything he asks. Vote for him? Absolutely, early and often. Attend a conference? Run for an office? Support a cause? Appear half- or even fully naked in a calendar? Done, done, done. Here’s the funny thing about Trevor, the quality that makes him not just amazingly crushworthy but possibly superhuman: I’ve known him for years, I’ve seen him dozens of times, but I can’t recall ever having seem him walk. He sits, perfectly composed, or stands with gorgeous posture, but I’ve never actually seen him walk. I’m pretty sure he teleports himself from place to place. Which would explain, in addition to the fact that he sleeps something like 30 minutes each 24 hour period, how he’s able to accomplish more each year than many of us do in a decade."
LW: How do you accomplish so much so often? Share your secrets! Tell us about any new projects you have going on (aside from transitioning into your new position).
TD: I accomplish a lot because I am driven and I have a plan for the things I want to do. For example, it was a part of my 5 year plan (albeit 7 years ago) to be president of ACRL. Sure it’s a year or two later than I expected, but I had a plan and did the things necessary to accomplish my goals. I also have an incredible support system. My colleagues, many of whom are now friends, are amazingly supportive and will cheer me on when I’m heading in the right direction, and will tell me to correct course when it’s necessary. I owe my success as much to them as I do to my own abilities.
In addition to transitioning to a new position, and taking on a leadership role in ACRL, I’m working on a book - an edited volume - with a colleague. I’m also writing a chapter for a book that another colleague is editing. These, plus the new job and ACRL is probably enough for one person for now.
LW: Now that you’re in a new city, planning to do anything extraordinary for Valentine’s Day?
TD: This is a tough question. We (my partner and I - oops, how will my crush take this news?) are still trying to figure out this new city and all there is to do here. It’s probably likely we’ll spend a quiet evening at home. We didn’t open that bottle of champagne we bought for our first night in the new home, so it might just get opened on Valentine’s Day.
Amanda Derksen is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at a polytechnic in Edmonton, Alberta. She grew up on the Internet and still likes hanging out there, and loves that she gets to apply this to her job. She has a lot of feelings about a lot of things, including but not limited to: public transit, social tagging, and superheroes.
"Amanda is one of my best friends and she is straight up one of the most crush worthy people in the world! I love her brain so much (but not in the "I want to eat your brain" kind of way) - she is a wealth of information about so many things but in particular, technology and social media trends. If there is something new and exciting coming out, she definitely knows about it. Amanda’s sense of adventure is ridiculously awesome because I know I can count on her to agree to try/do something new despite potential for disaster (it’s happened… more than once)! And finally, what would a nomination to librarian wardrobe be without mentioning how great Amanda’s style is (self-described as ‘sincere hipster’) - she would be an amazing spokesmodel for vintage style and I think Modcloth should give her a call. But the best thing about her wardrobe is she always has fantastic accent pieces like a beyond adorable dinosaur skeleton necklace."
LW: So tell us more about this “sincere hipster” style mentioned in your nomination.
AD: My clothing choices tend towards the “hipster” category more often than not (especially on my down-time); there are a lot of tights and formal shorts and dresses and vests and scarves and plaid in my wardrobe. I have the standard enormous plastic-framed glasses. However! Liking only obscure things or only ironically is really not my style at all; if I recommend the new pop music single or the latest ridiculous movie, it’s because I genuinely enjoyed it; if I’m wearing a superhero branded t-shirt or a dinosaur necklace, it’s because I love these things, and hope that you do, too. I’ll admit that it’s hard to pick out the “sincere” part unless you talk to me, but I like the idea of people owning their enjoyment of something (although this doesn’t mean ignoring aspects of what we enjoy that may be problematic).
LW: Your nomination also says you keep up a lot with technology and social media trends — working on anything in particular related to this area?
AD: My personal yearly budget has a subsection labeled “Shiny Technology” because the newer stuff is just so dreamy. Like a sucker, I keep signing up to try out new social media endeavors, like Branch (which has a conversation-based concept I loved, and might be worth trying as a more open discussion forum than a dedicated LMS) and Vine (micro videos and gifs! … I’m still pondering library use on that one, but mostly: I love gifs).
At work, I just finished creating a set of online courses that mirror the library’s F2F classes, and we’ve started running a twitter account to support our roving librarian project – not new, exactly, but new for us. I asked for a helium shark to promote our roving and, to my shock, got one. We also have a brand-new Samsung tablet so we can tweet shark pictures and provide reference on the go. \o/ Fun fact: it’s a lot more difficult to have a bad day when there’s a helium shark hanging out in your office.
Paolo is an academic librarian at a university in Chicago. On his way to work, he takes photographs of his clothes, hair, and accessories. Then, he posts them on facebook and probably annoys a bunch of his friends. But, his friends still love him. He hopes! :)
"Paolo is a fantastic guy, and one of the sharpest-dressing librarians that I know. In addition to looking good on the job, Paolo is also really great at what he does. He has a passion for instruction and making sure that people are using the library to the best of their abilities. Paolo is also a strong advocate for GLBTQ equality and a proud member of the Filipino expat community in Chicago. I’m happy to call him a colleague and a friend."
LW: Your nomination noted you regularly capture what you wear to work, tell us about your style and do you dress differently at work vs outside of work?
PG: It depends on the day. Really! At work, we have a dress code that pretty much requires us to “be dressy” (dress shirt, dress pants, tie, and a blazer/sportcoat) most of the time. That’s become my day-to-day outfit. Sometimes, dress clothes can be pretty bland so I try to add something to make it a little bit interesting…basically, scarves. I LOVE scarves! In one of the photos above, is a picture of my favorite scarf that I got in San Francisco years ago. Librarians envy it! Hahaha! I also like coats/jackets…making fall, winter (though, I hate winter), and early spring, my favorite seasons to have a nice outfit together. When not at work, I normally just wear jeans and casual shirts (mainly t-shirts).
LW: Tell us about what you do with instruction. Do you do GLBTQ and Filipino community outreach related to instruction for the library, or as community work?
PG: Now I feel like I disappointed the person who nominated me. Hahaha! Well, I definitely enjoy teaching and that’s a big part of my job. At any given moment, we librarians, are educators to our students/patrons. As a member of the Filipino and LGBT communities, and as a librarian, I’ve been involved with the GLBRT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table) and APALA (Asian Pacific American Librarians Association) organizations. My work with these organizations is still at an early stage but I am hoping to expand those roles, not just at the organization but also to my communities.
Katy is a librarian at a small university in West Palm Beach, Florida and a third-generation library employee - her mom is a school librarian and worked in the local public library. When not conquering information literacy and keeping tabs on her favorite parts of the library world and academia (technology, art history, religious studies, etc.), she spends her time doing yoga, baking, and reading (obviously).
“Katy’s no-nonsense attitude and indomitable spirit really inspired me from day one…her knowledge, expertise and self-discipline helped me stay on top of classes and hunting for jobs. She also was more than happy to share with me all the tricks she knew to resumes, interviews, anything that would help me land a job. Were it not for Katy, I still may be unemployed.Outside the library, Katy is the pinnacle of awesome. Her internship at the Guggenheim and other travels clearly show in her confident, cultured and sophisticated demeanor. Her research skills have no equal – I gave her a challenge by showing her a belt buckle with a symbol on it and told her to find what it meant as quickly as possible. Not a word, phrase, search term…a symbol. It took her less than 90 seconds for her to tell me what it was and what it meant. Katy literally IS the Batcomputer. ..she has been an amazing helper, teacher, mentor, and friend. She’s good looking and single too, gentlemen! If you date her, you’re guaranteed an honest, upfront girl who keeps an impeccably tidy apartment and bakes like a champion. Who could ask for more?" (**edited for length)
LW: Sounds like you’re great at networking and making friends, have any tips to share?
KH: My go-to networking and friend-making technique is definitely baking. It’s hard not to make friends and meet people when you come into a room with a bag full of homemade chocolate chip cookies. But when baking is not an option, I try to offer advice and assistance whenever possible. In the last year or two I’ve found myself in a better position to help fellow information professionals, whether it’s offering class/professor suggestions to a friend working on his or her MLIS or putting in a good word for someone.
LW: Your nomination says that you’re single — care to share what you’re looking for (or what an ideal Valentine’s Day date would be)?
KH: Quite a loaded question! Let’s see, I do have a thing for tall guys with beards. Aside from that, well-educated is a must. And of course, a guy who would appreciate my baking certainly gets the check of approval in my book. But really it all comes down to good chemistry!
Daniel Ransom lives in San Francisco and works in Oakland as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts university, with responsibilities in reference, instruction, and electronic resource management. When he’s not working with his students, he’s either at home working with his kids or out on a bike. He can be found online on twitter and tumblr as @ThePinakes (named for the catalog of the Great Library of Alexandria; he has a pet obsession with library history, especially the ancient variety).
"Daniel is THE BEST. He’s a great librarian, online and off. He’s been an incredible resource to librarian friends online (like me). He spent pretty much a week helping me revamp my application materials so I was ready to apply to professional librarian positions. He’s full of encouragement and practical tips on the profession. His grown a steady following on tumblr because of his willingness to share his real-life work, and engage in conversation with the community of (mostly young/new) librarians. He also wears a signature fedora—again, good stuff for a LW crush"
LW: You have been praised on giving advice and sharing professional info, have any tips on how to be a great mentor?
DR: I feel a little funny being labeled a mentor since I’m still relatively new to the profession. But I benefited a lot from the advice I received from experienced librarians while I was still getting my master’s degree, and I like to pass that advice on to the up-and-comers. There’s a tremendous energy among many of the new librarians I meet, and one thing I’ve noticed ‘mentoring’ others is that I get just as much out of the experience as they do. My advice to the advisors — anyone looking to take on a mentorship role — is that instead of feeling like you have to be a great sage, just be willing to be a part of the dialogue with new professionals. If you do that, you’ll benefit as much as they do, and it will energize your approach to your own work. Everybody benefits from a little professional conversation.
LW: What are your plans for Vday? Do you usually do something with the whole family?
DR: Admittedly, Valentine’s Day isn’t such a big deal in our household. Anniversaries and birthdays get much higher billing. Now that our elder daughter is in kindergarten, just helping her complete the 22 Valentine’s Day cards she needed to make for her classmates was the big effort. Before we had kids, we’d try to go out to a nice dinner, perhaps, or catch a movie. We have a few favorite ‘special event’ restaurants around San Francisco. But for our anniversaries, we try to take a trip and do something memorable — one year we rented a cabin in the mountains, and this year we got my folks to watch our kids while we took off for a weekend trip to Seattle. That little change of scenery is nice, especially when you’ve been together for a long time, as we have (sixteen years as a couple!).
Patrick is the branch manager of the East Palo Alto Library in the San Mateo County Library System where he gets to do fun projects like start guitar, seed, and Nook lending libraries. He lives on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay that he use for the library advocacy project called the Story Sailboat. When not not doing library projects, he’s reading, writing, playing guitar, or having drinks with his friends at the local dive bars.
"Patrick is a super positive, motivated, engaged and encouraging member of the librarian community. It’s pretty simple—he can #partyhard and #makeithappen. He’s all over ALA, started up the Story Sailboat, and is on the board of EveryLibrary—in addition to probably a million other things I don’t know about. He’s a good guy and a hardworking librarian who deserves all the crushes. He also has a serious thing for belt buckles, which makes him a great candidate for LW." and "Patrick is a library rock star that doesn’t brag or boast. He started a seed library, a guitar lending library, and a boat "book mobile." He is all about advocating for libraries through movements like the Library Write Out! and EveryLibrary. He loves to party and wants everyone to have a good time."
LW: Tell us how you stay positive and enthusiastic, and where do you get the energy for all of the projects you’re working on?
PS: You know, honestly… It is really hard to stay positive and enthusiastic most of the time and the only reason I’m probably still around libraries at all is that I’ve met so many amazing people who do such great things. If you look at the projects I’m working on, they’re all bits and pieces of inspiration I’ve gotten from other librarians, or they stem from some brainstorming session somewhere, or they started because someone encouraged me to take the first step. Basically just being lucky enough to be around such positive and awesome people is what keeps me going.
LW: You live on a boat! Will you be bringing Vday to the water or taking the boat anywhere in particular?
PS: I live on a boat! Yeah, it is really amazing to me because it was always my childhood dream. Even more amazing because I grew up in Tucson Arizona and I have no idea where the idea to live on a boat even came from. Right now its being fixed up and I’m getting better at sailing by doing the StorySailboat project around the San Francisco Bay. I just got my captain’s license and I’m really excited about it all. Later on the plan is to take the boat everywhere!
Courtney L. Young is currently Head Librarian and Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Penn State Greater Allegheny. She is an active leader in the American Library Association (ALA), serving on the ALA Executive Board (2009-2012) and as a past President of the New Members Round Table (2009-2010). In 2011, Courtney was named a Library Journal “Mover& Shaker”, recognized as a Change Agent for her ability to successfully make connections among a diversity of duties in her library, on campus, and in the profession. She frequently presents and publishes on issues related to academic librarianship, diversity, virtual reference, and professional development.
"Courtney has so much style and class, she’s been a professional crush of mine for a long time. She gives every project her all and has inspired me to get involved with ALA (she’s running for president!). Courtney is well-known and well-liked throughout the profession, but she’s not one of those people who just networks to gain popularity, she has a genuine interest in people and wants to help you be your best. Courtney is a big advocate for diversity in the profession and is also a professor for women’s studies (I adore her so much!). She also is super into football, has an infectious laugh, and truly is one of the warmest, most caring people I know. If you don’t choose Courtney based on just my nomination, she should win because consensus shows (from her clear popularity) that she is an exemplary individual and representative for the profession."
LW: Your nomination compliments you on your style and class, tell us about your top non-living style icons.
CY: Josephine Baker would definitely be one of them. She was a risk taker and very confident. She never stopped doing things to be fashionable, trendy, and express herself through her clothes, jewelry, and makeup.
Bending the rules of “non-living”, Miss Piggy would be on this list. I think Miss Piggy taught me about having a signature style and to accessorize. She is proud of her curves and reminds us fashion comes in all shapes and sizes.
LW: You are very involved in service work and as everyone should know, running for ALA President. Have any advice for those wanting to be so successful (and tell us about your path to leadership)?
CY: Do what you love and love what you do. My passion for my work and professional service come from the fact that I really enjoy what I do and opportunities to connect with students and collaborate with colleagues around the country and the world. I am reminded by mentors that I am a victim of my own success. When I volunteer to do something, I do it. Getting things done can really set you apart. Following through and communicating effectively are two important ingredients to success. I do I try to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone, and take risks. That led me to run for ALA Council, NMRT President, ALA Executive Board, and now ALA President. My first position was in a post-graduate residency and I would often say “I am here to learn, but I am also here to contribute.” I still believe in this.
That concludes the crush post, happy Valentine’s Day!