|Georgia at the Quincie Douglas branch|
Now let me shatter that image. Georgia is a young, energetic librarian at the Quincie Douglas branch of the Pima County Public Library system. She plays bass and sings in a band, plays bass in a community symphony, wears bright red lipstick, sports tattoos and body jewelry proudly, and she plays roller derby. Yes, I said roller derby.
|One of Georgia's tattoos|
Georgia grew up in the library. Her mother has been a librarian in the Long Beach, California system for 45 years. She started volunteering in the library when she was twelve and started working there when she was sixteen. She learned the importance of libraries and how they provide so many services and so much information for everyone in a community. Her mother always told her that “Librarians are the great equalizers of the community.” She has worked under this mantra in her own career as a librarian.
Georgia has a Bachelor’s in Women’s Studies, with a Minor in Music Performance and worked for a domestic violence shelter after college. After deciding to go back to work in the library as a clerk in 2007, she received a scholarship from the Friends of the Green Valley branch of the Pima County Public Library (PCPL) system and attended library school at the University of Arizona. She was hired as a Librarian I at the PCPL’s Main branch in August of 2010 she worked in collection development. Georgia then moved on to the Quincie Douglas branch in June 2011 where she works as a Children's Librarian, which has always been her goal.
Georgia loves music. She played in a Prog Metal band called SoEra, a 60’s soul cover band called Drama Club, and the Arizona Symphony (the primary symphony at the U of A). She currently plays in a non-profit orchestra called the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO), which she is traveling with to China in the new year.
While attending a roller derby bout with a friend, she decided she had to be a part of the experience; she didn’t want to just watch from the sidelines. One problem: she didn’t know how to skate! She learned how, tried out for the team, passed her skills test, and now is proudly known on the team as Dewey Decimatrix.
|Georgia sporting her name proudly|
I took my family to watch her in action at the Tucson Roller Derby in a warehouse, which they call the TRD Wreck House, on the south side of Tucson. Her team, the Furious Truckstop Waitresses, were decked out in pink and black and surrounded by fans. I have to admit, that the excitement was contagious and the bout was impressive. I give all the skaters kudos for being out there!
|Tucson Roller Derby|
How do libraries and the roller derby fit together? Georgia looks at both as ways for her to be active in the Tucson community. Working with the public at Quincie Douglas and being aggressive in the rink have helped her build confidence, learn how to work with people, be part of a team, be more assertive, and how to pick her battles.
She says “I always feel valued as a librarian, but not always as a roller derby skater.” Where the library came naturally, she really had to work at being a skater and learning the game. She credits both her mentors at the library (Librarian Beth Rubio) and in roller derby ("wife” aka best friend in derby, Luna E. Clips) for helping her learn these skills and overcoming her fears. Luna also happens to be a Pima County employee, she is a public defender. “Seeing someone who nurtures you and encourages you makes you want to do the same thing. I try to do that for others in my life," she says.
Oh, and did I also mention that she bakes? That she has won pie contests? Her uniform number is 641.86, the Dewey Decimal number for baking.
Have you been in a library lately? You should go. Get to know the staff at the library. Not only are they amazingly dedicated to the library and their customers, they have a wealth of experiences. As Georgia says, “Librarians are interested in everything.”
Visit the Quincie Douglas branch and say hello to Georgia for me.
Written by Samantha Barry