Have a question about turkey vultures or what to read next? Ask Patron Services Specialist Tricia Semple
Patron Services Specialist Tricia Semple is this week’s featured staff member. If you see her at the Downtown Library, be sure to say hello!
What does your job typically include?
Patron care, assisting library patrons with reader’s advisory (book recommendations), helping navigate computers and other resources available in the library, and attempting to answer any and all questions.
When did you start working at the Library?
I worked at the Cedar Rapids Library beginning in January of 1999, until 2001. I was a stay-at-home mom for 12 years, then returned to the library in 2013.
What made you want to work here?
I love helping people, and I’m passionate about reading, so I’ve always found the library the perfect place for me to work!
What’s your favorite part about working here?
The people. There is something incredibly special working with people who are all unique, each bringing their own perspective and energy to achieve similar goals. And of course, the books; it’s like being a kid in a candy store!
Do you have any moments or stories from the Library that stand out that you would want to share with patrons?
There are so many memorable moments that I’ve enjoyed while working at the library. Stories patrons have shared with me have brought me to tears or amazed me.
My most recent story came from a phone call I answered. A gentleman called and said he had just hit a bird. He was pulled over on the side of the road and wanted to know what he had hit with his truck. He said it had a red head and purple body with strange feet. Initially, I wondered to myself if someone was playing a joke on me, but I started looking up birds that fit this description and suggested possibly a wren of some kind. He said, “No! No, this was a huge bird!” We figured out that it was a turkey vulture and, “There was no reviving him!”
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love spending time with family and my beloved yellow lab, Toby. I love the outdoors and nature. I love to read and do puzzles. I also like spending time with friends.
What’s your favorite book genre? Why?
I really enjoy historical fiction. It is like stepping back in time and witnessing events through the experiences of the characters. I’ll read anything, though; finding a great book is so gratifying.
Do you have a favorite book or author? What do you like about them?
One of my favorite books was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I found the story devastating, but also colored with the message of compassion, all bound together in a story about young girl and the books she stole.