Blog Post 1: Introducing Viola

I am Viola–and you can say it Veeyola or V-eye-ola. Or just call me Vi or V. The main thing to know about me is that I love libraries and feel very happy when I am in a library. I wish I had made the connection sooner. A year ago, after much searching, it dawned upon me one fine day that I should just go work in a library. It has taken me many years and many different paths to finally find myself here.

I have a BA in psychology from UC Davis and an MA in cultural anthropology from UM Ann Arbor. I love the social sciences, and I thought I was going to be an anthropologist. But life had other plans for me. In 2007, I left my anthropology PhD program and became an artist! I am a poet and have been so for probably my whole life but officially since 2008, when I started writing poems that are now anthologized in what must be the cutest chapbook ever (I am biased, of course!). I have a certificate in Literary Publishing from American River College and love the creative writing community nurtured by the faculty in the English Department there. They are my literary gurus, and I credit them with giving me the tools to get my poetry published. You can see my chapbook here: BIRD FROM AFRICA or Eight New Generation African Poets

I am also a yogi and have been so for probably my whole life but officially since 2008 (as you can see, I became a poet and a yogi at the same time…mmm, I wonder how that happened). I teach Yin yoga at a very awesome yoga studio and love practicing there. It’s a hot yoga studio, and well, it is boiling hot over there (read: creatively designed torture chamber). I have done various styles of yoga and love them all. This year, I started doing Vinyasa, a style I always kind of found annoying, but now I really love it–and yes, it’s still annoying whenever the teacher asks us to make our elbows kiss our knees.

I am new to the world of libraries, and this is my first year working in this wonderful world. I work in two very awesome libraries. I am a library aide at a public library, where I recently also started a new role as reference technician. I am also an instructional assistant in an academic library at a very diverse and welcoming community college. I feel like all the meandering paths of my life are converging now into something really fantastic. When I am at work, I feel that I draw constantly on everything I have ever done, be it the social sciences or the literary arts or yoga. 

I am interested in diversity/multiculturalism, as it relates to libraries. I am sure this comes from my background in cultural anthropology and having grown up half way around the world. I was born and raised in Africa, in the Republic of Cameroon. I’ve been in the USA for a while now, so this is home, too. I am based in the Sacramento area, and I am addicted to the libraries here. I am curious about how trends and changes in modern public and academic library services might affect communities and individuals who have not been well represented in traditional library models and who might continue to be excluded from newer and evolving library service models.

I am so happy to connect with you all and be a part of The Hyperlinked Library course with you!

8 thoughts on “Blog Post 1: Introducing Viola

  1. Hi Viola,
    You have a lot of wonderful interests and experience! It’s amazing how many things are relevant to libraries and can help us in our jobs even if they don’t seem related at first. I also enjoy yoga, but I haven’t gotten to try many different kinds. My first yoga experience was when I signed up for a class in college and didn’t find out it was hot yoga (Bikram) until it was too late! I (still) don’t like the heat, but I loved that class and would definitely take it again.


    • Hi Michelle,
      I can totally relate with regards to the heat in hot yoga…especially in summer, and right now we are having a heat wave, so I am avoiding the Bikram classes in favor of cooler ones. In the winter, I am able to do more Bikram and tolerate the heat much better. I do have to say that I was quite surprised at how strong the Bikram made me, preparing me to take on more challenging things in Vinyasa…maybe some of it is mental strength, too, having braved lots of boiling hot Bikram temperatures fearlessly. 🙂 Plus, the heat-torture in hot yoga sure builds my body temp stamina and makes me less frazzled by this roasting summer weather (tomorrow is going to be ~110 degrees here–ugh).

  2. Ah life…

    So wonderful that you’ve made all of the things you have always been, part of your current life. It all seems to be coming together for you!



    • Hi Megan, Thank you for stopping by! I confess that I am kind of… relieved… that things now make more sense, in terms of my career path. Whew! 🙂 I try not to have too many regrets that it took me so long to discover library work. What counts is that I am here now and happy to be involved and engaged in everything I am doing. Yay! Yay! Yay!

  3. Viola, it’s great to see you again. And to learn more about your interests. Congratulations on publishing your poetry. I remember how excited you were to interview for your library job, and now you have two library jobs! Wow. I hope you are enjoying them both. Are you offering yoga in the library yet? That seems like a natural fit (though maybe not hot yoga–might not be good for the books!). I’d never heard of American River college, but I looked it up. Is that where you are doing your community college job? It sounds like a very supportive place! Can’t wait to read your posts this semester.
    Take care, Mary

    • Hi Mary! Yay! I am just so thrilled that we are in this course together. Your pie baking inspired me yesterday, and I did some baking, too. I will share photos later today. Yes, one of my part-time jobs is for the Los Rios Community College system, and I really love it…I am also a student there and take classes whenever I can, for now just classes in library media tech. I have been thinking about offering some yoga or poetry workshops at the public library where I work, but it depends on my supervisor and library manager and if they are open to me doing some events/programs. But mmm yes, definitely no hot yoga at the library…. 🙂

  4. Hi @viola – what a super cool background you have. A poet and a Yogi! I am a fan of yoga and have enjoyed classes here in the Traverse City area. we had a great hot studio for awhile but it closed.

    I think your varied interests and focus on diversity will serve you well in this class and as a soon to be professional. Welcome to #hyperlib!

    • I really love working in libraries! I was probably born for library work. My favorite moments at the library are when patrons compliment me on my crazy Mohawk haircut! I get to work in a place I love and I get to keep my hair style! 🙂 I feel very lucky! And I feel incredibly lucky to be in your class!

      I always wanted to have Michelle Obama’s arms…and now, thanks to doing more yoga, I think I can see some muscles growing…there is hope for me…so I think I will keep doing yoga. 🙂

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