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!