2011 Eureka! Fellow Sarah Bleyl
I work for the Kern County Library system in Bakersfield. Because of budget cuts, I work in two branches: I manage the Northeast Branch when it’s open two days a week and I work at our main library, the Beale Memorial Library, the other three days. I wear so many hats at each location that I look kind of silly. Two of my major responsibilities are being the Volunteer Coordinator and ordering all of the children’s and YA books for the entire system but I also work at Reference, Information, the children’s library, as well as Circulation, giving tours, speaking at different community groups, and just trying to keep myself and my staff sane.
I have worked in the public library for five years. Wow, have things changed in those five short years! I was hired as a reference librarian but I have had the opportunity to do many different things beside that initial task. While I was in library school, I worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tucson, in their law library for two years. I also had a semester-long internship at an elementary school library. So, I feel pretty well-rounded with being in different types of libraries.
I am very involved in my church and love working with the teen girls there, mentoring them and just having fun. This year, I became involved with Relay for Life for the first time and enjoyed fund-raising for a cause that is close to my heart. Our team raised over $10,000! I’m also a big fan of Nanowrimo and have been the leader of my local group for the last three years.
Of course I’m an avid reader and I love to write science fiction. I’ve played the piano since I was five and still wind down after stressful days by playing something peaceful (or angry, if the occasion warrants a little pounding!). Every Thursday night you’ll find me at the Hourglass for karaoke night with my friends. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I like to get up there and sing any way. The love of my life is my cat KC, she is a Pisces that likes to read and play the piano, as well.
I have wanted to attend the Eureka! Leadership Institute ever since a colleague went a few years ago. I love to learn new things and meet new people in my profession. I hope to learn how to be a better leader in my library system.