Meet A Member: Dina Schuldner

Dina SchuldnerWhere do you work?
My last position was at the Gold Coast Public Library in Glen Head, NY, which is on the north end of Nassau county on Long Island. My husband retired from the police force, and we moved to Virginia Beach to be closer to my family, who have lived here over 20 years.

What is your current position?
I'm an unemployed librarian, formerly a Young Adult Librarian. In that position, I performed reference services at the Adult and Children's Reference desks. I was in charge of two toddler storytimes, grade K-2 book related programming, tween programming in conjunction with the children's librarian, and all grade 6-12 programming, including the Summer Reading Program. I was in charge of purchasing and weeding all YA materials, as well as the fiction in the children's room, with the exception of board books and audio books. I was also part of the outreach team. I visited local businesses to establish relationships that would provide the library with donations to give away, and exposure for the businesses in our publications. I also performed storytimes at daycare centers and a local summer day camp.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a librarian?
When I was in Talent Acquisition, and missing the fun parts of teaching. I wanted to get back into an educational setting without having to test children. My husband suggested libraries, and I found a library school professor whose profile online suggested that I could still work with teens in an impactful way in a library setting. I did an informational interview with her, and she convinced me that her school could make my dream come true. I became a full time young adult librarian four years later.

What was your first library job?
Working as a page in the Children's Room of the Mineola Memorial Library in Mineola, NY. I did that throughout my time in library school, until I graduated. Five months later, they took me on as a part time librarian, giving me my first professional experience.

What is your favorite part of librarianship?
Making a connection between the patron and myself, so I can provide the best service possible. I also like making connections between the library and other partners, including vendors, business partners, and organization partners.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you on the job?
Well, I can tell you the most astonishing thing that has ever happened to me on the job. I was new in my position at Gold Coast and I had a regular patron and her mother attend my toddler storytime. The first two times, the patron hid behind her mother's legs during the sing and dance parts. But the third visit, she came out from behind and shouted "I like library!" This is only one piece of the wonderment. Later that day, her mother said that was the first sentence her daughter had ever said completely in English, without any Korean.

If you could have anything in the universe installed in your office for your personal use, what would it be?
A laminator. We didn't have the room to buy one, so I had to hand laminate my storytime pieces.

What is something your colleagues would be surprised to know about you?
My father and brother own the Mannino's Italian Bistro restaurants in Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. And I don't like cooking!

Interview conducted by Gregg Grunow.
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