Each month we will take the opportunity to introduce you to a Library employee. To launch the inaugural segment, our fearless Assistant Director Ryan Johnson leads the way. Ryan has been with us since March 2014. He moved from Adult Services Manager last Spring to Assistant Director.
I first came to OFPL because it was a step-up career wise for me. At the time, I was working on my Master’s Degree in Library Science and the experience here helped me tremendously in that pursuit.
My favorite thing about working here is helping people and making someone’s day. Sometimes that is the simplest of things, like helping them fax or notarize something. Other times it can be much more involved, like helping them with a resume or helping them navigate a job application. Now that I work mostly behind the scenes, I like helping out my coworkers as much as possible. If I can make their days a little easier, then they can focus more on helping the public and being great at their jobs.
Prior to starting my library career, I got my Bachelor’s in History from SIUE and taught high school and middle school social sciences for a few years. I currently live in Glen Carbon with my girlfriend and our dog.
My hobbies are pretty geeky. I’m big into D&D, Fantasy Baseball, Real Baseball, Homebrewing, and Podcasts (if that counts as a hobby).
Speaking of podcasts, 99% Invisible and RadioLab are absolutely amazing. They cover amazing topics and the production quality is top-notch. Over the years, I’ve heard so many fascinating stories, and learned so much that I would not have otherwise known about. Podcasts are the perfect sidekick for people who can’t sit still (like myself). I often get antsy when trying to sit and read, but with the podcasts I can get busy folding laundry, cooking, or walking the dog.
If there was a movie about me, I’d want Rob Lowe to play the part. More specifically, Rob Lowe as his character Chris in “Parks and Recreation.” That character is so upbeat, positive and energetic. Nothing gets him down! I wish I could embody those traits as fully as he does. He is, unfortunately, not a real person. It’s still a goal to shoot for though.
If I could travel to any fictional setting in a book, I think I’d choose Middle Earth. Actually, the Shire if I can narrow it down. It would be incredibly peaceful and laid back. I’d spend my time gardening, canning, brewing, and making soups. It would be a blast!
My favorite book, if I had to pick just one, would be 11/22/63 by Stephen King. It has elements of history, suspense, time-travel and so much more. It is gritty and compelling, and really invests you in the characters. It’s one of those books that stay with you for a long time.