This month, we introduce Cat, our new page. In case you didn’t know, a page is responsible for checking in and putting away all the books that are turned in. During any given shift, Cat might check in about 300 books and shelve as many as 100 of those. Be sure to say hello to Cat the next time you see her in the stacks.

Like many children, I loved books since before I could remember. My favorite ones that my mom would read to me before bed were Caps for Sale and Katy No-Pocket, but there were countless others.

Funny enough, I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. I did not learn how to read until I was 7 years old and after that, I was obsessed. The earliest books I remember reading on my own were Junie B. Jones and Magic Treehouse, but I would read books about anything, ESPECIALLY dinosaurs (Spinosaurus was/is my favorite).

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, but realized that my passion was for libraries and literature. So, now I am hoping to pursue my Masters in Library and Information Sciences. My goal is to be a university librarian or archivist.

When I am not working here as a page, I like to lay low. In my spare time I usually am reading, spending time in nature, playing Animal Crossing, or re-watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the thousandth time. I am also a horror movie enthusiast; so if you ever see me around, I love to give recommendations of my favorites!

My favorite books to read are historical fiction, memoirs, and fiction from different cultural backgrounds. I am also passionate about music. I have a very wide range of tastes; from 90’s French hip hop, African funk rock, death metal, and anything in-between!

This is definitely the best job that I have ever had. Everyone here is as friendly as they seem and I have read more now than I have in years. Working at a library is as amazing as I thought it would be and I would not change it for anything!

Cat’s Recommendations:

Normal People by Sally Rooney: Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker: One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster. Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Black Elk Speaks is the story of the Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and chose Neihardt to tell his story. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind. When Black Elk received his great vision, white settlers were invading the Lakotas’ homeland, decimating buffalo herds, and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas’ way of life. The Lakotas fought fiercely to retain their freedom and way of life, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee. 

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