Meet the Staff Featuring Linden Daniel Galloway

Linden Daniel Galloway* (he/him/his pronouns) started at White Oak Library District in September 2020, and reports his first few months on the job have been really fun. He’s the Teen Librarian at our Lockport Branch. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at Grinnell College (a tiny school in Iowa), and his Masters of Science in Library and Information Services (the librarian degree) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

*I like to use my full name because I feel like it really suits me! Also, I’ve always dreamed of being a three-namer like Jennifer Love Hewitt, James Earl Jones, or Neil Patrick Harris.

What are your top three favorite books of all time?

The last one is technically a series, but my copy at home has all four books in one volume so it counts! I have reread The Song of the Lioness many, many times. If you can’t tell, I adore books with a whole built-in magical world to explore. Honorable mentions go to Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, because I love science fiction and futuristic worlds too, and Black Hole Survival Guide by Janna Levin because real-world physics fascinates me.

Who is your favorite author of all time?
This is an extremely difficult question! I don’t think I have one. There are a lot of books that have really spoken to me and affected my life, so I will say that authors who create an immersive experience with their words are some of my favorites.

What genres can our patrons quiz you about to find the best books to read?
Fantasy and science fiction are where I spend most of my time. I love young adult nonfiction because you can find so much information in a more engaging way than with books that don’t have any illustrations or graphics. Getting to find new graphic novels of all kinds for the library is amazing, autobiographical ones are particularly interesting. Books with queer and trans characters are always on my radar. Also, I do almost all of my fiction reading via audiobook because it’s more accessible for me, so I can definitely direct patrons to audiobooks with great narration.

What books are on your to be read pile at home?

Do you have any pets?
My dog’s name is Star Trek- if you can’t pick a favorite character, why not name your dog after the whole show? He is a six year old Shiba-terrier. All he ever wants is to snuggle and receive belly rubs. He’s the perfect dog for me! His biggest flaw: eating horrible things off of the sidewalk when we’re outside.

What’s your favorite thing about working at the Library?
I have so much fun with book mysteries, when someone tells me about a book’s plot and I try to identify which book they’re looking for. It’s even better when I successfully figure it out! That’s probably my second favorite thing though, the best part of my job is working in a place where I get to talk to people all day and meet new people all the time. I’m definitely an extrovert.

What was your very first job?
In high school I worked at the craft store near my parents’ house. I got to do lots of craft demos and teach kids different art projects. This definitely inspired my love of library take and makes!What’s your favorite food?:
My favorite homemade food is halupki (also called cabbage rolls, think of it as a tiny meatloaf wrapped up like a burrito with a cabbage leaf). My favorite restaurant food is BBQ chicken pizza from Villa Nova Pizza. I had it on my first day moving into town, and it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.

What’s your favorite color?
Two colors equally: magenta and olive green.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Arts and crafts make me very happy, and I tend to take a break from something when it starts to frustrate me, so I rotate through hobbies. At the moment I’m doing lots of sewing and coloring. I love writing letters and getting mail from friends. I am constantly checking out cookbooks from the library to find awesome new recipes.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? How did you meet them?
I’ve actually met Bernie Sanders three times! In college I got to introduce him when he came to meet the students on campus before the 2016 primary, and the other two occasions were also events surrounding the primary. I’ve been loving the memes of him wearing mittens at the inauguration.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher! Eventually I decided to become a professor, but when I figured out I’d have to do more publishing of papers than teaching, I left that path to become a youth librarian. I still consider myself an educator, and helping people learn things is one of my favorite parts of my job.

What is one cool fact about you?
Back when my goal was to become an archaeology professor, I went on several archaeological digs. I studied Swahili so I could communicate better with people in East Africa about their history and what they would like to see for the future of archaeology. I thought it would be really cool to be that guy who knows how to speak dozens of languages, so I could talk to people in lots of different places! My Swahili skills are pretty rusty now, but I made some great friends along the way.

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