Ask a librarian: Esti Brennan

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dino selfie

Uh, don’t look behind you!

Name of Library: DC Public Library (

What kind of librarian are you? I’m an Adult Services Librarian, and I currently work in DCPL’s main public computer space and The Labs at DCPL, which are a collection of spaces with different creative functions, including the Fab Lab (3D Printers, laser cutter, sewing machine lots of tools), the Studio Lab (audio, video, and photo equipment), and the Memory Lab (digitizing old photos, videos, and tapes for personal preservation). No books, but I do get to do a lot of crafts and teach sewing classes! (Bridget special note: That is super cool. I sew too!)

How long have you been a librarian? I finished my MLIS degree in 2013 and have officially been a librarian for three years, but I’ve been working in libraries for about nine years, since I was in college.

What lead you to wanting to be a librarian? Originally I was going to be an English professor, but while I was in school for my Master’s degree I worked in a really incredible special collections library and realized that I wanted to change tracks. My awesome boss and coworkers encouraged me to go to library school, so off I went. I’d planned to go back to academic libraries, but I worked at the public library in the town where I went to library school and just loved it. My career path has changed quite a few times and I’m sure it’s not done changing yet.

How do you pick books for your library? I’m not involved with picking books right now, but I do get to choose and plan classes and events (like sewing classes and hosting a library booth at a craft fair) to show people the wide variety of things libraries can offer. (I also secretly miss working with books, but I cope with that by spending tons and tons of time reading.)

Do you have a favorite author? I have about a hundred favorite authors, and they change weekly. Right now I really like mystery writers like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. When I was younger my favorites were Tamora Pierce, Philip Pullman, and Roald Dahl (especially Matilda, of course), and I still reread all of them pretty regularly.

How do you decide what book to recommend to a specific kid? When I’m recommending a book to anybody, I like to start by asking them a few of their favorites, or things they’ve read recently that they like. I am especially fond of recommending comic books to people who don’t usually read them, so some of the best connections I find are comics that match up with the themes or characters of favorite novels.

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