You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Join TLA
All News

Between the Lines: February Member Spotlight

Between the Lines: Member Spotlight, TLA News

Alison Poage

Booher Library Director, Seminary of the Southwest

What inspired you to become a librarian?

When I was thirteen, I volunteered as a summer reading club “listener.” Meeting children who loved books made me feel right at home. This led me to employment in the library as a page and ultimately to librarianship as a career. I worked in public libraries as a children and teen services librarian and as a public library director before shifting to an academic setting in 2015.

What is an innovative practice at your library that you’d like to share with others?

Our user population is small, which allows for a lot of flexibility and personalization. I remember when a student came in to get a book right before heading home for the holidays. It looked like a useful book so I suggested we buy it and have it delivered to her home and then she could bring it back later to be cataloged. She was thrilled, of course. I enjoy experimenting with these small risks that can have big payoffs and it seems to work well in our small setting.

If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?

I’m so nervous around artists I admire because I can never find the right words to communicate how they’ve inspired me. The idea of adding a dinner salad into the mix is almost too much, but since I need to answer this question and because there’s no chance of this happening, I’ll say Herman Wouk (1915-2019; The Winds of War, War and Remembrance and more). My husband suggested I read The Caine Mutiny back when we were dating. By the time I figured out the novel was a romance, I had already fallen in love.

What are you reading right now?

I like to have a non-fiction book and a novel going at the same time. Right now it’s How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

What is your most memorable Texas Library Association Experience?

I served on the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2019 TLA conference in Austin. I thought I knew how much work goes into planning a conference of that magnitude but my eyes were opened to what kind of energy it really takes. I encourage everyone who attends a TLA conference to volunteer at least two hours to support the location’s hard-working Local Arrangements Committee!