Pratt Profile: Librarian Tom and the White Whale

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Series: Pratt Profiles

Your name?Tom Warner and A Reel

Your age?

Your local branch?

Your position at the library?
Librarian, Sights & Sounds Department

Your job description?
Performing viewers' and listeners' advisory, shelving materials, answering reference questions, weeding, assisting teachers/librarians/general public find audiovisual aids for their curriculum and other needs, planning and assisting other staff with film program ideas, submitting interlibrary loan requests for materials we don't have, researching performance rights, posting calender events, blogging in Pratt Chat about collection highlights.

Typical Day?
All of the above - except on those days when there's an earthquake or Frankenstorm.

What do you like about the library?

  1. You meet an eclectic mix of people - art students, teachers, counselors, home schoolers, WIRE cast members - with a wide and divergent range of interests. (I've met Ken Burns's cinematographer Allen Moore, John Waters, actors George Figgs and Mary Vivian Pearce, and Sondheim Award-winning artist Laure Drogoule, to name but a few.)
  2. You are on the front lines of what's hot in books, movies, music and the community. Not to mention conspiracy theories!
  3. I save money by checking out a lot of free movies, cable TV shows and books that I otherwise couldn't afford.

Your favorite spot in the Library?
1st Stack, where all the old (often out-of-print) film and music books are stored! And the 3rd floor A/V Inspection room, where Pratt has over 2,100 16mm films. Our experimental shorts collection is amazing, with Suzan Pitt's Asparagus and Jim Henson's Time Piece my personal faves.

What are you currently reading?
Andrea Camilleri's Voice of the Violin; it's the 12th book I've read by this Sicilian author who's had 14 of his "Inspector Montalbano" mysteries translated into English. They're well-written mysteries with a touch of humor and reflect the way Sicilians feel like the lesser cousins of mainland Italy.

What book would you recommend to readers right now, and why?
Melville's Moby Dick, right now and forever! It's the great American novel. Also, Young Adult Novel by Daniel Pinkwater (funny!) and anything by Franz Kafka (funny in an existential way!), Haruki Murakami (Wind-Up Bird Chronicles) or Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye).

What is one book you could not finish, and why?
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was finals week at college and I had to choose between reading a 700-page novel or wooing the classmate that I later ended up marrying. I chose real love over love of literature (and still got a B on my Russian Lit. essay!)

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