By Tess Goldwasser
Melody is the new GLBTRT secretary, starting after ALA Annual Conference 2014. In her other life, she is a full-time educational media specialist for North Jersey school district, working with grades 6-12. Her passion is bringing libraries “back to life” and making them an important part of the school or community. She is proud of the work she’s doing at her school to revitalize the space and get students and staff interested in the library. This summer, her school will be replacing much of the furniture and adjusting the space based on redesign plans that Melody created. She’d like to add new physical features like a maker space and new programming options like therapy pets for the school’s special education department. She says, “Everyone is different, so everyone wants and needs something different from the library. I’d like to have as many options and functions as possible so that the library can reach the largest audience.”
In her spare time, Melody enjoys reading intellectual thriller novels and murder mysteries. She likes to run and try new workout classes. Although gluten-free since she was a child because of her celiac disease, she’s a total foodie who loves to cook and try new cuisines. Melody takes pride in living on her own. She says, “With the economy not being the best, all over, not just in libraries, and with the high NJ rent prices, it’s become a huge hurdle for recent graduates or younger adults to break away from their parents or roommates and live alone. I feel very blessed I was able to find a job that I love and an excellent apartment that I can actually afford!” She’d like to continue to her education (perhaps through master’s courses), attend ALA conferences, and go back into some of the activities she enjoyed in college such as dancing and choir.
If Melody were an animal, she would be a cheetah. She says, “Even under pressure, cheetahs are lightning fast and graceful.”
If she could have a dinner party with 5 culturally or historically significant figures, living or dead, she would invite Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Andrew Carnegie. She says, “This is a group of people whose innovation, tenacity, and world-changing reach I admire. I would love to pick their brains!”