Meet Samantha Eichelberger! An RT Member Profile

By A. Faulkner

What is your role in the GLBTRT?

Currently, I am a quiet member who enjoys following the conversation. I would love to get more involved!

What does the GLBTRT mean to you?

To me, it means representation, both for myself, within the wider profession, and for the community I serve. The GLBTRT reminds me that there is a long-standing, nationwide community that actively supports the same fight against discrimination that I am trying to conduct when I push for LGBTQ visibility, services, and materials in my library. It’s comforting.

Are you involved in ALA in other ways? 

I’m also a member of ALSC.

What professional work do you perform?

I am the School Services and Community Engagement Librarian at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Illinois.

What would you like to share about your personal life?

I am an avid knitter and love recreating knits from my favorite books, TV shows, and movies. I’m an excellent baker and my specialty is pies! I also make a mean cheesecake.

What are you most proud of?

I set a goal to read 365 books last year and I read 366!

In a professional capacity, I’m most proud of the relationship I cultivated with three brothers who used to be among our most difficult patrons. I worked at their library for two and a half years. They came in almost every single day and were frequent attendees at my programs. By the time I left, they had transformed into well-behaved and knowledgeable patrons. The boys have visited me twice at my new library, once with presents they made me for my birthday! It means so much to me to see the impact and lasting change that the library and I made in their lives.

Who inspires you?

The kids I work with inspire me on a daily basis. They are smart and insightful, full of big ideas and so much love in their hearts. Additionally, my friend Amber is so truly authentic that’s she’s a joy to watch and an inspiration to do the same.

What are your goals? (Professional and/or personal.)

I would love to add book reviewing into my professional sphere! I read fast and I have lots of opinions.

What do you think (or predict) is the future of libraries?

I hope that they continue to serve as a primary and vital point of access to information in all formats for all people. I think that the focus of the patrons in the library will continue to progress from “What can I learn here?” to “What can I do with what I learn here?”, which I find a much more interesting and fulfilling question.

In what direction would you like the GLBTRT to move in the future?

I’m always looking for increased inclusivity and intersectionality in any organization! It’s so important to consider the ways in which our various identities interact with and inform each other, and it can make massive changes in how decisions are made.

If you could be transported into the fictional world of any book, where would you go?

If I can’t be bosom friends with Anne Shirley in Avonlea, I don’t want to go anywhere. I just adopted a cat and named him Gilbert after Gilbert Blythe.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Talking as Loud as I Can

If you could only choose one song to play every time you entered a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is a lot of pressure, but I think I’m going to go with “I Know a Place” by MUNA.

If you could have a dinner party with 5 culturally or historically significant figures, living or dead, who would you invite?

At this moment, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gráinne Ní Mháille, Maya Angelou, Roxane Gay, and Jane Austen, but if you ask me again in a half hour, I would probably answer differently!

What is the meaning of life?

I don’t know if I’m equipped to answer this one.


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