Big Five! Questions with OLA President Buzzy Nielsen
- What is your first library-related memory?
My first library was the tiny Langlois Public Library on the southern Oregon Coast. It was a small room, about the size of a modest living room, in the local fire hall. The library of course had many memorable aspects, but what’s most burnt into my brain is the early 1970s carpet with concentric circles in various shades of baby puke green. That image is hard of get out of your head, as anyone who ever worked there can attest.
- What is your favorite place in Oregon?
Eep, what a tough question! I’ve lived in or visited so many beautiful parts of Oregon that I love: the Coast, Portland, the Gorge, the Painted Hills, Central Oregon, etc. We are incredibly fortunate to live here. If I had to pick one, though, I’d say that there’s no place quite as powerful and beautiful to me as watching the high surf crash against the rocks at Shore Acres State Park in Charleston. It is awesome in the fullest sense of the term.
- What was the last gift you gave someone?
I bought my stepson a box of de la Rosa peanut marzipan. He loves those things!
- What do you think about when you’re alone in the car/on the bus/going somewhere else?
I’m a podcast junkie, so I end up thinking about a lot of different things on my daily commute. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about UFOS and aliens thanks to a summer series they’re doing on one of my favorite podcasts, Oh No, Ross and Carrie! It’s fascinating to consider how different people can look at the same phenomena and come to radically varying conclusions based on their own preconceived beliefs and life experiences.
- What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not on your resume?
This may be a cop out, since it is related to a job, but I promise that I don’t put it on my resume anymore! When I was in college, I worked through a temp agency for a few summers. Eventually, I got hired at a women’s sports apparel website based in Portland called Lucy.com. Lucy called their customer service reps “Sisters of Style.” As the only male in customer service, I was the token “Brother of Style.” Unsurprisingly, they did not let me talk actually to customers, as I was eminently unqualified to do so. It was a great job with lots of fantastic people. Plus, we had all of the free Luna bars and Oregon Chai we could consume! When classes were in session, I worked at Lucy three days a week. One day, I went to work and everything was fantastic. Lucy had models on the Today Show, and everyone seemed exceptionally excited about the future of the company. Literally two days later when I went back to work, it was a ghost town. My boss was one of the only people still there. She told me that the previous day, the owners announced that they were closing the company. This was during the dotcom crash of 2000-01. I could have had a very different career trajectory if Lucy had remained open! However, they reopened a few years ago and appear to be doing quite well.