An Interview with SMCL’s Annie Peña


Photo of Annie Peña.

Today we shine the spotlight on our very own Annie Peña, who began working in public libraries in 2006 and returned to the Bay Area in 2009. She plans to complete her Master’s degree in Library Science next June.

What Inspired You to Work in Libraries?

“The enjoyment of helping people, my love for books, and my love for learning. The library is a stimulating, resourceful and informative environment, and I want to constantly be a part of [it].”

What Do You Do at SMCL and Where Can We Find You?

“I am a library aide who does a little bit of everything [at Atherton Library].  I make sure all the library materials are returned back to their locations and are readily available for the next person. I am also part of a musical storytime twice a month; and last but not least, I host a monthly book club the second Tuesday of each month. I am always available by email ( and usually one of the last people to leave the library a few days a week. Bottom line--I am ready to find out how I can be of assistance to you.”

(Note: Click here to see more Atherton Library events.)

What Do You Like Most About Your Job?

“What I like most about my job is helping and working with the public, the people of the community. I have always enjoyed helping people. I think it stems from my background, working in the parks and recreation department (for the City of Modesto), in convalescent and behavioral hospitals, and in real estate. My job [also] consists of two of my favorite things: libraries and books. I have always (and always will have) a lot of love for books and libraries.”

What Would You Tell People About Libraries That They Might Not Know?

“The library listens. People may not think that the library takes their suggestions, concerns, or feedback into consideration, when in fact, the library thrives off community input.”

What Are You an (Un)Official Expert On?

“The non-fiction genre. As a book club moderator, I usually choose non-fiction books because I enjoy learning, [which] provides stimulation for my think tank. A few of my favorite books from our 2011 Reader’s List: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach; The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.”

What Are Your Hobbies?

“Reading and collecting books (especially art books); being outdoors (particularly Lake Tahoe or Isla Mujeres); hiking, dancing, photography--and I love spending time with my family and friends.”

What Book, Movie, and Album Would You Take With You to a Deserted Island?

“Here goes: Even Cowgirls get the Blues by Tom Robbins; WALL-E; [and] The Very Best of Prince.”

Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Character of All Time?

“I would have to say Kermit and Miss Piggy. I remember watching Jim Henson movies over and over again and still watch them to this day, and my love has not vanished for these two. I can never get enough of them.”

If You Could Have One Superpower, What Would It Be?

“I would like to remember EVERYTHING! [An] expansive and endless memory bank, a memory bank that I would feed in abundance every day with beneficial and resourceful information that can ultimately be shared with everyone.”

What is Your Go-To Dessert?

“Either rhubarb and strawberry streusel with vanilla ice cream or a That Takes The Cake in their cherry blossom flavor (green tea cupcake--super yummy!).”

In One Word, What Do Libraries Mean to You?


Photo credit: Annie Peña


Author Bio:

Intern Anthony Andora believes those who love helping others should be rewarded with cupcakes--and he wants one now!

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