Manny Hernandez is a Library Aide who works in several locations, including the Main Library Children's Room. Library Aides are the backbone of your library: they touch every book checked in and out in the whole system, and are often the first smiling face you see. But let's hear about it from Manny.
What brought you to the Main Library Children’s Room?
I was drawn to the Main library Children’s Room because it was my local childhood library growing up in the Lake Merritt area. My career goal is to become a children’s librarian and what better place to receive experience, guidance and motivation.
Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you?
On regular day at work I have assigned duties which consist of organizing and shelving books. Doesn’t sound too interesting does it? You’ll be surprised. Library Aides work hands-on with all sorts of books. Some books are historical, others are humorous; a day at work gets pretty exciting not knowing what cool books you will encounter next. At work I also help create new library cards. Now this is where all the fun begins. Everyone loves library cards, especially children. I am the lucky guy who gets to observe their reaction after handing them their very first library card. I’ve seen screaming, jumping, running, laughter, smiling, all sorts of fun reactions that make me look forward to coming to work every day.
What is your favorite thing about the Main Library Children’s Room?
My favorite thing about the Children’s Room has to be its wonderful collection of juvenile books. There is a humongous variety of awesome books, very rare for a patron to leave this branch with just one book in hand. Browsing the shelves easily turns into a stack of books in your hands. So if you’re ever in the area swing by and check the branch out and don’t forget to say HELLO!
Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?
Lake Merritt is my absolute favorite place to visit. It is the heart of Oakland and a symbol of peace and a great place to spend a day out in the sun.
This is a very difficult question to answer but hands down my favorite book is Dog Breath. Author Dav Pilkey uses humor to tell a heroic story of a special dog named Hally Tosis who has a unique smell. So if you’re curious about Hally’s unique stinky smell and ready to hold your nose, then give this book a try. I give this book two thumps up!
What’s your favorite food?
I am a food fanatic, love eating. As a matter of fact I’m probably eating right now, but there is one plate that seats at the very top of my food pyramid. A grilled Alaskan salmon, with a side of steamed rice marinated in butter. This plate is my weak spot and a very good way to make me your best friend.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in a library?
In summer 2011, OPL partnered with the City of Oakland and the Alameda County Food Bank to provide meals for children during the summer. The craziest thing I’ve ever seen was a line of around 75 hungry children waiting patiently at the Cesar Chavez branch to be served free lunch. This line looped around the entire library, it was a remarkable sight and crazy moment I will never forget.
Thanks Manny! Here's to a long career in Children's Library Services!