By: Gale Biddle
As we walk into our respective libraries, our eyes are flooded with shelves full of books, CD’s, DVD’s, vinyl albums, games, and so many other fantastic items to use. It seems like each day there’s something new. But, did you ever stop and wonder how those items make it to the shelves? Who’s behind the scenes, pulling levers, pressing buttons like the Wizard of Oz,
and making our libraries’ needs and wishes a reality? If you peel back the curtain, you will find it’s awesome people like Anne Belden, Information Resources and Services Support Specialist in the Acquisitions Department, who are responsible.
Anne’s first job at Penn State was working in a hot dog stand at various sporting events. She began working in the libraries as a student in 2007. Then, in August 2012, she became a part of the Monograph Acquisitions Team, which is responsible for purchasing all types of materials. When your library needs a specific book or a vinyl album, it’s Anne and the team who places the order. She says the best part of her job is getting to view all the new titles that come in to the libraries. However, that can be both a blessing and a curse. Seeing so many interesting items has led to checking out so many items, and Anne says she has checked out more than her share. I think many of us can relate!
A native of State College, Anne is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the city, especially during football season. She says she and her family have learned to time grocery shopping trips
during halftime in order to avoid the traffic. But don’t expect to see her cart full of unnecessary items. Anne calls herself “a real cheapskate” and likes to stick to a budget. In fact, she even enjoys creating budgets for her friends. In her free time, Anne enjoys going to the gym, practicing yoga, gardening, and, especially, houseplants. Ironically, the reason that she became so interested in caring for houseplants is because she killed the first plant she was given. From then on, she saw it as a challenge to keep and grow them. Now, her house is full of them. She says her favorite thing is to give and get cuttings from plants because that means “each plant has a story behind it.” Recently, she found a fish tank along the side of a road and has decided to take on the challenge of growing aquatic plants. And if Mother Nature will cooperate this year, she also wants to try her hand at container gardening.
When I asked Anne “What’s the best thing about working for Penn State?”, she echoed what so many others have said before her—the people. She says she’s met a lot of her good friends here. Anne also says that Penn State offers so many activities and opportunities to learn about almost anything. One of her favorite things are the lunchtime presentations where you get a chance to hear from all kinds of people on all kinds of topics.
So, the next time an interesting book on a shelf catches your eye, take time to appreciate the people who bring it to you: Amazing, fun, sweet people like Anne!
Ten Random Questions with Anne Belden:
1. Favorite Color? Pink
2. Last concert you’ve been to? Dolly Parton & Lady Gaga
3. If you were on a desert island, what one thing would you have to have with you? Sunscreen
4. If you could listen to only one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? Can’t pick just one song but anything by Sam Cooke would be great
5. Favorite movie? White Christmas
6. Place you would like to visit that you’ve never been to? Italy for the art
7. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery? Buy a farm and rescue animals
8. Favorite food? Pretzels, especially Snyder’s Snaps
9. Is a hot dog a sandwich? Yes, because it’s between bread
10. What talent do you wish you had? To sing