Getting to Know You: Dawn Oswald

By: Gale Biddle

Have you ever met someone for the first time and you just knew that you were going to like them? Dawn Oswald is that kind of person. I met her at a Tech Liaison Retreat a few weeks ago,
and it didn’t take long to see that she’s a fun and nice person. So, I was very happy when she agreed to do this interview. I expected the interview to be fun, and Dawn didn’t disappoint.

Dawn is the Information Resources and Services Supervisor/Manager at the Penn State York campus. Initially, she began working part-time, and in September 2002, she became the
manager. Her job entails supervising the staff and Circulation area and overseeing the daily operations of the library. Since it’s a small staff at her library, she needs to be a “jack of
all trades,” meaning she needs to be well versed in multiple systems, such as Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, and even Course Reserves, and the procedures and policies for each.

Raised in the small town of Havre De Grace, Maryland, which is located at the mouth of the Susquehanna River and the top of the Chesapeake Bay, Dawn graduated and went on to a school outside of Boston. She majored in Clothing and Textiles, which led her to a 10-year career in costume design. For a time, she worked in a regional theater in Connecticut where some future stars would go to try out shows before they made it to the big time. It was a lot of work, especially dealing with directors, managers, and the artists themselves, but she enjoyed it. Although she may have technically left the costume design world behind, it still sometimes finds its way to her. When Dawn’s daughter was recently in a play, she may have volunteered her mom to create a costume for Cinderella!

Speaking of family, Dawn is married to Joel, an 8th grade math teacher. Together, they have 2 children—a daughter, Corinne, and a son, Christian. They also have 2 rescue cats named Terry
and Mordecai. But family can be more than just those genetically related to you. The best part of being at Penn State for Dawn is the family she’s made with her co-workers. Especially with a
small staff, she says it’s almost impossible not to get involved in each other’s lives. Just like our own family, there are good days and some, well, less than great days. But in the end, it’s that family-like bond with a little bit of humor thrown in that makes it all worth it.

For fun, Dawn likes to play mini golf, cook, cheer for the Steelers, read, and sew. But do you know what is her favorite hobby? Napping. She loves a good nap and will take one wherever
and whenever she can. Sitting up. Laying down. It doesn’t matter. Any place is a good place for a nap. So, if you ever get the chance to meet Dawn, be sure to say hello. You won’t regret it. But if she happens to be napping, let her sleep.

Ten Random Questions with Dawn Oswald:
1. Favorite Color? Purple
2. Best gift you ever received? A George Seurat mug
3. If you deserted on an island, what one item would you have to have with you? A pillow!
4. Is a hot dog a sandwich? Yes
5. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? “Sentimental Reasons” by Sam Cooke
6. Talent you wished you had? To be able to sing opera
7. Favorite food? Maryland steamed crabs
8. Favorite movie? The Sound of Music
9. Caramel—pronounced like care-a-mel or car-mel? Care-a-mel
10. If you could trade places with any person for a day, who would it be? My husband–he seems organized and ready, and I would love to experience that!