The Children’s Department warmly welcomes Victoria’s answers to our interview questions. Please take some time and read about Victoria’s job, her love of the library, and her favorite books! At the end of the interview you will find a link to Victoria’s favorite childhood book if you would like to check it out!
What is your name?
What is your job title and where do you work?
I am the Production Inventory Coordinator at Pizzo Native Plant Nursery.
What do you do for a living?
I care for native plants, which are species that have lived in Illinois for thousands of years. I water, weed, and prune them just like one would do in their own yard, as well do experiments on them to help us grow them better.
If someone is interested in your line of work, what should they do to achieve their desired outcome? Is there a certain field of study or certain experiences that they should strive for?
Spending time in nature with a field guide is the gateway to becoming a botanist! You can go to school for horticulture, botany, or ecology, but the career path is so flexible that as long as you understand plants, in many cases a formal education is not required.
With regards to your work, what is the most amazing or exciting thing you have ever discovered, learned, or created?
I have gotten to grow endangered species, seen rare bugs and birds that are attracted to our plants, helped raise and tag monarch butterflies, seen world famous landscape designers speak, but the most amazing thing to me is always how exciting it is to spread the knowledge that I have to someone else. You can see them light up when they learn to identify a new plant or realize that their garden has helped to feed a rare bird.
What are your hobbies? Do you like comic books, manga, music, scifi? Sewing or art? Tell us what you like!
I have always enjoyed reading with fantasy, graphic novels, and nonfiction being my preferred genres. Crocheting, painting, Dungeons and Dragons, and writing have also been long term hobbies; they keep me busy in the winter when I don’t have anything to do in my garden!
Tell us something fun about yourself! A silly story, a fun thing you have done, or something you are proud of… what would you like the children and families of DeKalb to know?
Sometimes, I get so focused on what I am doing that I miss extremely obvious details. I was watering some plants at my school’s greenhouse and was being so mindful that each pot got water, that I completely missed a pile of my classmate’s coats sitting right next to the plants. Several ended up getting quite wet, and it was an especially cold day. It took me a while to live that one down.
Do you have a favorite section in the library to read or find books? What is your favorite memory of time spent in the library?
Is the entire library an option? I think that one of the wonders of a library is that in just a few thousand square feet, you can have reliable, entertaining, and thought provoking knowledge spanning nearly every field that is available to you whenever you want it at any reading level. Flitting throughout all of the sections, searching for something you have never heard about, is always an adventure. I do not see the value in only going to one section! That being said, once I have gathered my books, I love to read in the lobby for a little bit before I go home-partly because of the gorgeous windows, and partly because I enjoy the people watching.
I adored all of the tween and teen events that the library held when I was younger. I attended every single one that I could, but my favorite was when we got to read book summaries and help chose which ones the library would purchase while eating pizza.
Please list your favorite book (or books!) from when you were a child. Why did you love this book so much and how old were you when you read it?
When I was maybe ten or so, I went thrift shopping with my grandmother and found an old copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The edges of the pages were blue, and that made it special and rare to me. I would read and reread certain stories so many times and then imagine what I would do if I was in those situations. A world where magic existed, animals could talk, and there were great heroes was so much better than our ordinary world to me.
What genre do you like to read now that you are an adult? Do you have a favorite author?
I read bits of everything now, because everything is endlessly fascinating to me. I would be lying, however, if I did not say that fantasy is still one of my favorite things to read. Erin Morgenstern is my current favorite author; she describes her worlds so vividly it is like I am living there.
If families want to see the work that you have done or read a book or research paper that you have written, where would they go to view your work?
I occasionally post my artwork and nature pictures to my instagram at instagram.com/celestialsnakes/
Thank you again, Victoria, for taking the time to talk to us!
If you would like to check out Victoria’s favorite book as a child, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, please see the following links or e-books:
Or you can contact the library for curbside pickup of a physical book! Click here to read about how curbside pickup works.