When Barbara Rice is not busy at work as branch manager at Martha Washington Library, you can probably find her at the local movie theatre or near a television watching a film. After all, her second love is movies. Rice said she has too many favorites to list but “Young Frankenstein” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” were at the top of her list. Rice talks about her role at Martha Washington and what the library is doing to promote reading in the area.
Why did you decide to become a librarian?
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved libraries and reading. I remember my mom reading Dr. Seuss books to me before I even old enough to go to school and how I thought the library was the best place on earth because there were so many books to read.
How did you get where you are today?
I started as a Special Librarian with the University of Tennessee in Nashville. While I was there I began to volunteer at my local public library and loved it so much that I found a job as the Library Director for a small library system in east Tennessee. While I was there I met my husband. When he got a job offer in DC I moved up here with him.
How many years have you been director?
I have been the Branch Manager at the Martha Washington Community Library for nine years.
What is the best part about your job?
Working with a truly amazing group of people. I couldn't think of a better place to work than Fairfax County Public Library.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Not being able to find an answer to a customer's question.
Books you would recommend and why?
This is tricky since reading likes and dislikes vary from person to person. What I would do is ask someone several questions about subject matter and what other authors they like to make a recommendation.
What are you doing to promote reading in your area?
Each year FCPL promotes the Summer Reading Program. Library staff visit schools shortly before the summer break to 'book talk' to the students and get them interested in reading all summer long, with incentives if they read 15 books. We also have four book groups that meet monthly for our adult readers at Martha Washington. Each book group focuses on a different genre such as non-fiction, fiction, mystery and poetry.
There are so many movies that I could name but if I had to pick one it would be “Young Frankenstein” with “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” a close second.
Favorite local restaurant?
That's easy, Corduroy in DC across the street from the Convention
Favorite thing to do on weekends?
Spend time with my husband and our dog, Sophie.
Best part about Alexandria?
Being so close to Washington DC.