Meet John Amundsen, Program Officer for Communications and Outreach, Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)
What do you do at ALA?
I’m the program officer for communications and outreach for ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, or ODLOS for short.
What is your favorite library memory?
I remember as a kid learning how to use the brand new OCLC computer card catalog, with its amber screen and everything; I was amazed to find anything I wanted, and so quickly (for 1988); also my local library – Wheaton Public Library in Chicago’s suburbs - had the most mesmerizingly 1970s tri-coppertone striped carpet in the Children’s department.
Why do you think libraries / librarians are important?
As repositories of information for their communities, libraries and the librarians who work in them help people from all walks of life reach their goals, from writing a research paper, finding a great book, starting a new business, looking up local regulations, looking into switching careers, researching colleges, and much more. Besides, I can’t think of any other institution outside of the school system that has such potential to make lives better and help people move forward.
What do you love about your job?
We have an amazing and large group of members from across the profession and dedicated staff members who are dedicated to making libraries, the library profession, and the communities they serve welcoming places for all; I love that I have a small part in their very important work.
What is something cool you’ve accomplished lately at ALA?
We’ve just launched Intersections, our new blog that gives librarians a platform to share their stories highlighting equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries and the library profession. BTW, we’re always looking for contributors!
What do you like to do outside of ALA?
I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, buying gadgets I don’t need, traveling with my lovely girlfriend, visiting microbreweries, and occasionally nurturing my guilty pleasure – model railroading. I know, I’m a grown person.
What are you reading?
Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt
What are you watching?
Westworld, Sherlock (series 4), Victoria, Bob’s Burgers, old UK sitcoms (Black Books, the IT Crowd)
What are you listening to?
Lots of podcasts, including The Bugle, NPR Politics, and Crimetown, among others…
This episode for me really highlighted and then in its dramatic finale brought to an extreme the use of perspective that Rebecca Sugar has often talked about during panels. In her rare appearances, we are almost always looking up at Rose Quartz, or she is leaning down and over our POV - be it Pearl kneeling before her hologram in Rose’s Scabbard
or Greg on a number of occasions during the early days of their relationship (We Need To Talk is a really interesting watch with regards to camera angles and how they change - Greg literally climbs a stack of crates during his attempt at communication and, well, seeing eye to eye)
or Garnet after her fateful fall in The Answer
or, hey, Buddy Buddwick collapsed in the desert in Buddy’s Book
She even has magical floating powers.
It all fits, of course, with the entire running theme of the (unattainable/unmaintainable) pedestal. And even when she is not directly present, and even when it’s not the focus of the shot, her portrait can be seen overlooking the familiar setting of the beach house.