Please enjoy this interview with one of the Librarians of Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries: Joshua Everett!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Joshua Everett (Josh is fine), I’m the librarian for Anthropology, Sociology, and Area Studies (Latin American and Islamic Studies in particular). I am a new addition to the library (as of November 2019), so I’m learning a lot about Hopkins, its students, the departments I work with, and a lot more.
Tell us a little about your background.
I grew up in a variety of places, but have spent most of my life in the West. I came to the east coast just for my position as a librarian.
This job is kind of a miracle for me. I lived in Brazil for a few years before going to school where I studied Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic with a minor in Sociology (thus, Latin American and Islamic Studies, and Sociology). As such, I speak Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic – although all of them are probably a bit rusty. I also have a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, and in the past few years I went back to school to get my Masters of Library and Information Science. Finding a position at such a great institution that seemed tailor-made for my background was amazing. So, until a job opens up in the history of Star Wars, comic books, punk rock, and soda, I can’t think of anything that suits me better.
What is part of your job that people may not know about?
Perhaps this is pertains more to librarianship in general than to my job in particular, but as a librarian there is a ton of flexibility in terms of what you do. There are librarians that focus just on specific subjects (like I do), others that write code and deal with technology, others still focus on data, maps, negotiating prices/subscriptions, and much more. No matter what you love, you can carve out a niche for yourself in the world of libraries.
What’s the best part about being a librarian?
Don’t tell anyone, but being a librarian doesn’t feel much like work to me. Obviously, there are some days that do more than others, but for the most part I’m researching stuff that piques my curiosity, helping people find things, teaching, and working with others. I enjoy all of that and so I sometimes leave work feeling guilty as if I didn’t do enough, only to realize on second reflection that I did a lot it just didn’t feel like work.
What is your favorite hobby?
When it comes to hobbies I have two problems. Problem #1: I’m curious about everything. “Problem” #2: I’ve got amazing kids that demand a lot of attention (which I love). When I had more free time I spent it doing linocut printmaking, writing, baking, and 3D printing. I would also love to take art classes, write/draw comic books, do woodworking, grow a garden, take care of camels, brew my own soda, ride bikes, exercise, focus on learning more languages, traveling, building a busker organ, old fashioned automata, toys, and puppets, carving wood, foraging for wild grown food, tending fruit trees, beekeeping, and so much more (see Problem #1). Until I find a time turner or more hours in the day, I’m completely satisfied hanging with the family and trying to sneak in a project here and there.
You have to eat the same thing every day for the rest of your life. What is it?
Assuming that in this hypothetical there are no negative impacts on one’s health, I’d choose mac and cheese and Coca-Cola. I once had a mac and cheese with lobster and pork belly. I still have dreams about it.
If you could choose a fictional character as a best friend, who would it be and why?
I think this question is really hard! I am thinking through all sorts of comic books and novels and there are plenty of powerful characters that I wish I could take advantage of, but that’s not really what friends do, right? Like, I’d love to be friends with the likes of Harry Potter or Ron Weasley for their magic, but it doesn’t give me any magic, does it? I guess in the end I might go for Kermit the Frog. He’s funny and supportive and down to earth. I think we’d get along.
Beach or Mountains? Why?
Mountains. Cool, fresh air. Plenty to explore.
What show have you binge watched recently?
I recently finished binging “Locke and Key” and Netflix. It is a family-friendly(ish) spooky story that focuses on a family who, after the murder of their husband/father, moves back to his childhood home only to discover that there are magical shenanigans afoot. It is based on a comic book published by IDW and written by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son – he even makes a cameo at the end of the series). I really like horror, mystery, suspense, and the like, but I have found that works aimed at adults in this genre have gotten to be gratuitous for the sake of gratuity. They aim for shock value and it often detracts from story. As such, I like things that are a bit more restrained or aimed at a family audience. My favorite show of all time is the Twilight Zone, but I’ve also got a soft spot for similar shows like Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and more.
Will you please draw a picture of yourself to include with your profile?
You’re a professional athlete, what is your sport?
Soccer. Arsenal FC. No question. Gooner ‘til I die – whether I like it or not.