In our ongoing series of blog posts highlighting our awesome staff throughout the Free Library of Philadelphia, today we take some time to speak with Marvin DeBose - Haverford Library Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian.
Marvin has been on the "In the Margins Book Review & Award Committee (ALA-ASCLA - LSYC)" for four years. The committee's mission is to seek out and highlight fiction and nonfiction titles (Pre-K through adult level) of high-interest appeal to boys or girls, ages 9-21, who may fit into one or all of the following categories:
- Multicultural (primarily African American, Latino, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+)
- Street culture
- Restrictive custody
- Reluctant readers
He is also a sought after speaker on the genre of Street Lit and Teen & Adult Programming, and reviews books and discuss library-related events on his personal blog, MrPhillyLibrarian.Blogspot.com.
What is your role with the Free Library of Philadelphia?
I serve as the Branch Manager & Adult Teen Librarian at Haverford Library at 56th & Haverford Avenue inWest Philly. I have worked at the Free Library since 2004, first as a Library Trainee through the “Growing our Own” program where I was able to receive my Master Degree at Clarion University. Before coming to the Free Library, I worked with inner city youth at Philadelphia Department of Recreation. In total, I have been employed by the City of Philadelphia for over 21 years.
What do you wish more people knew about the library where you work?
Our staff really takes pride in brainstorming program ideas to better serve the needs of our community.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
Working with seniors in the community, because they have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom to offer. Many times, the Seniors are forgotten at the library but they are some of our most involved patrons. I really enjoy creating programs catered to them such as the Jazz, Chat & Chew, Senior Read Too Book Club, Urban Gardening, and my most successful program Philly Bop Dance Class.
What are you currently reading/watching?
I’m currently reading Philadelphia Politics from the Bottom Up – The Life of William McMullen by Harry C. Silcox, which discusses 19th century Philadelphia and an influential Irish politician who represented poor neighborhoods in South Philly. As far as television, I’m watching the new season of the Starz series, Power.
Where’s your favorite place to read in Philly?
I love to read on my patio at my house or in my car; it has to be outside and somewhere quiet where I can concentrate.
Do you have a favorite librarian or other Free Library staff member at your neighborhood library you think we should shine a spotlight on? Let us know in the comments!