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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Skinny Dip with Vicki Palmquist

Rice Lake Carnegie Library

Rice Lake Carnegie Library

What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self?

A good many things, but most emphat­i­cal­ly I would tell myself to not lis­ten to the com­ments about being too smart or show­ing off by using big words or being too curi­ous. I have always enjoyed learn­ing about new things and shar­ing what I’ve learned. I love dis­cussing ideas and unknown-to-me cor­ners of the world and peo­ple who have accom­plished great things and shown great imag­i­na­tion. In hind­sight, my 10-year-old self would have found more joy in school and in life with­out accept­ing those lim­i­ta­tions. “To thine own self be true” is some­thing I’ve learned to live by, but it’s tak­en many years.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Start my own busi­ness in part­ner­ship with my hus­band. There’s the work­ing-with-your-hus­band aspect twen­ty-four/­sev­en, which I’m hap­py to say has been reward­ing and enliven­ing. Being in busi­ness (which was always anath­e­ma to me when I was in my teens and twenties—I may have coined the term “suits”) has been a process of con­tin­u­al­ly rein­vent­ing our­selves, keep­ing ahead of the changes in a rapid­ly glob­al­iz­ing world, and learn­ing every sin­gle day. Most of all, it’s been the kind of chal­lenge I’ve need­ed for the past 27 years.

From what pub­lic library did you get your first card?

The Rice Lake Pub­lic Library in Rice Lake, Wis­con­sin. I was ten. I could ride my bike there dur­ing the sum­mers when I vis­it­ed my grand­par­ents. They gave me a wick­er bike bas­ket for my birth­day in June. I rode to the library every oth­er day and filled up that bas­ket with new trea­sures. It was a Carnegie library, upon a hill, with the adult col­lec­tion upstairs and the children’s col­lec­tion down­stairs. We weren’t allowed to go upstairs. Who knows what trou­ble we might have got­ten into!

Did your ele­men­tary school have a librar­i­an?

I adored my ele­men­tary school librar­i­an at Ethel Bas­ton in Saint Louis Park, Min­neso­ta. I don’t think I ever knew her name. Is that pos­si­ble? She always had a new book to rec­om­mend when I ran out of steam. I remem­ber read­ing the Box­car Chil­dren books, rac­ing through the mys­ter­ies, and the Land­mark His­to­ry books. When I’d fin­ished all of them, she had won­der­ful new sug­ges­tions. In sixth grade, our librar­i­an and my teacher, Mr. Gor­don Rausch, cooked up a scav­enger hunt in the library, ask­ing us all kinds of ques­tions that could only be found in spe­cif­ic books in that library. It was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever par­tic­i­pat­ed in. Then and there, I decid­ed that I would become a librar­i­an, too. I’m not but I do have a minor in library sci­ence.

What’s on your night­stand?

My Kin­dle. A clock radio that plays inter­net sta­tions. It’s on all night, play­ing jazz or clas­si­cal music. A beau­ti­ful coral rose that a friend brought me today.  Samu­rai Ris­ing, a new book by Pamela S. Turn­er and Gareth Hinds. The Most Impor­tant Thing by Avi. Grayling’s Song by Karen Cush­man. I’m a very lucky woman—I have to read for my job!


11 Responses to Skinny Dip with Vicki Palmquist

  1. Tracy Kampa September 17, 2015 at 6:29 am #

    Thanks, Vic­ki! That was delight­ful!

    • Vicki Palmquist September 17, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      Why, thank you, Tra­cy! You know libraries, and librar­i­ans, are a part of my heart.

  2. Joanne Toft September 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    Very nice — always read­ing ahead. Nice to have an ear­ly peak into new books com­ing out. What fun!

    • Vicki Palmquist September 18, 2015 at 8:51 am #

      You’re such an avid read­er, mod­el­ing read­ing to SO many young peo­ple, Joanne!

  3. Joanne Anderson Reisberg September 17, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    Vic­ki, I can envi­sion that wick­er bas­ket full of books as you flew down the street. What a fun child­hood mem­o­ry.

    • Vicki Palmquist September 18, 2015 at 8:53 am #

      The bas­ket is still in our garage, Joanne. I see it every time I get out of the car. It brings back many good mem­o­ries. Dis­cov­er­ing books is one of the best adven­tures!

  4. April Halprin Wayland September 18, 2015 at 1:17 am #

    Hey, Vic­ki! Thanks for pulling back the veil on part of your life so we can get to know you bet­ter. You sound very hap­py. Isn’t aging great!?!

    • Vicki Palmquist September 18, 2015 at 8:54 am #

      I like feel­ing wis­er, April. There’s a peace and con­tent­ment about hav­ing more under­stand­ing and empa­thy. But there’s so much left to learn! And read …

  5. April Halprin Wayland September 18, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    Hey, Vic­ki! Thanks for pulling back the veil on part of your life so we can get to know you bet­ter. You sound very hap­py. Isn’t aging great?!?

  6. David LaRochelle September 18, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    I think you DID become a librar­i­an, Vic­ki. You have cer­tain­ly intro­duced good books to thou­sands of peo­ple through your work. And do you real­ly keep the radio play­ing all night?

    • Vicki Palmquist September 19, 2015 at 5:03 am #

      Well, we do orga­nize books on our shelves by Dewey Dec­i­mal, David, so per­haps you’re right. 🙂 And, yes, we keep the radio on 247 here. Thank you for being a Bookol­o­gy read­er!

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