We sent out a brief, fun survey about libraries to all of the nominees running in the 2017 Edmonton civic election to help you get to better know your candidates.
These are the answers that Tish Prouse from Ward 6 sent back to us.
1. What is your favourite library memory or experience?
When I was a young boy, we made weekly trips to the library. My favourite experience was at the Southgate library, when in the mall in the basement.
Every spring (possibly summer; actually, it makes more sense that it was over the summer) they had a reading contest, and posted a chart of all the children registered and how many books they read for the period.
One year, I remember reading almost as many as the winner, and I felt really good about myself, because I was quite a distracted reader as a child, and didn’t finish many books.
2. What is your favourite book, movie or song right now?
My favourite book right now is probably Umberto Eco’s Baudolino. Very well written, and such a good weaving of history with fiction.
My favourite song is undoubtedly “Song to the Moon” by Dvorak and performed by the great Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.
My favourite movie would most likely be Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, because Steve Martin is so funny in it, and I am a fan of Michael Caine.
3. What magazines, newspapers, blogs, Twitter accounts and/or podcasts do you follow?
I follow the Edmonton Journal, The Globe and Mail, the American Journal of Archaeology, Edmonton Business, and various Twitter accounts of people, mostly involved in some way with our city’s urban culture.
4. Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?
It used to be Indiana Jones. However, since my life is much different than it was 10 years ago, when I was still in Central Asia most of the time excavating, I’m not sure which fictional character I most relate to.
Probably The Man in the Yellow Hat, from Curious George, because my young son is in the process of learning all sorts of basic things that I take for granted knowing, and he amazes me when he presents solutions other than those I thought of, and gives me such pride when he celebrates learning something new.
5. What is one book you think everyone should read and why?
Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success. It is almost 100 years old and contains great wisdom on how to organize oneself, how to control one’s mind from random thoughts and keep focused, and how to overcome adversity by taking small, daily steps to improve one’s life.
6. What book is on your nightstand (or on your eReader or tablet) right now?
How Children Fail by John Holt, and Early Travels in Palestine edited by Thomas Wright.
7. Election Day (October 16) is also Boss' Day. Who was your very first boss and what was your job? What was one important lesson you learned from them?
My first boss was someone who ran the delivery schedule at the Edmonton Examiner; I delivered papers and flyers.
I learned that delivering papers in the middle of winter twice a week for 10 cents a paper with a red wagon in tow was a crummy job for the amount of time invested and the payment received and the discomfort endured, and that I wanted to make sure to develop skills and knowledge so that I had a choice of what I could do when I was older.
8. What role do you see EPL playing in a thriving and vibrant Edmonton?
The EPL plays the role of community learning centre. They offer programs for little children and teenagers. They provide a place for groups to meet, parents to mingle while their children play and learn, the tools to access information and the resources to provide otherwise inaccessible knowledge to everyone without discrimination in our city.
I very much see that role as maintaining in the near future. I am always impressed with the list of programs and options that the library presents to us citizens, and I believe that a hallmark of a great city is robust public institutions, like libraries and museums, as they can celebrate our past, help us understand our present and show us the possibilities of a bright future.