Marcelle Mentor

| November 2, 2010

Parlor games were quite popular during the Victorian era.  One such game involved recording your answers to various questions about your personality, preferences, faults and opinions. Of course this shouldn’t surprise – people like to share things about themselves: remember the 25 random things about me fad on Facebook? I suppose the mere existence of Facebook at all is proof. Though Marcel Proust did not originate this idea, or even formulate any of the questions himself, his name has become attached to the questionnaire that he famously answered. This questionnaire has been used repeatedly as an interview technique on television and in print, with Vanity Fair publishing a celebrity’s responses to the questionnaire every month.

In the spirit of getting to know one another and divulging personal information, every few days, a library staff member will be answer some questions about him or herself so you can become more familiar with us (beyond asking how to find books).   Though we won’t be answering the original Proust questionnaire you will get to know a little bit more about us.

First up is Marcelle Mentor. You have probably seen Marcel’s smiling face behind the publishing bar in the second floor reading room, or at the circulation desk on weeknights.  Here are her answers to the librarian questionnaire:

Are you a student here, and, if so, what are you studying?

Yes, Ph.D. in English Education.

Where is your hometown?

Cape Town, South Africa

Where do you currently live?

Washington Heights

How long have you been working at the library?

Since 2007.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A nurse.

What was your first job?

Working for Frito-Lay in a supermarket (as a teenager) packing chips into shelves.

What has been your best job?

Teaching at an all boys’ school for 5 years.

What’s your favorite thing to do at the library?

Sleep on the bear on the 2nd floor.

Best place to read?

The comfy chairs on the 2nd floor

Favorite authors or books?

Memoirs / Life tales

Are you a morning or night person?

Morning (ish)

A song you love no matter how many times you hear it?

Sumthin’ Sumthin’ (Maxwell)

A book you strongly recommend:

No Future Without Forgiveness – Desmond Tutu

(Editor’s note: available in the 5th floor loft!)

A country you’d like to visit:


The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen was…

How fast teenage boys can suck up free burgers and fries…!

Most fascinating person I’ve ever met was…

Desmond Tutu

I’m most proud of…

my folks…for allowing me to grow up.

Thanks Marcelle for sharing!  If you would like to get in on the act, you can answer the proust questionnaire (and also compare your answers to celebrities’ responses) here or create a questionnaire for your friends to answer here.  And, if you would like to know more about Marcelle, just ask the next time you see her!