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Veronica Escamilla-Brady Photo
Veronica Escamilla-Brady

Veronica Escamilla-Brady, Business Manager

What is your favorite book/podcast/movie?

I have so many books (especially audiobooks), podcasts, and movies that are my “favorite” so instead of giving my favorite, I will plug one of my new finds. Significant Others: A History Podcast narrated and written by Liza Powel O’Brien (yep, that O’Brien) has been a fascinating listen about the folks outside the spotlight of their famous counterparts (not only spouses). I just finished the episode about Kasturba Gandhi (yeah, that Gandhi) and highly recommend it as an introduction to the series.

Oh, and I cannot mention podcasts without giving a shout-out to one of my other favorite podcasts (is there a character limit to these things?!) Handsome. Handsome podcast is hosted by Tig Notaro, Fortune Feimster, and Mae Martin. The hosts catch up each week and answer a question posed by one of their mostly famous friends. I highly recommend starting at episode one. The goofs build upon themselves, and I can’t wait to listen to it each week. It’s a new podcast so you won’t have a huge backlog, so savor or devour as you will.

What is your favorite project you have worked on in your career?

I was lucky to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, to be chosen as the founding executive director of a non-profit community makerspace. I learned everything from 3D printing and operating a CNC Router to embroidery and screen printing. I taught so many people how to podcast, edit audio and video, and connect people to funding sources so they could get investments for further R&D, a small business loan…it was a blast. There were many tears shed when I had multiple 3D printing failures, but it was amazing to help people learn to use this technology. One memory that stands out was a young person (maybe 15) who came in for weeks refining a design that eventually turned into a pill cutter that would cut a pill in half with very little pressure. He made this for his great-grandmother.

How did you start working in libraries?

I took a part-time job in circ in a public library. Back when Vine was a thing, I would post overhead videos of my hands as I sorted materials for shelving. #everythingiscontent???

What is something we can’t know by looking at you?

I have a ‘”weird” (that’s a direct quote from my neurologist) neurological issue that impacts my day-to-day, called Phantosmia, which is the perception of smells that aren’t actually present. This is particularly alarming when my sense of smell alerts me to smoke, but there’s no fire (my eyes water, I sneeze, the whole nine yards.) And it’s really annoying when everything smells and therefore tastes like chocolate for over a week…ever had a chocolate-flavored lasagna or toothpaste, 0/10, do not recommend. The smells, tastes, duration, and side effects vary a great deal. I’m usually game to chat about phantosmia, so ask away. I’ve only met one other person with phantosmia and we were both excited to share our most memorable episodes with each other.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

“Secure your own air mask first.” I received this on my first flight from Texas to Washington when I was 7, and while it’s practical in a plane, the metaphor is one I often come back to, especially in recent years. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish–it’s necessary for your own well-being and enables you to be the best version of yourself for your own sake and the sake of others.