In a revival of our once-popular “Get to Know Us” blog posts, I caught up with Princeton Public Library building monitor Manny Diaz for an interview. Manny works part time making sure the building, staff, and customers are safe. If you visit the library during the evening or on the weekend you’ve probably seen him around!
Q: How long have you worked at PPL?
MD: Going on eight years.
Q: What is your favorite part of working at the library?
MD: Let’s see. Apart from having all the information and technology I could possibly want or need at my fingertips.. I enjoy the different customs/cultures that visit PPL daily. I enjoy the programs that are offered to the community. I have learned so much about how an institution of this size operates. But above it all is the laughter of the children – priceless.
Q: If you had to pick a favorite floor which would it be?
MD: All of them. They are unique within themselves. Laughter, crying and teen drama on three. Studying, research and eccentric clientele on two. And the first floor – what can I say – films, programs and information seekers, along with excited children entering. Again, priceless.
Q: Did you use the library growing up?
MD: Yes. But not at this level. I used the library when I needed to. We are definitely in different times; there was a lot of shushing back then… Shhhhh!
Q: What are you most likely to be doing on your days off?
MD: Being retired I have a lot of days off. I spend my time catching up on current events both local and worldwide and walking with Nochi (my Boxer). In an attempt to stay fit I play a lot of basketball and other sports as well.
Q: What was the last item you checked out? Was it any good?
MD: Right now I have a documentary checked out that was suggested to me: “The House I Live In.” I haven’t watched it yet.
Q: Tell us one surprising fact about yourself.
MD: I retired in 2005 as a Senior Parole Officer for New Jersey. I am an expert marksman with handguns and long guns as well as a certified New Jersey State firearms instructor. I worked as a senior investigator for the Special Investigations Unit at the New Jersey State Parole Board. I finished my career in law enforcement with the New Jersey/New York fugitive task force, locating violent criminals and executing arrest warrants. There is much more, but I don’t want to bore you!