In the News

Short Story: Meet Ashman Shelving Page Michelle Gustafson

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in New Jersey and received my B.A. and master’s degrees in English on the East Coast. My only sibling is my identical twin sister, Cynthia. I met my husband, Dan, in grad school and we moved to Madison for his Ph.D in Psychology, which was sponsored by the Air Force. After that, we moved around on military assignment for the next 10 years, during which time we had three children. Our last station was in Aviano, Italy, located right on the foot of the Dolomites mountain range. It was a beautiful place to live for three years. However, we loved our time in Madison so much that we moved back here to raise our children, even though our families are on opposite coasts! Our three boys are Jack, 19; Will, 17; and Ben, 13.

How long have you been working at the library? What is your position?

I am a Shelving Page at the Alicia Ashman Library. I’ve been with the library going on eight years now. I’m responsible for pre-sorting library materials, shelving and keeping all those materials organized! Out on the floor, I also help patrons locate materials. I love being able to take care of the books, and therefore, the library feels great.

What is the best thing that happened to you in the last year?

This past summer we were able to bring our extended families, including the kids’ godparents, to a long weekend at some beachside cabins along Lake Delton. It was very relaxing, and a wonderful time to reconnect.

What are some of the most interesting jobs you had prior to working at the library?

I was a high school English teacher in Sun Prairie for six years. One of my favorite parts of my job was that I was able to train other teachers as a Mentor Teacher through the UW School of Education.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I have been in the Madison Community Orchestra for the past 10 years, where I play the flute. Additionally, I tutor and give flute lessons through my home. I also provide Classroom Management trainings. And, of course, I’m always organizing life with a large family.

What do you like to read?

I love reading cookbooks! I equate them to being memoirs or agendas of the authors, so that as you read them, you can really build a sense of who the author really is. And, of course, the pictures of delicious food. As much as I love reading them, it hasn’t really translated yet into turning me into a fabulous cook!

What are two items on your bucket list?

1. Go back to Central America and wind my way through all the countries.
2. I have always wanted to adopt children when we begin to build our family.

Michelle Gustafson

Library Website