Meet Morgen of the Synapse Team!

In this blog series, we're introducing members of the Library's Synapse Team. Today, we're excited to introduce you to Morgen from El Rio Library.

What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?

Cuddling my doodle Finn ALWAYS helps. And depending on the situation, I will make it a point to either spend quality time with someone close to me or take some quiet time to be alone and process and/or heal. Listening to music I love and cozying up with a book (ideally under my weighted blanket) helps boost my mood as well- long story short, doing something comforting and cozy!

What’s a common piece of advice you don’t agree with and why?

I don’t agree with the (mostly) well-intentioned reminder from individuals not battling mental health challenges that we can all “choose to be happy”. I find this phrase quite toxic, as many of us have brain and body chemistries that quite simply don’t allow us to make that choice and it can make one feel like there's something wrong with oneself. If only things were as easy as "choosing happy"!

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

A close friend from college once told me that none of us ever HAVE to do anything- at the end of the day, the only person one owes anything to is oneself. I also recently read the statement “NO is a complete sentence”, and it profoundly resonated with me. I am trying to learn to protect myself and my peace more successfully; empathy without boundaries can be self-destructive, and both of these pieces of advice have definitely helped me work on this goal.

What energizes you at work? What kinds of activities energize you in general?

One of the many things I am energized by at work is the excitement and happiness I see in patrons who have found their perfect next read. The other day while working at the Main Library, I recommended a few titles to a young woman interested in thrillers and horror while she waited for her holds to come in, and a few moments later I saw her run up to her boyfriend and announce, “I GOT THEM BOTH!” with so much joy, it was infectious! In my private life, I am most energized by spending time with my loved ones, playing with my dog, reading at a cute café, and/or taking a peaceful moment alone to recharge.

What’s a small act of kindness you were once shown that you’ll never forget?

Once when I was in middle school, I rode my bike to the store to buy a card for my dad, an Army officer, who had just accomplished a major milestone at work. When I got to the register and the cashier rang me up, it turned out I was short a dollar or two. The man behind me in line overheard my interaction with the cashier and purchased the card for me, explaining that he would love his kids to write him a card, and so he wanted to pay it forward by getting mine. I almost cried on the spot, I was so touched!

Who is your hero? Why?

I am beyond fortunate to have several individuals in my life whom I consider to be heroes, most notably my parents. But one special hero to me is my late grandmother, Coralee Schellie, who was a beloved school librarian for many years in the Amphi school district here in Tucson. She was unbelievably kind and smart and brave, and I aspire to be just like her “when I grow up”! Her love and influence inspired me to become a librarian, and I am so happy to have finally realized that dream this summer with PCPL. I hope she knows that I am working to follow in her footsteps, somewhere, somehow!

Where would you be right now if you had zero obligations and money didn’t matter?

I think the better question would be, “Where wouldn’t I be?” I would love to spend some time just traveling around the globe without a care in the world—living in hotels, sightseeing and adventuring, café-hopping and reading, dining out, etc. Ideally, I would set off on this adventure with family, friends, and/or my partner. My first stop would be Tokyo, Japan!

What motivates you most to come to work?

It’s hard to pinpoint the aspect that motivates me the most, as I am truly excited to come in every day knowing each one holds the possibility for an opportunity to do good and show up for our community. Public libraries made all the difference for me as the permanently “new kid in town” growing up as we moved a ton, and I hope to provide the same safe space vibes for others in turn. Also, our team at El Rio Library is so kind and lovely, which makes coming to work feel like spending the day with friends!

What books would you like to share with us today?

Here are a few of my all-time favorites, in no particular order. They don’t have anything to do with mental health, I just have loved them over the years!


A Prayer for Owen Meany

The Count of Monte Cristo