My name is Paul Stonebridge. I am a reference librarian and teen programmer for the Pasco County Librarian System (http://www.pascolibraries.org
). I started here in January of 2005 at the New River Branch Library in Zephyrhills, FL (yes, the same place the bottled water comes from). I have a Bachelor's in Pyschology with some Medieval History tacked on for good measure, as well as my trusty MLIS. All of these lovely educational achievements were attained at the University of South Florida.
Aside from the library work and teen programming, I am a man of many interests. I teach medieval European-style swordfighting, both stage combat and the real, martial arts variety. In keeping with the swordfighting motif, I am also into historical re-enactment and Renaissance festivals. Costumes are expensive, so I tend to make my own, as well as chain and leather armor. In the past few years, I have been a heavy metal DJ on an FM radio station and I still support the local music scene. Radio makes for some interesting perspectives.
Travel is probably my biggest passion in my personal life. I have been across a good chunk of the globe at this point and try to go to at least one new locale every year. Asia, specifically Japan, is my top cultural choice. I have spent the most time in Japan and plan to return there this August for about three weeks. In late October, I will also be visiting Romania for the first time. Let's hear it for new EU countries!
I use my experience with Japanese and Asian culture to lecture on modern Japan in a number of settings, including library programs, school outreach, and Friends of the Library groups. I love to lay out a selection of Asian foods and make the audience taste them. It's absolutely hysterical to watch a 7-year-old girl try things that a grown man will not. Pickled squid, anyone? The same goes for a swordfighting show and a pirate show that I have developed (no Asian food here, though).
I believe that leadership can take many forms, but there is a distinct difference between leadership and management. Leaders take us forward. Managers keep things together that the leaders have created in their wake.