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Small Cover ImageRecently I’ve been watching The History Channel’s hit show Vikings.  Currently in its second season, the show is inspired by the legendary tales of the ninth century Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.  Watch a recap of season 1 below:

I typically enjoy historical dramas, but I’m always left wondering just how historically accurate the show is and wanting to learn more about the time and people portrayed.  ACPL has some great resources to do just that.

The Vikings: Culture and ConquestSmall Cover Image by Martin Arnold explores the Vikings’ military prowess as well as their values, art, religion, and family life.  Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age by John Haywood is an excellent quick resource for researching the people, places, and practices of the Vikings.  For an exploration of Viking culture through literature, check out Arthur Cotterell’s Mythology of the Norse Gods: Myths and Legends of the Nordic World.  If documentaries are more your style, NOVA’s The Vikings looks beyond the Vikings’ reputation as ruthless warriors to discover their affinity for shipbuilding, art, and trade .  For a different take on a fictional depiction of Ragnar Lothbrok, try the 1958 film The Vikings, starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

If you’ve not seen The History Channel’s Vikings and would like to, ACPL now has season 1 on DVD.

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Nearly a year ago, we started a new feature on this blog, profiling an ACPL staffperson each month. Using a variety of serious and silly questions, we hope to share with you the diversity of the Allen County Public Library’s staff. Which brings us to…

Ten Questions with Patrick Stelte:

Patrick with his dad

Patrick with his dad

1.  What do you do at the library and how long have you been doing it?

I am the Government Access Coordinator at Access Fort Wayne.  In short, I produce television programs for city government.  Also, part of my duties is to oversee the day-to-day operations of City TV, the city government channel.  I started my current position in February 1998.  My history with Access Fort Wayne began in 1987 as a public access producer/volunteer.  Collectively, I have taken part in over 2,500 television productions in my career.

 2.  What is your favorite part of your job?

I am attracted to video production because my creativity is strong with visual arts.   Intellectually, I am fascinated by the workings of local government.  Most citizens don’t understand the density/complexity of city government, but if you get past the “watching paint dry” sensation to government meetings, the information is very educational.  As a media conduit to the 32 city departments, I feel like I have a front row seat to the workings of our community.

3.  Do you prefer to celebrate Groundhog Day or Valentine’s Day?

February is the worst month of the year for me.  I am all for celebrating the thought that spring may be around the corner.  Bring on the shadowless rodent.

4.  Can you be trusted with secrets?

Covering city government, I have been entrusted with a few secrets over the years and have kept them well until they expired to public knowledge.  Example, I was in Mayor Graham Richard’s office when he found out Verizon was going to lay fiber optic cable in Fort Wayne (a coup for the city).  He immediately looked at me and said, “You can’t tell anybody about this until it’s announced in a month or so.”  My lips were sealed.  On the other hand, I worked in a hospital for many years and the gossip was deliciously awful.

5.  Legos or Lincoln logs?

Lincoln logs, hands down.  Who wants rectangles when the world is round?

6.  Ebook or traditional print?

I need the feel of traditional print.  There is substance, weight to the word when held in my hand.  This is a question that goes beyond books and includes music, art and movies.  When does content become product?  When it is minimized to an electronic device?  When we degrade creativity to a flat visual spectrum, meaning is shifted to cost and convenience.

7.  Would you rather be a Nobel Prize winner or a movie star?

Nobel Prize all the way.  Rather be a person of substance, I would.

8.  What makes you happy?

Tough question, but I realized many years ago that if I am “in balance,” I am most happy.  The ying must yang in harmony.

9.  What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

Several years ago, I booked a flight from Indianapolis to California to meet my dad and his family for the first time.  As I was leaving Fort Wayne, a heavy snow storm began.  My subsequent drive down I-69 was the longest five hours of my life.  I had to make the flight, pulling off and waiting for the roads to clear was not an option.

10.  What is my favorite hobby?

Bicycling has taken over my life the last few years.  I am an active member of Three Rivers Velo Sport (current club president) and cycle thousands of miles a year.  In 2012, I competed in several races, winning two.  Every time I exit the library plaza doors, I instinctively look to the flag on the Tower Bank building to gauge the wind.  I often cite my Catholic upbringing of penance for my need to suffer on the bike.  Somewhere, there are a few dollars to be had by a good therapist.

We hope you enjoyed meeting Patrick through this profile. Let us know what you think of this feature. (And if you’re an ACPL staffperson and would like to volunteer to be featured on the blog… email me, we’ll see what we can do!)

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