Audrey Sheldon: Medieval history to modern library

Audrey Sheldon
Circulation Assistant, Florence

It’s always a good day at the Library! That is my favorite thing about working at BCPL. Our patrons have a wide variety of reasons they come to the library, and I find it gratifying to usually be able to send them away satisfied with their experience here. This is what has made being a Circulation Assistant at the Florence Branch, since June 2018, a rewarding place to work.

I grew up in Eugene, Oregon; attended three Grateful Dead concerts; majored in psychology at the University of Oregon (go, Ducks!); and planned to enter law enforcement. It wasn’t until I began applying for police jobs that I discovered my
eyesight made that impossible. By then I was working for my stepmother as a travel agent in Newport. When I moved back to the Willamette Valley, I continued as a travel agent for a larger agency, first specializing in business travel and then realizing I had a talent for the technological side of the business. From there I took a technical support job for a small software company that allowed me to move to a suburb of Portland. It was a challenging position that I loved: identifying and solving problems, including escalated or in-depth issues, and I got to play with hardware as well as software.

I met and married my husband during this time, and life changed again when he took a job transfer to Kentucky. Scott had two young daughters when we met. Our daughters are now 32, 30, 16, 13, and 11, and our four grandchildren range in age from 10 down to 1.

Scott and I met at an event of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an international non-profit volunteer educational organization devoted to the research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat, and culture. In other words, we’re pretty serious medieval history nerds. The SCA has its own geography, royalty, and 50-year history; our area is known as the Barony of Fenix, in the Middle Kingdom. Scott and I have each been active for over 30 years and have served several local and regional groups by holding a variety of offices. Most recently, we are proud to have served a five year term leading our local group as Baron and Baroness of Fenix. Our stepping down in May involved passing the beautiful Baronial Coronets to our successors, appointed by our King and Queen, and accepting the coronets of a Baron and Baroness of the Court – a much lighter burden. I am grateful to have had the rare privilege to serve as a landed Baroness in the SCA, but I was very happy to retire! Some of the activities I enjoy learning, practicing, and teaching in medieval-style include armored combat, sewing, archery, embroidery, axe-throwing, cooking, brewing, calligraphy, leatherwork, and gaming…all through SCA.

If you would like to know more about the SCA, visit welcome.sca.org and then come meet the local group, follow Barony of Fenix on Facebook, or stop by and visit me at the Florence Branch!

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