Cole Johnson joined the Central Library as a Business Librarian in June. Rebecca Johnson became the Branch Supervisor of the Fair Oaks Library in September. They are a married couple, and Sacramento is the third library system they have worked in together.
How did you guys meet?
In middle school in San Antonio, Texas. Cole had a locker diagonally above mine.
She gave me a plastic spider ring and I thought, “That’s the girl for me.” For the next 20 years I pursued her doggedly.
Were you high school sweethearts?
Not until college. I went to the University of Texas in Austin where I received a bachelor's in government and a master's in library science.
I was living in San Francisco and she came to visit. I studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. We reconnected in Austin in 2003 and got married in 2004. I was a cartoonist doing underground comics. I’ve had a book translated into French and published in Belgium.
He has work in books
in our collection (at SPL). Anyway, things moved pretty quickly after that. We moved east, first to Ocean County, New Jersey, then to Philadelphia. I talked Cole into going to school for Library Science.
You didn’t talk me into it. I realized it was an underlying passion of mine. That sounds better, right?
We worked in Philadelphia for two years. We were both children's librarians. Then we moved to San Antonio where I was a branch manager and he was a children’s librarian and an adult librarian.
Where to next?
R: Cole has been trying to come back to Northern California for years. We are thrilled to be here. Cole and I want to buy a house in Sacramento. We want to make this our forever home.
What do you guys do when you’re not being a high-powered librarian couple?
We have an 8-year-old daughter and a Chihuahua named Rio. We tried to change his name to Bob Barker but he’s not having it.
He really tries to separate his professional librarian life from his art life. We are a little mysterious that way. I play music and do vintage collecting and resale. I've been playing the bass and the drums since high school. I was in a few bands in Austin. I’m going to play with a few old band mates at the upcoming South by Southwest
. Our working name is AM Transistor Ghost.
What’s on your nightstand?
C: Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion.
R: The New Yorker
If you were to write a book about your library life together, what would it be called?
Both (after a discussion): I Dewey: A Love Long Overdue.
Did you know SPL has a library-based romance novel called Love Overdue?
We’re already living this one!