Sacramento Public Library

Meet Cole and Rebecca Johnson

12/13/2013
Married librarian couple Cole and Rebecca Johnson make Sacramento their third (and final?) stop.
 
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?
 
Rebecca: In middle school in San Antonio, Texas. Cole had a locker diagonally above mine.
 
Cole: 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?
 
R: 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.
 
C: 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.
 
R: 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.
 
C: You didn’t talk me into it. I realized it was an underlying passion of mine. That sounds better, right?
 
R: 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?
 
C: 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.
 
R: 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?
 
R: We’re already living this one!


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