Interview With Nancy, Half Moon Bay’s New Children’s Librarian

Nancy Analco is Half Moon Bay Library’s new children’s librarian! We are very excited to have her join our team.   

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Orange County, but when I was about one year old, I moved to Mexico with my family, where I spent most of my childhood. When I finished the 6th grade, we moved back to the states, but this time to the Redwood City area. I love living there because it’s such a diverse city, and it’s pretty much all I know. I do like to travel when I can, mostly to Mexico, where my family is from, but I have visited other states as well. Mexico is just so rich in history and culture; I love learning more about it when I visit. I have four siblings, two older brothers and two younger sisters, which means I am the middle child (not fun at all!).  

Is there a children’s book that you always recommend? If so, why?
This is a tough question since there are so many great books out there. My recent favorite ones are I Need A Hug by Aaron Blabey and Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton. They’re fun to read, and the kids always get a kick out of them. When I read those books to the little ones, I like to make them as interactive as possible. They’re both great at introducing kids to descriptors and types of textures.  

Was being a librarian a goal that you had?
Being a librarian never crossed my mind! I didn’t grow up going to the library and don’t really recall my parents reading to me when I was little. From a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher because my kindergarten teacher was just the best. I’ve worked with all ages, from babies and toddlers to elementary school children and teens, but for one reason or another, I never followed through with trying to get my teaching credential. Back in 2016, I was looking for a second job. I knew I didn’t want to work retail (because I had done it in the past), and I knew I wanted it to be something meaningful. I found a position at the Redwood City Library, opens a new window working as the homework center facilitator, where I provided homework support to elementary school students. That job opportunity opened a door to a whole different world I didn’t know much about, but it was very much aligned with what I liked to do: working with students and connecting with the community. I started to take on different opportunities like leading the book club for grades 3-5 and doing outreach. The children’s librarians I worked with were also great mentors and the ones who encouraged me to pursue a career in this field. I can honestly say that I am happy I did. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be part of the San Mateo County Libraries team and the Half Moon Bay Community.  

If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is such a hard question as well because I really love all kinds of food, it’s hard for me to just choose one. Aside from Mexican food, which is what I eat almost daily, I enjoy eating sushi, Thai food (pad Thai) and Indian food (their chicken tikka masala is delicious!).  

Do you have any pets? Or a dream pet?
We currently have one cat; her name is Phoebe, and she is two years old. She’s quite sassy, wicked smart and super cute. In January of this year, we lost our beloved dog, Geico. He was 16 years old and is greatly missed! I think in the future, I would love to adopt a dog.  

Favorite movie of all time?
Nacho Libre and Shrek aren’t necessarily my favorite of all time, but I don’t get tired of them. I chose those two because they just remind me of my dad and my sisters. We don’t do it as often, but we used to watch those movies together, we even know most of the lines! Plus, my dad gets a really good kick out of watching them. Shrek is always fun to watch in Spanish! 

What do you like to do to unwind after a long day?
I really like to watch TV or get caught up on social media. By the time I get home, eat dinner and prepare lunch for the next day, I don’t have the energy to do anything else.  

What are some of your hobbies?
I recently started journaling but not in the sense of writing about your day but rather giving a place to things we collect as mementos, whether it’s pictures, stickers or a receipt from a restaurant I really liked. I’m a sentimental person, so I like to hold on to things others might consider trash. For the longest time, I would just keep those things in a drawer or a box, but I realized that I could use those items to journal, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  

What inspires you?
There are many things that inspire me depending on what I want to do or improve upon. My parents inspire me to work hard and give back. Being outdoors is also inspiring, I really like going out for a hike whenever I can and admiring the greenery and the little things that bring me joy. Social media can also be inspiring. There are many great content creators out there, that’s how I got into journaling.  

Did you play any sports growing up?
Growing up, I played soccer, basketball and did track and field. I was very good at it, I wish I could have kept at it during my high school years.  

Best place you’ve traveled to? Where would you like to travel?
Many of the places I’ve visited in Mexico are beautiful, but the traveling experience that really left a mark was when I went on a backpacking trip in high school to Mammoth Lakes. I had never gone hiking, let alone backpacking, but it was such an amazing experience that even to this day, I wish I could go back. But I would also like to travel to Brazil.  

Favorite Half Moon Bay memory?
Thus far, my favorite Half Moon Bay memory has been Make it Main Street, opens a new window because I got to interact with the community, which is what I love doing. I saw some familiar faces, and ever since then, when people come to the library or see you at another event, they remember you from Make it Main Street, and that’s how relationships between the community and library are formed.  

In one word, what do libraries mean to you?
Not sure if it counts, but I would say life-changing. Libraries have changed my life in the sense that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life career-wise. I kept going back and forth about returning to school for my teaching credential or sticking with the job I had at the time. I am glad people saw potential in me because I am happy where I am in life. On the other hand, libraries are life-changing because they provide opportunities for people to learn and explore things they wouldn’t be able to explore otherwise.