Getting to Know Erin Toepfner

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of Getting to Know U: our staff’s chance to show off their collections and suggest some of the books they like the most.

Our current display was created by Erin Toepfner, well know to most regular users of the Langsdale Library as one the customer-service driven members of our circulation department.

Erin has a wide variety of interests, but since many of her other collections are “too large” for our display case (think large antique furniture) she decided to share her latest passion: collecting vintage Pyrex. We asked Erin how she started collecting these colorful bowls and serving dishes.

When did the subject of your case become an interest of yours?

Last summer. I’d always had a vague interest in Pyrex dishes and dishes in general because my parents had a set of Butterfly Gold Corelle dishes and matching Pyrex bowls when I was a kid. My dad ended up throwing out all of our dishes in a rage when I was a teenager, so I decided I wanted to find those dishes again, particularly the Pyrex bowls. I think Adele Marley’s obsession with Pyrex finally pushed me over the edge into collecting. Once I’d gotten the bowls from my childhood, I started branching out to other patterns and buying more. At this point, I have close to 200 pieces of Pyrex in my personal collection, ranging from the 1940s to the early 1980s.

Here are the answers to some more questions we asked Erin:

What was the first book you remember reading?

Hop On Pop by Dr. Seuss. My dad and I used to go to the library every week together, and I’d pick out Dr. Seuss and various books on guppy and/or hamster care, which he’d read to me each night before bed. Hop On Pop was one of my favorites. It was the first book I managed to read all by myself and I started to read to my dad each night as soon as I could. I had problems reading when I was a kid, so it was a major accomplishment for me.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”
–Dr. Seuss

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

This is a hard question. A lot of the good characters are also tragic in some way. Sherlock Holmes. Peter Pan. Robin Hood. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ha. I’m also a Harry Potter fan, and it would be fabulous to be Hermione Granger, a character I can relate to very well. But I guess I’d have to go with Peter Pan or even Wendy, because she gets the best of both worlds.

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?

Either the view from Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, AZ at sunset, or the Outer Banks beaches at sun rise. Completely different places, but two of my favorite.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

French fries with hot sauce, hands down. It’s still one of my favorite foods, but since then I’ve branched out a bit.

What was your best and/or worst experience in a library?

I don’t really have a single memory of any really good or bad library experiences. Mostly I just have a warm fuzzy feelings and vague images when I think of going to the library. Libraries have always been a part of my life.

Who was president of the United State of America when you were born?

Ronald Reagan, 1984.

If I did not work in a library, I would …

…probably be going to school to get my MLS. But if libraries weren’t a major part of my life, I’d probably be doing something with teaching. I started out as an elementary education major in college before switching to English.

And finally, for fun, here are two facts and a lie about Erin. Can you guess which one is the lie?

  1. Had a coyote-mix dog when I was a kid who used to steal chickens from the neighbors and howl what sounded like my name at night outside my window.
  2. Graduated summa cum laude when I got my bachelors.
  3. Went hiking and camping at the Grand Canyon with my dad when I was a teenager.

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