Friday, October 31, 2014

Librarian (and Roller Derby Star) Gives Book Recs

One of Portland's nicknames is "Rose City." Thus its roller derby league, formed in 2004, is called the Rose City Rollers. A shining star of the league is Yoga Nabi Sari.
Yoga Nabi Sari, of the Rose City Rollers.
Image via

Seeing a cool photo of a roller derby team at Portland's Voodoo Doughnuts - and inspired by the 2009 film "Whip It" - she decided that she wanted to play roller derby. At the time that she joined the Rose City Rollers, in 2010, Yoga Nabi Sari was also starting library school. She was enrolled at the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University. However, she discovered that the rigors of a library school education paled in comparison to the sheer intensity of being on a roller derby team. Still, she saw playing roller derby as "a major, positive change in my life."

Yoga Nabi Sari began by joining the Rose City Wreckers, a recreational and noncompetitive derby training and exercise program that is open to women aged 18 and older. She would then move on to the Rose City Rollers' Fresh Meat training program, which readies skaters for the competitive level of roller derby. Ultimately, she would go on to skate for the Guns N Rollers (GNR) and Axles of Annihilation (AoA) teams. In the meantime, she worked at the OHSU West Campus Science and Engineering Library and at Multnomah County Library, where she did volunteer work and research. She earned her Master's in Library Science (MLS) degree from Emporia State University in 2012.

Today, Yoga Nabi Sari has the day job of librarian for a commercial real-estate company in Portland. Yet, in the evenings and on weekends, she skates as a jammer in the Rose City Rollers league. Her onetime employer, Multnomah County Library, recently asked her and her AoA teammates for book recommendations. Thinking about her favorite reads, she suggested Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack and The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. She also recommended Roller Girl, written by fellow league member Victoria Jamieson. Yoga Nabi Sar called Roller Girl, which will be published in March 2015, a "beautifully illustrated book [that] captures the heart of this sport."

Talking more about roller derby, Yoga Nabi Sari said the sport "is what I was looking for: comraderie, exercise, a humbling experience, and feeling alive. This is the PE class I never had. I'm not picked last for the team, no one laughs at me (just with me), and we are all here because we love derby so much."

For more on what Yoga Nabi Sari and her fellow Rose City Rollers think you should read, see the Multnomah County blog post "Guest Readers: How They Roll - Favorite Reads from the Axles of Annihilation" at THIS LINK. To keep up with the Rose City Rollers, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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