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Geoffrey Skinner

The Basic Facts


I was born in the exciting town of Newcastle, Indiana in 1963 and moved to California with my family at the tender age of two. Other than traveling, I've never left (that makes me almost a native, doesn't it?). I grew up near the Northern California town of Sebastopol, located in the apple and grape growing region of western Sonoma County, but spent nearly twenty years in the South Bay Area due to school and work. I lived in two cooperative households in Palo Alto for many years. In 2003, I took a position as a Technical Services Librarian at Sonoma State University and beginning in August 2004, become Head of Technical Services. I currently live with my family in a 1910 bungalow in Sebastopol, which is -- like many old houses -- a series of major projects.

I attended Stanford, graduated in Music and English, and took a job with the Stanford University Libraries. Although I never intended to be a librarian by trade, I spent many years at Stanford in various paraprofessional positions before enrolling at San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science, where I received my MLIS in December 2002.

In the last 20 years...I have volunteered for hiking trail construction with the Trail Center (a non-profit located in Palo Alto) in 1986 and have since become a volunteer supervisor, project coordinator, grant writer and member of the Board of Directors. I have traveled in Europe extensively, including playing with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra on their 1991 Eastern Europe Tour and spent a working vacation volunteering on organic farms in England. In 1994, I walked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago (an ancient pilgrimage route). In the summer of 1995, I spent three weeks walking another pilgrimage route in Brittany (I only covered 270 miles of the route) and a couple more weeks in Great Britain. I have written articles on trail building for several local publications and have compiled an extensive plant list for a local open space preserve as a project for an independent study biology class.

In 1998, I joined the Magic, Inc. household and in 1999, I married my long-time friend and Magic resident, Joan Schwan. We moved back to Sonoma County in part to be near my family and were fortunate to have a year there before my father suddenly passed away on June 1, 2004 (see the obituary I wrote for the SSU Newsbytes -- other versions appeared in the Sonoma West News Times & News and Santa Rosa Press Democrat). Even though we miss him very much, I am glad that he got to see the last of his three children settled and with a professional career. When I am less occupied with fixing up our house, I hope to continue his good work with the Western Sonoma County Historical Society and the Luther Burbank Experiment Farm.


Geoffrey with caterpillers
Geoffrey with caterpillers, Henry Coe State Park, Apr. 1998.
Photo by Joan Schwan



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