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Sarah Houghton

Sarah Houghton

aka 'Librarian in Black' | San Rafael Public Library | Class of 1998

Rain or shine, spring or fall, Friday night or finals week, Sarah Houghton walked miles and miles around the Quad on her way to dual degrees in the 1990s. 

“While earning both my undergraduate degree and my graduate degree at UIUC, I had a go-to activity when I had writer’s block or was too tired to complete the work ahead of me. I would endlessly walk the Quad for hours at night — the perimeter, the cross-paths — stopping from time to time to chat with classmates or rest and once getting the automatic sprinklers turned on me full blast, but always working through whatever problem was in front of me," says Houghton, director of California's San Rafael Public Library since 2011 and author of the popular "Librarian in Black" blog.

“That quiet and dark space felt safe and helped me think. As the Quad is the center of the campus, it was also the center of how my brain worked on campus.”