Spotlight: Cody Martin

employee spotlight: cody martin

Aaron Pylinski | Community Writer
Cody Martin joined MCCS after working as an English teacher here in Iwakuni. He’s one of many library technicians at the MCCS library and plays a vital role in facilitating education and fun for those who come through the doors.

His 11 years in Japan has taught him plenty of the culture and beauty of this country and his time at MCAS Iwakuni has broadened his horizons on military culture. Cody has a degree in television and film production, but his love of science fiction and fantasy books led him to the library.

Now that he’s on staff at the library, his impact to the community is a lasting one opening vast horizons for those who venture in. I was able to chat with Cody at the library and here’s his take on his role and his impact on the youth and teens who are patrons of the library.

What is your position at MCCS?
I'm a library technician at the MCCS Library. I've been with the library for about two years now. I've been in Japan for almost 11 years. I really like it here. I used to be an assistant English teacher for all the junior high schools here in Iwakuni. After that, I got a job here on station working at the MCX and then transferred it to the library.

Tell us about the team that you work with at the the library.
We have a pretty diverse group at the library. We have two Japanese employees who I work with - Shuho and Yuri - they really help run this place. They've been here for quite a while. The good thing about our crew at the library is that all of us read different genres of books and since we have to recommend books to patrons were able to help with a wide variety of people. We have a lot covered with different types of books between all of us. I think we're a pretty good group.

What are your favorite parts about working in the position that you are in?
I'm a big reader and also a writer too, so being around all the books and being able to help our patrons by recommending books and information is the kind of customer service I'm used to.

What is it like for you to interact with our youth on station and what activities do you provide for them?
The library offers a lot of story times. We also have the yearly Summer Reading Program that's going on right now where we have activities based on the theme for the program. As for me personally, interacting with the youth and teens. Sometimes they come into the library looking for something and I'll joke with them or try to make them comfortable with being in the library and hopefully make it feel like a place they enjoy coming to. This impacts me when they start to respond on their own or just something as simple as waving or saying goodbye as they’re leaving. It's a good feeling when they interact with us. It’s a personal happiness that I get, which is nice.

What do you hope they will learn from working with you?
Many people think of the library as boring and stuffy. I want to show them that there is a lot more that the library offers. We're also very personable, very approachable, and they don't have to spend ten minutes by themselves trying to look for something. I want them to know that they can come up and ask us, “Hey, do you have this?” I'm hoping they get a sense of being comfortable and know that we’re friendly.
What can be challenging about your job?
Sometimes, as much as I like to read, I tend to be very focused on one genre. I'm a big Stephen King fan. I don't know a lot about a wide range of subjects, so sometimes when people ask about something that I just have no idea how to help specifically, I use the resources we have to help them find what they're asking for. Another challenge for me is I've never been in the military. This is the first military base I've ever worked on. Sometimes I get active duty personnel who come in and they'll ask for something that's very military or base specific and that throws me for a loop. Especially with acronyms where I really have no idea what that stands for. Fortunately, we have a person on staff who used to be a Marine, so we can ask him.

What do you like to do with your free time?
I'm a writer, so I’m working on writing fantasy right now. Besides that, I watch movies, and spend time with my wife and her family, and enjoy Japan. My wife is Japanese. She's a math teacher, which was my worst subject in school. We live with her parents in Yanai.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?
I'm looking forward to the end of the Summer Reading Program because we always have a big party for that which is going to be on August 8. That's always a lot of fun. We still have a few more events left for the Summer Reading Program. I'm hoping that once Summer Reading Program is over, we can get some of our other programs that are now on pause back on track, like the writing group and game night.