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13 Questions With: Ela Darling

13 Questions With: Ela Darling

February 21, 2016

Co-Founder of

Who inspires you in your career?

Nina Hartley is a huge inspiration to me in my line of work. She’s been a sex educator and activist for decades and she’s worked hard to make the adult industry safer and more structured for those involved. She’s my spiritual porn mom.

The first job you ever held and at what age and your first position in the library and/or information services field?

Technically my first job was being Barbie at toy stores for little kids to meet: I was 14 and lied about my age to get the gig. Officially though, my first job was working as a Waffle House waitress at 16.

My first LIS job was working at the reference desk at the Champagne Public Library when I was 21 in grad school.

Why a career in librarianship?

I’ve always loved books and encouraging literacy but when I discovered that librarians are freedom fighters for personal privacy and intellectual freedom, I knew I had to join the team. I love public service and learning and librarianship offered the opportunity to do both.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

I work from home now, so I guess the coolest thing in my bedroom is a mannequin that’s been shot with guns. She wears a gasmask that I bedazzled with crystals.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I take absolutely no guilt in my pleasures. :)

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Evaluate how your career plan compares to what you envision for your future and follow the paths that guide you to satisfaction, integrity, and fulfillment.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I used to be in a circus sideshow, so I can break a lightbulb on my forehead and eat the broken glass, swallow a four foot balloon, put my body through a tennis racquet, escape from a straight jacket, walk on glass, put razorblades in my mouth and tie them to a string. I did a little sideshow performance for my library school buddies when I was attending University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

I recently won Performer of the Year from the Free Speech Coalition for my activism and advocacy work in the adult industry.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?

I would read and cuddle with my dog the entire time probably.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

I left the information industry several years ago to become a porn performer, so I suppose adult film though now I’m focusing on my tech startup called, so maybe that.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

Give you a hug if you’re sad. I was a little goth kid but super nice and made sure to look out for people when they needed extra love.

How do you stay current in your field?

In my current field, it’s all about keeping up with the changing policies and legislation as well as self promotion. As a performer, I have to stick to certain physical regimens since you can see every inch of me on camera, but more importantly I have to continue to fight the fight against legislation that threatens to eradicate our industry and opposes the needs and wishes of the people who actually work in the field.

I do this by serving on the board of directors of an organization called the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee and working on the front lines of adult industry politics.

What would you like your headstone to read?

We are only as strong as we are united and weak as we are divided.

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