Meet the JKM Library staff: Anna McDevitt


This year, we’ll be using the blog to introduce ourselves, and we’re starting off with Miss Anna McDevitt, who is working at JKM as an Access Services Aide this summer. Feel free to say hi to Anna next time you’re at the library.


Anna McDevitt

  • Has been playing the violin since 4th grade (Also plays the harp!)
  • Would be a chef if she could afford culinary school
  • Is a Library Access Services Aide here at JKM Library!

What made you want to get a job at the Library?

I love books, and the library seemed like the perfect place to work during my time at Chatham. It is a great environment with happy and friendly people, and it is comforting to me. I also wanted to see if being a librarian was something I would want to pursue after graduating college.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a vertebrae paleontologist. I’d been able to spell that word since I was 6, and I loved archaeology, especially dealing with Ancient Egypt so the Carnegie Museum of Natural History was my best friend (still is). Yet, when I turned 16, I gave up wanting to dig up dead things and being a paleontologist because I wanted to become a military battlefield historian specializing in World War II.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love working with the books! It is the obvious answer, but it is true. Working at the library has made me a better student, researcher, and assistant. I know where most books are in the library in my mind, so I know what sources I need to use for papers, and if we don’t have the books I need, I know how to get them. Working here has been great for me, especially as a history major. Also, the books smell really nice.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

Wisdom of Buddhism by Christmas Humphreys and My Life in France by Julia Child. I definitely recommend Julia Child’s autobiography because it has descriptions of amazingly delicious food and the places she paints in the pages for you take you back in time. You can almost hear her voice telling you the story. Wisdom of Buddhism is something I saw as I was shelving and grabbed it. Humphreys is one of the best people to read for a more detailed, yet still beginning level for understanding Buddhism and its teachings. I have been reading and practicing Buddhism for about a year and a half now, and I find his work very helpful and just lovely to read in general. (Note: My Life in France must be requested through EZ-Borrow, though if you really wanted it, you could submit a request to the library to buy it…)

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

I love the outdoor space. I think it’s amazing how you can be in Oakland, arrive in the Hill District, and end up Downtown, only to walk to the Point and have an amazing view of the rivers. The amount of green space makes me very happy. Even little ones, like Schenley Plaza in Oakland, are nice to relax and read a book in, catch some live music, or enjoy some good and cheap food. Frick Park is also very nice to walk through when you get some free time. I also enjoy the cemeteries we have here, particularly Allegheny and Homewood Cemeteries. They are beautifully decorated, in addition to all the cool, important people you can find buried in them. It’s only creepy at night, I promise. Also, those new food trucks you can find are pretty cool. We need more of those.

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? (This includes restaurant recommendations, of course)

Go to the Benedum Center or Heinz Hall! Going to see a musical or concert is always a fun time (but going to the Nutcracker is the best, in my opinion), and the places you can eat while down there are incredible. My favorite is Six Penn Kitchen. They have great cocktails that you can enjoy while you watch the kitchen cooking your food right from your table. I got this slow-roasted pork with homemade gnocchi in a tomato sauce once. To die for.

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