Amy Lee Heinlen
- is a huge fan of the museums in Pittsburgh.
- is working on her MFA in poetry with a concentration in publishing here at Chatham and hopes to defend her thesis in spring 2016!
- was co-captain of the 2009 bronze-cart-winning book cart drill team, The Steel City Kings (watch the video!).
What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?
I oversee all of the many goings-on at the Circulation Desk. I am the liaison librarian for Falk School of Sustainability, and the departments ofEducation; History, Political Science, and International Studies; and Women & Gender Studies. I am often found at the Reference Desk, too.
What made you choose your current profession?
I love learning and I love books. I’m interested in people and I’m passionate about our access to information. I am inspired by the energy of a university campus.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A poet and a zoo keeper.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Learning about the varied and wide-ranging interests of our patrons. I discover something new to read, something new to think about, some new connection to the world, every day.
If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library- with no worries about time or expense, what would you do?
I would have every single student, staff, and faculty member on campus visit the library for a series of instruction sessions demonstrating all of the many fantastic resources and services their library makes available to them!
What do you like to do on your days off?
I spend time with my daughter and husband. We play, explore Pittsburgh, and spend lots of time at the museums. I love to read for hours, though that doesn’t happen very often these days. I write. I revise. I write some more.
What’s the last thing you checked out?
I’m reading Helen Vendler’s, Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries, which is a series of close readings of Emily Dickinson’s poems. Alongside this, I’m devouring The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems, which reproduces, in full-color, the experimental poems she wrote later in life on unfolded envelopes. If you’re perplexed and intrigued by Dickinson, I highly recommend both of these titles.
What book do you think everyone should read? Why?
I think everyone should read voraciously. But if I have to pick just one, I suggest 1984 by George Orwell because it forces the reader think about the importance of privacy, something which we as a society are complacent about and take for granted in the United States.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?
The geography. I grew up in Central Ohio which is rather flat and I love the hills of Pittsburgh!
What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city?
Visit the museums. All of them!
Tell us some surprising things about yourself:
I am working on my MFA in poetry with a concentration in publishing here at Chatham. I hope to defend my thesis in spring 2016.
I worked as a waitress, a bartender, in used and rare book retail, as a horse-back riding instructor, as a personal assistant, and as a copy editor before I decided to become a librarian.
I lived in Columbus, Ohio; Mobile, Alabama; and Austin, Texas before moving to my favorite city so far, Pittsburgh.
I was co-captain of the 2009 bronze-cart-winning book cart drill team, The Steel City Kings.