November 25, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Erin Simpson

ErinSimpsonErin Simpson

  • Loves Thai food and jazz music
  • Has worked in several libraries prior to her position at JKM
  • Graduate student working on her Master’s of Counseling Psychology degree

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I assist the Access Services Librarian, Amy Lee Heinlen. This means that my main job is to fill Interlibrary Loan requests for our students and faculty members.  I also assist in keeping the Curriculum Collection tidy and you may see me behind the desk checking books in and out as well.

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

I have a lot of experience in libraries. I worked as the Teen Librarian of a town in Indiana, and took quite a few graduate courses in Library Science in order to uphold standards and provide the best library services I could. I worked through High School and Undergrad in my hometown library as well, and spent my elementary years helping my mom shelve the books in my small private schools library. Even though my degree is in Counseling, I want to always have a foot in the library because that is home!

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

A Librarian.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I really enjoy helping students and faculty find articles and books to advance their education. I can’t help but wonder if one of these articles might save a person’s life or change the world!

What do you like to do on your days off?

Spend time reading, sit on my porch, learn new things, and laugh a whole lot.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

The Genogram Journey: Reconnecting With Your Family – In the counseling psychology field, genograms are introduced as a way to learn about and understand our heritage and who we are. It’s basically an elaborate family tree. This particular book is interesting as it includes multiple genograms of famous people. For instance, the Bronte Sisters are highlighted and their ancestry is included, complete with mental health history, affairs, talents, etc… It’s incredibly interesting.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

Till We Have Faces  by C.S. Lewis.

So many reasons. I wouldn’t even call it my favorite book, but I would call it one of the most important and incredible books I’ve ever read. It’s a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche from the point of view of Psyche’s sister. Jealousy, loss, and what to do with all of it is a central theme. I could read it 100 times and still not fully grasp all of it’s layers of meaning and wisdom.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

Thai Food and Jazz

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

Go to Jamestreet Gastropub and Speakeasy on Tuesday night for a jam session. Get a burger and some fries and listen as some of the up and coming jazz musicians in Pittsburgh take the stage. 

November 15, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Kristi Hruska

Kristi HruskaKristi Hruska

  • Spent four weeks in Taiwan
  • Once endured eight hours of reconstructive jaw surgery
  • Won a national dance competition with her Hawaiian dance group

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

My official title is a Library Access Services Aide, but I’m better known as one of the students at the Circulation Desk that helps you check out your library books.

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

I worked in the library in high school to get out of my study hall. When I found out that I was eligible for work-study in college, I was glad to find that my previous library experience could come in handy.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love the wide array of people I get to interact with here. Chatham has such an eclectic student body, but the one thing we all have in common is that we all need to go to the library.

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library- with no worries about time or expense, what would you do?

I wish we had comfier chairs, more tables, and an infinite number of group study rooms. Longer hours would be great, too – especially opening earlier on Sundays.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

I checked out 10 Things I Hate About You from our Media Collection…it’s one of my favorite movies! In terms of books, my patron account is pretty boring. I currently have a cookbook, some of my textbooks, and a few books for tutorial. I wish I had more time for leisurely reading.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It’s about the rise of the Taliban and the Afghan revolution from the view of a young boy growing up in Afghanistan. I only ever learned the American viewpoint about these things, especially after 9/11, so this book really put things into perspective for me.

I also love The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s such a quick and easy ready, but it’s so realistic and relatable. It makes me cry and reevaluate my life every single time I read it. Each time, something different stands out to me.

Both of these books are in our library – I try to sneak them into the Popular Reading section when they’re not already checked out!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

EVERYTHING! I’m such a Yinzer, born and raised. It’s a big city with a small town feeling. I love going to the Pirates games, being able to walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge, and listening to the Sax Guy. I love how close the suburbs are – you’re outside of the city, but close enough to be there in twenty minutes. I’m open to leaving for a bit and experiencing other places, but I ultimately want to raise a family and grow old right here in Pittsburgh.

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

You must, must, must go to the West End Overlook. Mount Washington is overrated and usually crowded, and the view from West End is much better. Then, you have to get a Primanti’s sandwich – and no asking for the fries or slaw on the side!

November 5, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Jill Ausel

Jill Ausel

  • Alternative dream jobs from childhood include an archaeologist, ballerina, or President of the United States
  • Loves many things about living in the great city of Pittsburgh!JillAusel
  • Outside of the library, Jill enjoys shopping (especially for shoes!) and going to the movies

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I’m the Library Director

What made you choose your current profession?

As with many librarians, I have a life-long love of books and places where I can get them – for free!!  While in college I discovered I very much enjoyed research – writing, not so much.  When I learned I could become a librarian and work in an academic library and stay in college, it was a complete “Aha!  This is perfect” moment. 

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

Oh a great variety of things.  I wanted to be an archaeologist, a lawyer, the President of the United States and a ballerina.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love to see people grow and learn.  

What do you like to do on your days off?

No surprise I love to read.  I also enjoy going to movies, Pirate games, the symphony, shopping (shoes!!) and hanging out with friends. 

What’s the last thing you checked out? (Brief reviews are appreciated)

The Ancient Oracles: Making the Gods Speak by Richard Stoneman

I have been interested in ancient Greek history since I was 8.  It stuck.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

Everything!!  I love the sports and the theater.  The symphony and the opera and the ballet.  The museums, the restaurants and the amazing music scene.  I love the rivers and the parks and the Phipps Conservatory.  The strip district and Mt. Washington and Carson St.  It’s just a great city to live in. (No, the Chamber of Commerce did not pay me for the endorsement)

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

Depending on one’s interest of course, but I think touring the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt’s campus is a must.  Each room represents a nationality with a presence here in Pittsburgh.  From those groups we get not only great restaurants, but that neighborhood feel that is so remarkably Pittsburgh.

 

October 5, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Amanda Miller

Amanda MillerAmanda

  • Completed a semester abroad in Oxford, England
  • Gave a presentation at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference in 2014
  • Loves the TV show Firefly and am a devoted Browncoat!

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I am a Reference Associate.  You’ve probably see me at the reference desk in the evening hours!

What made you choose your current profession?

I’ve been volunteering and working in libraries since high school.  While the original plan was to get a PhD in English Literature, I realized during my Master of Arts program that the place I really belonged was libraries!  I love the fact that I can combine my love of books, literature, and academics in one profession.

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

When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a spy (like Harriet the Spy!).  I’ve always loved reading though, so becoming a librarian seems like it was always in the cards for me.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love when I am able to help a student to take the next step in their research, finish up a project, or find their next book to read.  Namely, I like when I am able to help a student out, whatever their need!

What do you like to do on your days off?

I like reading and watching TV shows.  I also enjoy playing with my Nintendo 3DS or trying out crafts such as loom knitting and cross-stitch.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

I recently checked out the graphic novel Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney as it is a book of the month for to the CLP Main Graphic Novel Reading Group.  I am liking it so far—it is an autobiographical story about the author’s struggle with being diagnosed as bipolar.  I have also recently picked up Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.  I am reading it partially because I am a huge Jane Austen fan and partially to get ready for the PBS mini-series event based around this book.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

I actually grew up in Pittsburgh, so there’s many things I love about the city!  I really like all of the small neighborhoods and the friendliness of the people living here.  I also love the Pittsburgh Penguins and try to get to at least one game a year.  The independent restaurants and shops are also a plus, as are the farmer’s markets and of course the Carnegie library system!

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city?

Tickets can be expensive, but I recommend going to at least one Pens game!  The CONSOL Center is a really neat arena and the energy from Pens fans is infectious. If you don’t want to buy a ticket, there is an option to watch the game outside of the arena on a big screen during the playoff season as well.

October 2, 2014
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October Reads: Scary Tales, Curious Mysteries, and Terrifying Monsters!

It’s officially October and time to find some good reading material!  Check out our display of scary tales, curious mysteries, and terrifying creatures-all sure to set the mood for the upcoming Halloween holiday.  For those who love vampires, we have Dracula, The Historian, and The Vampire Lestat.  There’s also more classic titleshalloween-150363_640 such as Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Turn of the Screw.  We are also featuring some select horror films along with some books about monster makeup in movies.  Stop by today and see what there is for you to pick up!

Don’t forget to check out An Evening with Poe” which features two of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short stories: The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart. This performance will keep you on the edge of your seat and get you in the Halloween spirit! Directed by Don DiGiulio and John Michnya.

October 17, 2014 to October 18, 2014
7:30 PM
Eden Hall Campus – Large Barn

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