May 4, 2016
by library
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Christine Beard

christineChristine:

  • Wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up
  • Her favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh is the friendly people
  • Likes to watch bad TV with her teen-aged kids

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

I am a  Reference Associate which means I help you find the information that you need when you stop by the reference desk at the library, call or use the Ask-A-Librarian feature.

What made you choose your current profession?

I am still in graduate school earning my Masters of Library Science at the University of Pittsburgh.  I have chosen to become a librarian because I love to connect people with the information that they need.  I was a paralegal for many years and my favorite aspect of that job was researching.  Add that to my lifelong love of books and learning, and becoming a librarian was a no-brainer.

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

A veterinarian.  Instead, I have two dogs and two cats.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is teaching people how to find information.  Sometimes that means showing them a new search strategy or a new database.  It’s fun to help them advance their learning and by searching unfamiliar topics,  I learn something new 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 add an internet free lounge where students could go to concentrate on work without being interrupted by texts or social media.  This would be a room where you could take your laptop, but would be unable to receive any WiFi due to special blocking technology.  It would be great if it had a mix of seating enabling people to work or even just relax.

What do you like to do on your days off?

Not surprisingly I guess, I like to read.  If I have the time, I like to cook long involved meals that dirty every pan in the kitchen and watch really bad TV with my teen-aged kids.

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

The last thing I checked out was Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.  A dense book that starts off slowly, but picks up well in the second half.  Really good character development.  You may not like the characters, but they are written, as is the book, incredibly well.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  This book is a classic because it deftly explores issues of race and justice through the eyes of a child Everyone should read (and reread!) To Kill a Mockingbird  because it helps us to remember the essential kindness of people.

Some of our student workers update the popular reading display and are always looking for recommendations. If you could please list 5 or so of your favorite books that JKM has, that would be great!

 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

A Visit From The Goon Squad Jennifer Egan

Middlesex Jeffery Eugenides

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

My favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh is the friendly people!

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

Go to one of the amazing museums, walk along one of the river trails, see a play or a sporting event and have a Primanti’s sandwich with as many fries as you can stuff on there!

Tell us some surprising things about yourself (2/3 would be great):

I start every morning with a diet coke.  Or two.

I played the flute for seven years.  I was never very good, but I enjoyed it!

For two years in college I worked as an international operator connecting US numbers to countries that had outdated equipment. Remember those old pictures of operators with headsets who would plug a cord in a wall to connect a call?  I did that!

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