May 4, 2016
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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!

April 15, 2016
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Megan Massanelli

Megan:megan 2

  • Is a fan of Pittsburgh’s hills (to look at, not climb)
  • Likes a good thrifting trip on her days off
  • Is a secret trekkie

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

I’m a Reference Associate! Which means… I help you find and retrieve the right books, articles, and other media to fulfill your research needs. I can help check-out materials for you or let you know about a resource that you might not have known about before. I do a variety of things and usually know the right person to ask if I don’t know the answer myself.

What made you choose your current profession?

I’ve always fancied myself a detective, so reference work is right up my ally. I’m also trained as an archivist and have an affinity for primary resources and preservation.

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

A cartographer and interior designer.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love hearing about what other people are into, what they get excited about. I also enjoy learning about how information systems, like the library catalog and databases. Being able to work around a bunch of books doesn’t hurt either.

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

I know there’s been a theme in answers to this question involving a library cat, which would only improve all of our lives. We could even get one that is hypoallergenic. I’d also like to see a pop-up library somewhere outside elsewhere on campus or a seed library.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I love spending time outdoors, riding my bike or walking around town. A good thrifting trip or checking out an art museum or gallery are also high on my priority list on my days off.

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

Women of Steel. This short documentary was made by a group of former female steelworkers in the Pittsburgh area in 1984. In it, they discuss their experience finding work in the steel mills and subsequently getting laid off due to mill closings. There is a theme song and it’s amazing.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I’m interested in first-person narrative and autobiographies. I really like Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem. This book of essays on the theme of self-esteem connects external, social revolution to an internal revolution of spirit and consciousness. Several of the essays include parables from the lives of individuals such as Wilma Mankiller and Julie Andrews as well as observation from Steinem’s own experiences. I don’t know if I think everyone should read it, but it has certainly been meaningful to me.

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!

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

How to Save Your Own Life: A Novel by Erica Jong

Art 21: Art in the 21st Century (DVD). Any season.

Anything by Octavia Butler.

Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources ed. By Nupur Chaudhuri, Sherry J. Katz, and Mary Elizabeth Perry

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The hills! (Looking at them, not so much traveling on them.)

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

Ride an incline, kayak on the rivers, eat pierogies, and visit an art museum. That’s four things.

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

I moved from Arkansas to Pittsburgh about a year and a half ago.

I’m a Trekkie.

July 7, 2015
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Kiera Mudry

Kiera Mudry:Kiera!

  • digs Pittsburgh’s music scene
  • can tell you all about Buffy
  • probably has a restaurant recommendation for you

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

As a Reference Associate, my job is to help you track down any and all information that you would need help finding when you’re in the library or Asking-a-Librarian from home. I’m like the Sherlock Holmes of the library.

What made you choose your current profession?

It might be cliché to say that I have always wanted to be a librarian because I love reading, but my love of reading was what helped me find my passion for research. I chose this profession because nothing makes me happier than to help someone find that hidden piece of information that they have been searching for.

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

An actress – I always loved an audience 🙂

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of working with reference is the fact that I get the chance to help others find what they are looking for, as well as learning more about the subject areas myself! It’s cool to be able to help someone out and to expand my own knowledge base.

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

I think a mobile food cart in the foyer or something along the lines of a small café on the first floor would definitely be a great addition to the JKM library. Especially because some people view their coffee as going hand in hand with a long night of studying in the library.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I am a huge television series person. I love to tackle full series of shows when I have time off from school and work. One of my favorites that I have finished this year is Buffy the Vampire Slayer 🙂

What’s the last thing you checked out?

I’ve been doing a lot of research in my History of Children’s Literature class so the last book I’ve checked out was the Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature. It’s a good read for those interested in authors and aspects of early to modern day children’s literature.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I’m going to suggest The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. The story is chilling, raw and honest. I definitely would recommend any title by Lamb, but this one has just always stuck with me.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

My favorite thing about living here is the variety of food that you can try out in and around the city. I love having so many different options and because Pittsburgh has so many different neighborhoods, you can always find something new to eat. Also, the music scene! 🙂

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

Visit all of the museums that Pittsburgh has to offer – especially the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Anything touristy is actually really cool to go visit or try out. Pittsburgh is always surprising me and I’ve lived close to the city my entire life! You should also go to the Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room in downtown and try their bacon candy with a margherita pizza.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself:

  • I was active with voice and piano lessons when I was young and even starred in a play as Sara Crewe in A Little Princess at 11 years old.
  • I completed my undergraduate Capstone project on the “Paul is Dead” hoax regarding The Beatles and the infamous rumor that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-a-like. (I was a Communication major with a focus in Media Studies.)
  • I’ve seen a lot of really excellent concerts, featuring artists such as Steely Dan and Hall & Oates. I love to catch as many shows as I can for fun. 🙂

April 12, 2015
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Molly Tighe

Molly Tighe:

Molly at the Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan

Molly at the Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan

  • likes classical music
  • has a history of sneaking into libraries
  • is in favor of having a library cat

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

I’m the Archivist & Public Services Librarian, so there are two aspects to my role in the library.  As Archivist, I manage all aspects university Archives and Special Collections including acquiring, cataloging, and preserving documentation of the university with long-term historical and cultural value.  As Public Services Librarian, I work with students and faculty to ensure that their research and educational needs are met.

What made you choose your current profession?

In many ways, a career in Archives is a logical choice for a former history major and I’ve found it to be a wonderful way to explore how the past has shaped the present.  I was also inspired to choose career in the library field after spending many hours in the Harold Acton Library in Florence, Italy while I was a nanny for an Italian family. I would sneak into this then-private library, which is housed on three floors of a 16th century palazzo, and tip toe down a spiral staircase to the literature section, where I would relax into the ease of my native tongue.

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

A Las Vegas Chorus Girl. I love glitter.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

It’s always a pleasure to be contacted by an alumnae about their time at Chatham or to work with Alumni Affairs to help former students and faculty reconnect to their time here. Since I’m fairly new to Chatham, I’m doing a bit of research on the history of the university and I’m enjoying learning about all the amazing men and women who have played a role in the development of our school.  I also really enjoy helping students learn about the resources available to the library to further their academic and research goals.

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

This is totally impractical, but it would be great to have a resident cat.  On a practical level, I’d love a cold storage environment to help preserve our film and photograph collections.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I’m a classical music fan, so I attend Pittsburgh Symphony concerts pretty regularly.  I love to practice yoga and the weekends are great time to take classes with Pittsburgh’s many fantastic teachers or with a visiting “yoga-lebrity.” I like to go hiking with my husband and we often make road trips to small historical societies or history sites.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

The Martian by Andy WeirThis science fiction thriller is as heavy on the science, as it is on the thrills. It is being made into a feature film starring Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, and Matt Damon due in theaters in November.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

Whichever book I’m reading so that we can talk about it!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

I love the geography and exploring all the neighborhoods tucked into the hollows and the runs.  The cultural amenities, restaurants, and all the friendly people are also high on my list of favorite things about Pittsburgh.

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

Go to a Pirates game!  See the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra!  Rent a kayak downtown (especially nice on hot summer days)!  Buy cheese at Penn Mac!

Tell us some surprising things about yourself:

  • I did a cultural exchange with Norway when I was a teenager and lived in Trondheim for a month.  It is an amazingly beautiful country.
  • I catalogued a Christmas card sent from John Lennon and May Pang to Andy Warhol when I worked in the Archives of the Warhol Museum.
  • I take gift wrapping very seriously.

March 19, 2015
by library
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Meet Gesina Phillips, Reference Associate!

GesinaIsAwkwardGesina Phillips:

  • wanted to be a marine biologist when she grew up
  • DJ at WRCT-FM, Carnegie Mellon’s radio station
  • is a Reference Associate here at the JKM Library!

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

I’m a Reference Associate, which means I’m one of the people you might talk to if you contact Ask a Librarian or email/call/stop by the Reference Desk at the library.

What made you choose your current profession?

I’m still studying for my Master’s in Library Science at the University of Pittsburgh, but I’ve chosen to become a librarian because I love teaching and learning. Collaborating with people to find answers to their questions is fulfilling for me both as a people person and a researcher. Plus, my previous degrees are in English literature, so it sure is nice to be surrounded by books all the time.

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

A marine biologist. I grew out of that sometime during high school biology, but I still really like whales.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I really enjoy helping people through the research process. It’s great to be able to point people toward new resources or search strategies so that they’ll be better equipped to find things in the future. I also love the range of research topics that I encounter—I always learn something new!

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 love to put in a cozy and inviting space for collaboration, like a cafe or a commons, and fill it with tons of supplies (whiteboards, interactive technologies) and leisure reading materials (magazines, newspapers). The library has a lot of these things already, but I would love to combine them all in a more casual open space.

What do you like to do on your days off?

When I’m not at the library I enjoy reading, getting out & exploring the city, finding new music to listen to & revisiting old favorites, playing video games, and making baked goods.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

The last book I checked out–and I’ll be honest–was Volume 3 of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy (a compilation which includes The Conqueror Worm and Strange Places). Mignola’s use of shadows is gorgeous, and who doesn’t love a good comic book halfway through the semester? I got it from CLP Main, which has a great collection of comics, graphic novels, and even zines!

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I think everyone should really read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s funny, it’s important, and it’s light enough sci-fi to be a potential gateway to some really nerdy stuff.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

I’ve heard it described as “the biggest small town” and I tend to agree. People love living in Pittsburgh, talking about Pittsburgh, and getting excited about all things related to Pittsburgh. I think that energy is great and above all quite infectious.

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

Everyone will tell you to take the Incline, but they’re right! It’s a great thing to do because a) it’s part of the transit system, which is weird, and b) you end up with a lovely view of the city. Also make sure to take advantage of both the world-class venues and the little hole-in-the-wall spaces in the city that cater to art, music, and more.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself:

  • I’m a DJ at WRCT-FM, Carnegie Mellon’s radio station.
  • I’ve been cited in an academic publication…for talking about Viking Metal.
  • I’m on a constant search for the best burger in Pittsburgh.

February 3, 2015
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Amy Lee Heinlen

Amy Lee and a small section of her personal book collection.

Amy Lee and a small section of her personal book collection.

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.

January 8, 2015
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Dana Mastroianni

DanaDana Mastroianni

  • Wanted to be an archaeologist when she grew up
  • Is a huge hockey fan
  • Was nearly kidnapped by gypsies

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

I’m the Reference and Web Librarian.

What made you choose your current profession?

As an undergraduate I worked in my school’s library for four years.  I loved the fact that I could continually explore information about any topic I could think of at the library.  So I decided to make a career out of it and help others find and understand the information they need.

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

It changed a lot!  I ran the gamut from ballerina to veterinarian to archaeologist and a lot more in between.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The gratification that comes in helping students realize that they are capable of accomplishing great work when they understand how to utilize the resources available to them.

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

Be able to build more group study rooms for students, they’re very popular.

What do you like to do on your days off?

Spend time with my husband and let my children tire me out!

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

The Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. A fascinating read that begins with why the Pilgrims set sail for America and spans the 55 years after Plymouth Colony was settled, a tumultuous time in which the first war on American soil was fought.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

Well, I don’t live in the city (I’m in Westmoreland County), but I’ve lived most of my life in this area.  My favorite thing is Pittsburgh’s size; it’s big enough that you do “city” activities, like museums, sporting events, the symphony or opera. But you’re not far away from great destinations for hiking, camping, skiing and just enjoying the natural surroundings of Western PA.

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

Become a sports fan!  There are three professional teams whose seasons collectively span all 12 months of the year.  (I’m biased and suggest going to a hockey game!)

Tell us some surprising things about yourself:

When I was young, I had platinum blond hair that would turn green in the summer. I loved to swim and the chlorine would make my hair take on a very noticeable green tint.  At the time I didn’t believe it since I didn’t notice it, but looking back now at pictures of myself, it was most definitely green!

In Paris, gypsies tried to whisk my friend and I away from each other and who knows where else as we we’re entering a Metro station.  I’m pretty sure they were pickpockets, but being almost kidnapped by gypsies makes a better story.

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.

 

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