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 25, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Jennifer Howard Lemmon

Jennifer Howard Lemmon

  • Has a dog named Beau
  • Is on the lookout for all the dinosaur statues in the city!
  • Works in the Archives here at JKM Library!

What made you want to get a job at the Library?JHLemmonJKMPhoto(1)

I was a history major during my undergraduate college years and I was so excited when I saw the Archives were hiring a student employee. I have always loved history and have previously conducted research at archives, but working on the other side has offered me an even greater understanding of how history is made and maintained.

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

An astronaut.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Learning more about our school’s background and getting to learn about student experiences from the past.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I enjoy cooking, reading, and playing with my dog, Beau.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck-I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about the environmental and financial consequences of the Dust Bowl. For those of us in the School of Sustainability, this book is a must-read!

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

Find as many dinosaur statues as possible, visit Point Park, ride the Inclines, and attend a Pirates baseball game.

October 15, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Jessa Darwin

Jessa Darwin:

Jessa

  • Wanted to be one of the X-Men when she grew up (But probably has to settle for one of the New Mutants- Karma was a librarian for a while)
  • Would prefer if you didn’t ask about her library fines
  • Is a reference associate here at JKM Library

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

I work at the Reference Desk in the late hours of the evening.

What made you choose your current profession?

I decided to go to library school after studying abroad my junior year at university. I was studying philosophy and English literature because I loved both subjects but I wanted to put my love of Heidegger and Woolf to good use. In 2010 I was studying at Oxford in England and spent 6 to 8 hours a day in the libraries. I loved the hunt for the book or article that I needed to complete an assignment and grew to value the role of the librarians there. Not to mention the atmosphere created by such beautiful buildings and collections.

I’ve since discovered a lot of things to love about libraries! I’m interested in Information Literacy and introducing people to new forms of reading besides books. When I’m at work at the public library I try my hardest to introduce kids to visual media like comic books and graphic novels, which I think are awesome ways for them to experience stories and information.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I’m an introvert but I love when I get to talk to someone about their research or reading interests. It’s fun finding out why people look for the things that they do.

What do you like to do on your days off?

Binge watch TV shows on Netflix or read. When the weather’s nice—and sometimes when it isn’t—I like to walk around the city and have lunch or dinner out.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

 I check out and never read a lot of books. I think that’s a big librarian secret. I think, “Oh, I’d love to read that!” and then it sits next to my bed for 3 weeks…or 5. Don’t ask about my library fines, it’s embarrassing.

I recently read The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I have an unhealthy addiction to crime TV shows and this book fueled that fire. Written for young adults, it’s about a group of gifted teens who are recruited by the FBI to help with homicide investigations. It’s fairly realistic; although their referred to as “abilities” they aren’t superpowers. It’s more along the lines of Sherlock Holmes’ gift of deduction. The sequel is coming in November!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The food scene, hands down.

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

Just one?!  

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 5, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff- Dan Nolting

Dan Nolting

dan

 

  • Was scouted by the Cincinnati Reds while playing baseball in high-school
  • Has a patent (And we can only speculate what it’s for!)
  • Is your Head of Technical Services here at JKM Library!

 

What made you choose your current profession?

  • It chose me

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

  • Astronaut Fireman Quarterback

What’s your favorite part of your job?

  • Adding something new and useful to the collection at the highest possible library standard allowed by the time that I have

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

  • Expand in all directions to house more books, including space for art exhibits, a movie house, coffee shop and a virtual holodeck for unlimited sensory experiences of literature, art and movies.

What do you like to do on your days off?

  • Triathlon training

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

  • Dinosaur Rescue!” / Penny Dale – Although no true protagonists were clearly defined, the juxtapositioning of the pretentious artwork managed to balance out the feigned plot.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

  • “Tao-tê ching” – just because

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The academic atmosphere

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

Ride a bike up McArdle Roadway to Mount Washington – it will change your life

 

September 20, 2014
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Meet the JKM Staff- Circulation Owl

Circulation Owl:

Circulation Owl

  • Was gifted by a former student and is apparently named Hedwig
  • Is very dapper
  • Is your Circulation Owl here at JKM Library!

 

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

[Silence]

 

Interviewers note: I waited until I had to go home. It seems like for now, Circulation Owl wants to remain as enigmatic as ever. Please tune in next time for a more lively  interview- probably with a human being!

September 10, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library staff: Kate Wenger

Kate Wenger

  • Spent the summer of 2013 backpacking across Europe with her husband
  • Owns a compound bow and arrow set, promises not to use it on sleepy students
  • Is your reference librarian here at JKM Library!
You've probably seen this picture of Kate around the library's website.

You’ve probably seen this picture of Kate around the library’s website.

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

Perhaps an easier question to answer would be: what don’t I do?  I spend a fair bit of time at the reference desk eagerly awaiting questions from Chatham students, faculty, and staff. I also go into classes to teach students how to find the information they need for their assignments. Marketing library resources falls to me as well, so I coordinate our library newsletter, blog, Facebook page, displays, brochures, workshops, and more. I also keep track of student publications and send reminder emails to students to submit their tutorials, theses, dissertations, or capstones to the library.

What made you choose your current profession?

My mom, actually. When I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in English and psychology, I knew I was not interested in pursuing a career or more schooling in either of those at that time. My mom suggested a degree in library science, and it turned out to be a perfect fit!

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

A teacher – guess that sort of worked out since I do go into classes to teach library research.

You probably haven't seen this picture of Kate yet, but you should. (And now you have!)

You probably haven’t seen this picture of Kate yet, but you should. (And now you have!)

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Working with Chatham students, faculty, and staff! I get the most satisfaction out of helping people find the information they need, and I also really enjoy learning about the topics folks are researching.

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

It’s hard to pick just one thing, but a bunch of them fall into one category: building/space improvements. I’d love to add more comfortable seating, more outlets, portable whiteboards around the building, and other useful things to make the library an even better place to hang out, study, and do research.

What do you like to do on your days off?

Read! I suppose that’s not particularly surprising. When the weather is nice, I love spending time outside – walking/hiking, gardening, or even just reading. I’ve also dabbled in making earrings, and I have a lot of house plants.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I honestly don’t think there’s one book that everyone should read. I prefer to help folks find books they will enjoy. If I had to pick something, I do think some of the popular positive psychology works are beneficial reads – Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is particularly good.

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

Enjoy the restaurants. There are so many good ones. Some of my favorites are Coriander (Indian food in Squirrel Hill), Silk Elephant/Bangkok Balcony (Thai in Squirrel Hill), Point Brugge (Belgian food in Point Breeze – get the mussels in white sauce and some frites!), and the Church Brew Works.

August 20, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff- Rachel Rohrbaugh

Rachel Grove Rohrbaughrachel_tomato

  • Grew this extra-large tomato herself!
  • Once listed pizza among her top priorities
  • Is the Archivist and Public Services Librarian here at JKM Library!

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

I am the Archivist and Public Services Librarian.  In this role, I handle all aspects of the Chatham University Archives and the Jennie King Mellon Library Special Collections.  The Archives holds records, photographs, and other materials on the history of the school, and Special Collections is where we keep all of our rare and fragile books.

What made you choose your current profession?

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, I got a work study job in the Art History Slide Collection—now known as Visual Resources as everything moves into a digital format.  I thought it was wonderful how the librarians there got to learn about all these different periods in art history and didn’t have to focus on any one time or place.  It was there that I realized being a librarian would fuel my intellectual curiosity.  Then, after a summer volunteer position at the Pennsylvania State Archives, the whole world of archives opened up to me.  I loved the chance to work with one of a kind pieces of history.  There is so much excitement and potential in all the untold stories archives can hold.

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

When I was very small, I wanted to a be a waitress in a pizza parlor, because I figured the waiters and waitresses could eat all the pizza they wanted—What could be better?  As I got a little older, I was interested in being a children’s book illustrator and then later still a microbiologist.  I saw the movie And the Band Played On in health class, and it made working as a scientist for the CDC look incredibly exciting.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love working with students and faculty, especially when I can get a whole class into the Archives or Special Collections.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I love to travel when I can and especially love to eat new foods in each city I visit.  I also enjoy a laidback weekend camping trip with hiking, a campfire, and some quiet time in the woods.  When I’m not travelling I enjoy puttering around in my vegetable garden, playing tennis (poorly) in Arsenal Park, and catching up on my reading.

What’s the last thing you checked out? 

I always have tons of books checked out at once from both Chatham and the Carnegie Public Library.  Just yesterday evening I checked out In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan.  One of the best books I’ve checked out recently at the Jennie King Mellon Library is Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  I already loved the Netflix series based on the book, and I always enjoy a good memoir.  My favorite thing about Orange is the New Black are all the stories of the women she meets in prison.  The book really sheds light on the importance of prison reform and any movement towards keeping more folks out of prison for non-violent offences.

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

This isn’t something I’ve completely done myself, but I think everyone should try to visit as many neighborhoods as possible.  Every neighborhood has its own unique flavor and something fun to see or do.

August 10, 2014
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Meet the JKM Library Staff: Erin Wolverton

Erin Wolverton:

Wolverton pic

  •  Was born and raised in Michigan, and comes to Pittsburgh by way of Cleveland
  • Has her master’s in English
  • Claims that there’s nothing surprising about her (But we think that she’s just good at keeping secrets- we’ve never seen her and Batman in the same place…)
  • Works as a reference associate here at JKM Library

What made you choose your current profession

I got my Master’s degree in English but decided not to continue with the PhD for a variety of reasons. Then I was working at universities in student services for a long time. One day it dawned on me that I could combine what I knew about academic inquiry and the research process, and the satisfaction of assisting and being of use to people. So I dropped everything and ran to get an MLIS, which is almost completed.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The variety of reference questions. Some days I’m searching on nursing methodologies, and some days Pretenders albums.

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

I’d want to build a huge, huge collection that the building couldn’t possibly hold. Of course, Chatham still has enormous digital holdings, and I love digital books, too, but I still have a ton of physical books at home. And browsing shelves is so different from browsing digital records in the library catalog.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

I get most of my fiction from the Squirrel Hill branch of the CPL. I just read Dan Chaon’s Among the Missing, a collection of short stories about all the lives we don’t live because of the choices we make. The book was intense and sad and creepy, like practically everything Chaon writes. He teaches at Oberlin and occasionally writes obscure Cleveland locations into his work; he’s one of my favorite modern authors.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The idiosyncrasies of the people who have been living here for many generations. I’m from the Midwest, but Pittsburghers are just different. You don’t hear ‘yinz’ anywhere else. Also weird things like putting French fries into the sandwiches instead of on the sides of them.

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

Take the funicular up the Duquesne Incline. Fun, cheap, amazing view of the city. Also, see a band play at Mr. Smalls.

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