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.

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