Thank you to everyone who has helped us celebrate National Library Week. Friday brings us to our final staff member bio. From the archives to the front lines, these are the people that make our library great.
Meet Karen Ryan, Circulation Coordinator
How long have you worked in libraries and how long have you worked at Hollins?
I started working at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library system in North Carolina when I was attending University in 1997. I met my now-husband four years later and moved to Virginia in 2002, starting at the Lynchburg Public Library’s law library/city hall branch the same week as the move. In 2003, a circulation position opened up at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College’s Lipscomb Library and I took the wonderful leap into the world of academic libraries. In the summer of 2013, I joined Hollins University as Wyndham Robertson Library’s Circulation Coordinator.
What is your favorite thing about libraries?
I was going to be a high school English teacher, but working at Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library at the same time I was completing my student teaching made me to realize that (to me) it was more fulfilling to have someone come to me in search of knowledge on any subject rather than to try to force the knowledge of one particular subject into people’s (sometimes unwilling) minds. And the subjects people bring questions about can be so varied and interesting! It is very fulfilling work.
Do you have a favorite moment at Hollins that you can share? Or what is your favorite aspect of your work at Hollins?
Most of my favorite moments are the day-today interactions with my student employees, co-workers, and our wonderful library patrons. Having the winning entry on the library’s Pie Day was a highlight as well.
Fill in the blank: If I wasn’t working in a library, I would be ___________________.
I suppose I would be a high school English teacher.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love gaming in all of its forms – tabletop RPGs, board games, video games, etc. I enjoy reading and writing science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, gothic and Lovecraftian horror, and paranormal fiction to name a few genres. I love graphic novels/comic series; I am currently reading Rat Queens and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves strong, quirky female leads. I’m fond of movies, museums, visiting historical places, and finding kitschy roadside attractions.