The Icon relaunched its 15-minute interviews with staff members of the Bluffton Public Library. Here's part of our chat with Jessica Hermiller. Watch for more interviews along the way.
Bluffton Public Library
How long have you been on the library staff?
Since January of 2014.
What is the most frequent question you are asked at the library?
You had to go to college for that?” (Yes -I needed 2 degrees!) Runner-up: “Can I speak to the director?” (*Patron looks around for older person.*) Honorable mention: “Woah! Do you all ever take a break? There’s so much going on!” (Nope - we are always busy!)
What’s your favorite author, or authors or book genre?
Favorite authors is a hard question, but I think I can manage genre’s. I grew up reading (and still adore) the classics - everything from the Greek tragedies all the way through Alice Walker and beyond. I like noir, gothic mysteries, horror, sci-fi and fantasy - but honestly, I read everything. (And a LOT of nonfiction about a myriad of topics. I’m quite the competitor when it comes to anything trivia - fair warning.) I was raised in a comic-reading household and have a great love of graphic novels and comic books also.
How many books might you read in a month?
It honestly depends. Some months I might finish three or four, others more. I’m typically reading five-plus books at a time so how quickly I finish them depends on how well they hook me.
What’s your experience with e-books (good, bad, no opinion)?
I love eBooks! I almost always have a few eAudiobooks downloaded as well. It’s a great way to make sure I never run out of things to read.
What’s your favorite movie (one where you could recite the lines with the volume turned off)?
The Phantom of the Opera. I actually (much to my husband’s amusement) sang my way through the film when it was in theatres. I’m sure the people around us were not as appreciative.
Is there a book you’ve read that really disappointed you, where the hype was greater than the actual book?
The thing with hype… it isn’t all it seems. Just because something is a “best-seller” doesn’t mean the book was well written or even popular. (Authors or publishers can buy copies to donate and make their book climb the charts.) It always comes back to personal preference. Sometimes I’ll even try a book in a different format to see if I can trudge through it (a good audio narrator can do wonders.)
If you wrote a book or a book series, what would be the plot?
I’ve always said I would write the story of my wedding day (which was equally disastrous and happy) - it would make a ridiculously entertaining afternoon read.
What was your first-ever job, as an youngster, and how much did you make?
My first job was a library page at the Lima Public Library. I think I made $5 an hour, which for a 14-year-old, was a fortune.
Did you ever take musical instrument lesson?
I took piano lessons from 5-16 and I still play when I can. There was an unfortunate season where I attempted the flute, and I might be able to remember a few guitar chords - but the majority of my musical involvement was vocal.
What did you want to be when you were growing up, a librarian?
When I was in elementary and middle school I wanted to be an archaeologist, a Broadway star, and President. It took me to the very last second to decide whether I was going to college for music or libraries.
What’s one way anyone can support the library?
Use it! Check out books, music, and movies. Come to a program, use our free WiFi, get help with your tech devices. Talk about us with your friends!
Also you can bring the staff tea and coffee. A librarian’s existence hinges around these things: helping people, fostering growing communities, and tea and coffee. (Little known fact.)