"When I was ten, I left a library book outside in the hammock. I didn’t realize the mistake I had made until I woke in the middle of the night to the sound of thunder. The next morning I looked down at my toes, avoiding the soggy copy of “Lavender Green Magic” dangling from my mother’s fingertips. That was my first lesson in respecting books, understanding libraries and working off a debt.
I read my way through the stacks of the Egg Harbor Township Library growing up. I kept reading for pleasure along with curricular requirements throughout college, grad school and professional development classes. I have lived in: Seattle, WA; Austen, TX; Yellow Springs, OH; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; and now I find myself a resident of Linwood, NJ. I have had library cards in all of these locations, even long before the idea of becoming a Librarian entered my thoughts. I have worked as; a maintenance person, a reporter, a research aide, a “sandwich artist”, a framer, a gardener, a cashier, a used bookstore sales associate. I received my BA in Creative Writing from the Antioch College. I attained my Masters in Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston, MA. It was there that I met a very wise librarian named Alan Smith. His keen observation that the more one experiences in life, the better librarian that person becomes stuck with me. To listen to stories from many different voices, to catch a glimpse from all perspectives, to taste a bit of everything at the table makes for a well informed, open minded professional who is better able to serve the public. I believe that this is who I am, who I strive to be. I hope that you will all see me not only in the library but outside of this building as well, participating in those events that define our community. In accepting the role of “Library Director of the Otto Bruyns Public Library” I have happily accepted a position as a public servant.
My first job as a librarian was at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD. I worked in the Social Science and History Department, as a part of the Grants Collection as well as in the Maryland Room.
Upon moving back to the South Jersey area, I began working at the Linwood Public Library as well as the Atlantic City Free Public Library for a time. My research skills were extended to include graphic and web design. I have learned to embrace technology while still maintaining my love of knitting, sewing, painting and more. I believe in engaging skill sets creatively and constructively to solve problems and create new possibilities that merge technology with traditional talents.
I am at heart a poet and hope to follow in the line of great poet-librarians such as Phillip Larkin and Audre Lorde. As the founder of South Jersey Poets Collective, I have had the opportunity to meet many of our local poets, authors and artists. I organize a monthly event, World Above: Free Poetry Nights at Dante Hall in Atlantic City that includes an Open Mic followed by readings from featured poets. I am continually amazed by the talent lurking in South Jersey. I have dedicated myself to bringing these reclusive individuals out into the spotlight where the community can benefit from their talents.
I strive to bring out maximum potential in those around me because that makes the world I live in a better place. It is simple. As a working mother of a two and three year-old, some might question my decision to exert so much of my energies to work. I am fortunate enough to have a very supportive family. I have the opportunity to show my children what a powerful and positive impact that they too can have within their neighborhood. I have proved to my family, and will hopefully prove to the City of Northfield, how much can be accomplished through creative vision, hard work and a positive attitude.
I hope that those of you who aren’t library members but who have happened upon this letter will come in to the library. This is your invitation. I hope that you will share with me your visions and dreams for the library so that we as a community can create the greatest possible resource for the City of Northfield. "