Amanda Hopper does not fit the stereotype that librarians sit around and read books all day! As Assistant Director at Boone County Public Library, Amanda has a love for reading, but has so much more to offer the community beyond just books. Her dream library would be a community campus that offers a senior center, childcare facility and many exhibits that give it a museum feel. The campus would also have several community centers on wheels that house books and mobile tech labs which visit various neighborhoods. Although her dream library is not yet a reality, she is always working towards it.
Amanda’s most rewarding experiences as a Librarian come from helping other people. BCPL has given her an avenue to serve more people than she ever thought possible. She finds success in addressing the most basic needs through events such as the summer feeding program to higher level needs such as books and parenting workshops. While at the Florence Branch, Amanda enjoyed helping people with life services such as job applications for unemployed, tax forms for those who cannot afford an accountant and resources needed just to get through the day. She finds pride in how relevant libraries are today as they provide Internet service and tech help as well as free programs and short versions of plays that typically require a trip to Cincinnati. She smiles when she thinks about the number of people she has met, the lives that have touched her and the lives she has touched along the way; she titles every one of them, both staff and customers, “the BCPL community”. Amanda sums up, “The library is so much more than just books.”
Amanda’s favorite part of the library is the children’s area where she watches Moms and children play together. She also loves being on the Community Center on Wheels out in the neighborhoods interacting with people. “The library offers support to every parent in being their child’s first teacher,” says Amanda. “It is space to grow together as a family.”
Amanda most enjoys reading teen fiction including fantasy and realistic fiction with a happy ending. Although not a teen title, Amanda’s all-time favorite book is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It is a story of a man taking a trip and along the way stops to talk to many people about different topics of life. According to Amanda, the language is written so beautifully, and she was even able to recognize this as a child. It is the only book that she always has on her shelf and the only book she has ever re-read.
Amanda grew up in Owen County where there was not much to do. Both of her parents understood the importance of literacy and knowledge, so visits to the library were regular outings. Amanda loved looking up stuff in the card catalog! A long-time family friend and neighbor, Bettina Summerville, was Director of Owen County Public Library. Bettina is the reason Amanda pursued her degree in library science and one of the reasons she works at BCPL today! Bettina told Amanda and her father that Boone County was the place to be. Amanda took her advice and can proudly say she loves her job, she loves working for BCPL and she loves the community she serves.
Jennifer Cheek has worked for Boone County Public Library for 5 years. A graduate from the College of Mount St. Joseph focusing on English and Communications, she previously worked in Advertising/Media Buying and still continues as a freelancer.