Boone County is home!

I work out of a little corner of Heaven on the first floor at the Scheben Branch.
My favorite thing about BCPL is the people, both the customers and my
colleagues. Every minute is as different as each person I encounter. There is
never a dull moment! Although I have had many roles at BCPL over the last
17 years, I am currently the Adult Outreach Manager. Outreach is the work
that does not take place on Library property and includes the delivery of
library materials to the homes of customers and programs at adult residential

I was raised in Clermont County (OH) and graduated from Amelia High School. I grew up sandwiched between two brothers, one seven years older (John) and one seven years younger (Brent), so yes, there was a time when we were ages 7, 14 and 21. Mom was a school bus driver, and Dad was a letter carrier. Both of my parents performed many hours of volunteer work and taught us to give back to our communities.

One fond childhood memory was during the blizzards of ’77 – ’78. My family and I would venture over to Florence Mall as soon as the snow emergencies were lifted. We were absolutely bamboozled by the fact that Florence had a mall that was two stories high! Other places that I have lived include Cincinnati and a brief stay in Cleveland.
During my childhood, the UHF antenna on our 9” black and white TV (dubbed “the kids’ TV”) opened up a whole new world to me. I spent many afternoons watching Channel 19, WXIX. It took me a LONG time before I realized that XIX was 19 in Roman numerals! Does anyone remember Hattie the Witch, alias Batty Hattie from Cincinnati? I enjoyed the Cool Ghoul, too, and was so pleased to meet Dick Von Hoene at a BCPL
program shortly before his death.

Another childhood passion was reading. My dad took me to the local library on Thursday afternoons. And during the summers, I bought boxes of books from a local Goodwill store where they let me pack a box for just $1.00!

My teen years were comprised of homework, 4-H and serving on the Clermont County Junior Fair Board. I spent a lot of time listening to oldies music, too, and was relieved when old rock became more mainstream and entire radio stations were devoted to it. I wanted to go away to college, but not THAT FAR away! I enrolled at Xavier University and moved into the dorms. After graduating from Xavier with a BA in English, I worked full time while earning a Master’s in Education from Xavier and finally a Master’s in Library Science from University of Kentucky.

I worked in a bookstore while in college before being hired by my college library during my senior year. Upon graduating, I was fortunate enough to start a full-time career at McDonald Library-Xavier University. It was a great place to be for an English major! Much later, I thought that I would continue to be an academic reference librarian until retirement. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that my husband and I were building a home in Boone County, I decided to apply at BCPL. Academic
librarianship and public librarianship are more different than I ever imagined, but I am very happy to have made the change.

Now residing in Boone County, I have two dogs (Daisy and Duke, rescued littermates who are part Chihuahua, part Chinese crested), and one husband (Barry, a chemist, married for 30 years). At one point, my husband and I bred fancy goldfish and had 30+ aquariums and a 550-gallon water aging tank in our basement. In case you are wondering, yes, the house sounded like a giant Jacuzzi with all of those filters running! Since water weighs 8 pounds per gallon, this hobby necessitated double rebar in the
basement of our house when we were building. During construction, I took Mom and my brother John to look at the house. John looked long and hard at the water aging tank and said, “I would have thought that they’d have sewers over here [in Kentucky] by now.” I once flew with 12 Bristol shubunkin from London to CVG. It prompted a lot of laughter among airline employees in the two countries.

Other things that I like to do include making greeting cards, or more precisely, I like collecting pretty cardstock that I hope will one day become greeting cards. And I am addicted to thrift shopping! I started all of those years ago while buying the books at Goodwill. Let me know what you need, and I can give you places to shop at all price points. Barry and I love to travel. One of my favorite places to visit is Hawaii; I have been there 8 or 9 times. Paris for our twentieth wedding anniversary was amazing! I also enjoy visiting my college roommate who lives in England. One of the trips that I will never forget was a trip to Germany. The plane ticket was a gift from my college roommate, Diane and I had no time to prepare. I arrived in Germany knowing only the words for thank you and yes. Although it was nerve wracking, it was one of my most memorable experiences.  Everyone should be dropped into a country where they don’t know the language, especially people who serve the public.

My path brought me to BCPL, a place where I belong and a place where I want to be. Outreach has changed my life in ways that I never imagined. I now have so many friends in Boone County that it’s as if I grew up here. Boone County is home!

Top picks for Romance novels by BCPL staff

February is the month of love and Boone County Public Library staff members share their favorite Romance novels.


Kathleen Piercefield, Circulation Assistant, recommends Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (which she read long before it was made into a television series).  It not only has a wonderfully romantic love story, but also the romance of historical events, a remote and beautiful landscape, fascinating characters  … and time travel!  Who could ask for more?




Julie Bockstiegel, Collection Services, recommends One Day in December by Josie Silver.  A recent popular read, this title was written up in several reviews toward the end of 2018.  Despite the mention of December, it is not really a “Christmas” story.  The plot deals with a woman who briefly sees a guy at a bus stop, and for some reason she has a jolt that he could be “the one”. She looks for him and months later finally meets him – as the new boyfriend of her best friend!  Years go by, and people come and go in their lives.  But rest assured, there is a happy ending.



Julie also recommends A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer.  As a widow makes preparations to get married again; there are romantic complications among her grown daughters and future step children. The story has appealing characters and keeps you interested in who they will end up with and how they will resolve their problems.



Carrie Herrmann, Director, recommends Montana Sky by Nora Roberts.  Jack Mercy has died, leaving his ranch to his three daughters.  In order to inherit the ranch, the three sisters must live together on the ranch for one year.  Each daughter has a different mother and are as different as three women can be ranging from one living on the ranch, one escaping an abusive relationship and one with a job in Hollywood.  It’s a story about the three women learning to be a family while dealing with love-of-their-life relationships as well as a serial killer that is wreaking havoc in the small community. It is a wonderful mix of romance, mystery and women’s fiction.



Karen Helmle, Page Supervisor, occasionally enjoys reading a romance novel, but ends up feeling as if it was formulaic. However, every now and then a romance novel comes along that really grabs her. Ransom by Julie Garwood was one of those novels. There is humor, mystery, and the main character was brave and strong.  She didn’t try to prove herself and there wasn’t created conflict for the sake of making the story more dramatic. This historical romance was so much fun.


Caron Ward recommends Precious Bane by English author Mary Webb. Featured in a Masterpiece Theatre presentation, Precious Bane is set in the 18th century countryside of Shropshire. In a time when people were superstitious, being born with a disfigurement could cause a lifetime of judgement. Prue, who wants to be loved and has more character than most women of her time, is pursued by Kester Woodsheaves, an itinerant weaver whose intellect and character are immense enough to be the perfect match for Prue.


Jennifer Cheek, Public Relations Specialist, is not much of a Romance reader, but says everyone should read the children’s picture book The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson and illustrated by Tricia Tusa.  The story is written to the rhythm of Clementine about a man who goes to great lengths to ask a lady to be his Valentine.  The illustrations show that the lady continuously misses the signs from her admirer as everyday tasks keep her too busy to notice.  The book is hilarious, a great read for all ages and impossible to read without singing to the tune.  Jennifer’s favorite line from the book is “Now you’re my –al–n–ine.”