Library Patron Spotlight: Jan Deems
Since 2009, Jan has been one of the library’s greatest frequenters.
Her patronage continued right through the pandemic, via curbside service, and once we opened the doors again, I immediately asked if she would be interested in sharing her story.
Jan loves discussing her favorite authors, and she’s been known to bake up some scrumptious sweets for lucky staff members! Below is the interview I conducted with her.
Question: Tell us a little about yourself.
Jan Deems: I am originally from Ohio, but moved here over thirteen years ago to be near my daughter and her family. I love being a part of their lives. I really do like living in the south but could do without all the humidity; much like I could do without all the snow when I lived up north.
While I am a family-oriented person, I have a great group of forever friends I have found here who I enjoy getting together with. I love teaching women’s groups about how powerful God’s Word is and how it applies to us today.
I am very involved in my church (Rock Bridge) and I lead a small group for women called Digging Deeper. It is a great class with a wonderful group of women who also love to dig deeper into God’s Word.
I have also become a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children who are in the foster care system. CASA volunteers basically help ensure these children’s needs and desires are heard. It can be difficult, as most of them have suffered unthinkable neglect and/ or abuse. At the same time, it is rewarding, since we assist in finding them permanent homes with a loving family.
I also love to write about the lessons and opportunities, provided for us through God’s Word, to live a successful and fulfilled life. I write inspirational stories about women who have had personal encounters with God, and how their lives turned around; and about mistakes and lessons learned from our biblical ancestors and how they apply to us today.
Q: How do you use the library from home?
Jan: The library is great in assisting with whatever you may want to learn. The library has an informative website that provides links to find other information as well. I love the different classes provided
(free of charge) on topics that we might want to learn more about. I love to read, and during COVID, the staff was helpful directing me how to find books online (without cost) and how to find other avenues for information.
Q: Why is the library important to you?
Jan: As a writer, I use the library for research and investigating areas I need to learn more about. I have attended several classes at the library that have really helped me- especially the classes provided for genealogy research which were very helpful in tracing our ancestors. The staff is well versed in the library’s collection, and they have led me to other authors whose style of writing I enjoy. The staff at Calhoun were my lifeline to books during COVID and they went out of their way with curbside pickup to assist all us readers!
Q: What is your favorite book of all time?
Jan: Being analytical, I enjoy mystery books, as I love trying to figure out “whodunit.” I also love stories about others whose lives have been touched and blessed by God during adverse situations. I love Mitch Albom’s book, “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.” Once I started reading it it was hard to put down, and consequently, I was late for a meeting because I was so immersed in it!
However, my favorite book is the Holy Bible. I love how studying it provides me with encouragement, greater understanding on how to live a productive life, and the conviction to know when I have taken a wrong path; and then provides a way “to lift me from the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock.” I never tire of reading it, and I often employ my own mistakes and insights to teach others about God. There are always new insights and revelations every time I read it.
Q: What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
Jan: Any book by Louise Penny. She writes mysteries based in Canada and I love how she can make the situation, and especially the characters, come alive. Even though it’s fictional, the characters are people you would want to meet or get to know.
The books take place in a village called Three Pines, and there are people from many different backgrounds, but Penny brings them together like a family (complete with all of a family’s quirkiness!) It is one of those fictional places I would like to visit. She writes awardwinning books that do not contain detailed, immoral scenarios; unlike some authors who think that is needed to get their story across. I also favor books by Sue Grafton (the alphabet series).
Q: If you could have three authors over for dinner (living or dead), who would you invite?
Jan: Louise Penny, Mitch Albom, and either Peter (one of Jesus’ disciples) or Mary (the mother of Jesus) If you are curious about some of these authors and books that Jan loves, please visit the library during operating hours (Weekdays from 10 AM-Noon & 2-6 PM) or search the library’s collection at gapines.org.
Library card holders also have access to thousands of F-R-E-E downloadable eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital magazines at ngrl.org/downloads.
For the latest library updates and to see our virtual programming via social media, visit @CalhounGordonCountyLibrary on Facebook.