‘Li­brary Queen’ new man­ager at Ben­ton branch

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com By Elisha Morrison

Saline County Li­brary’s new man­ager at Herzfeld Li­brary in Ben­ton grew up lov­ing the li­brary so much she was known as “the li­brary queen.”

Ja­nine Miller, who started June 10, is set to be over pub­lic ser­vices, adult ser­vices and youth ser­vices at the li­brary.

“Grow­ing up, my par­ents in­stilled in my sis­ter and me the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion and the im­por­tance of lit­er­acy,” Miller said.

Her par­ents were both teachers so after school she would go to her school li­brary and help the li­brar­ian shelve books and any other tasks the li­brar­ian could find for her.

The other stu­dents would tease her, calling her “Ja­nine, Ja­nine the li­brary queen.”

She was al­ways fas­ci­nated by reading.

“I felt reading could ex­pand my mind,” she said.

Miller is orig­i­nally from Mon­ti­cello. She earned her de­gree in English from the Univer­sity of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2008. Her mas­ter’s came from North Caroline Cen­tral Univer­sity at Durham, where she grad­u­ated in 2012. She fol­lowed a dual track, fo­cus­ing on both pub­lic li­brary and school me­dia.

While she earned her mas­ter’s, she worked for the Jef­fer­son County Li­brary Sys­tem. She left there in 2012 and worked as the branch man­ager for the Wind­sor branch of the Fort Smith Pub­lic Li­brary.

This move to Saline County puts her a lit­tle closer to her par­ents who still live in Mon­ti­cello.

Miller said she found the job in Ben­ton by ac­ci­dent. Staff from the Bryant branch of the Saline County Li­brary had vis­ited her branch of the Fort Smith Pub­lic Li­brary. They talked to her and en­cour­aged her to ap­ply for a po­si­tion that was open at the time, but she couldn’t be­cause her hus­band was still in school.

In Au­gust, she was looking at a site list­ing li­brary po­si­tions and saw Ben­ton had an open­ing so she ap­plied.

“The tim­ing was right,” Miller said.

Miller has a son, Val­ton, 2, with her hus­band, Des­mond.

She de­scribes her­self as hard­work­ing and ded­i­cated. She looks for­ward to work­ing with her new team.

So far, she enjoys that the Saline County Li­brary of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties and takes part in out­reach. She also likes that the com­mu­nity gets in­volved with the li­brary.

She said she is im­pressed by the dif­fer­ent types of non­tra­di­tional items the li­brary has avail­able to check out, such as cake pans, exercise kits, video games, mo­bile hots spots and tablets.

“This li­brary is de­signed so what­ever you need, you can get it,” Miller said.

In the short pe­riod of time she has been at the li­brary, she al­ready thinks she has great co-work­ers.

“I work with a group of hard­work­ing, ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­als who are ded­i­cated to out­reach in the com­mu­nity, en­gag­ing and gen­er­ally friendly,” she said.

Miller is work­ing to learn her new po­si­tion.

One thing she knows she wants to do is keep the fire and pas­sion the staff have go­ing.

She loves to read, though ad­mits she doesn’t have as much time for it as she used to.

Her fa­vorite book is “Re­demp­tion Song,” by Ber­tice Berry. Her fa­vorite au­thor is Dr. Seuss.

Her new role will have her manag­ing the day-to­day op­er­a­tions of the pub­lic fac­ing de­part­ments.

She hopes to be able to get in­volved with the pro­grams the li­brary of­fers.

“I am ex­cited to be here in Saline County,” Miller said. “I am looking for­ward to not only learn­ing about the com­mu­nity as a whole, but to learn­ing about what Ben­ton and Bryant have to of­fer.”

ELISHA MORRISON/THE Saline Courier

Ja­nine Miller is Saline County Li­brary’s new branch man­ager for Herzfeld Li­brary in Ben­ton.

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