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