Hello! My name is Jennifer Slone and I am the new Access Team Leader at the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library. I came to CRCPL after serving for the past four years as the Public Services Coordinator at the Garnet A. Wilson Public Library of Pike County. In Pike County, I managed the Circulation, Reference, and Children’s departments, media relations, the Summer Reading Program, Guiding Ohio Online, a myriad of grant projects, and many “other duties as assigned.” Being Jill-of-all-trades has given me a wide range of library knowledge, and I’m really excited to put that to good use here in a larger, more diverse library system.
I grew up back in a holler in Wakefield, Ohio, and attended Piketon schools from kindergarten to graduation. My professional career began at the Pike County News Watchman in 2002, where I served as editor of the twice-weekly paper until 2007. After completing my English degree at Ohio University (Chillicothe and Athens), I started working for the Pike County Chamber of Commerce as their Administrative Assistant. In that role, I managed the Chamber office, prepared and kept materials for the Board of Directors, organized monthly and annual business networking events, and created and distributed the monthly newsletter and weekly events listserv. During my Chamber years, I also obtained my Master’s Degree of Library and Information Science from Kent State University.
In early 2014, my husband Nick was employed as the Public Services Coordinator at Garnet A. Wilson. He applied and received the directorship at Adams County Public Libraries, so, naturally, I applied for his job! It was a strange transition, but it was nice to be able to go home each night and ask my predecessor what to do about particular library issues. We talk a LOT of Library in our house; it’s a family affair!
In one way or another, I have always had a passion for the creation, organization, preservation, dissemination, and access of information. I also grew up as a poor kid who took advantage of the Bookmobile and every other piece of literature and learning opportunity I could get my hands on in order to pull myself up and out. In the library, these missions are combined, and therefore, I know I am in the right place.
I am the proud mother of Gracie, a sweet and smart 14-year-old who has been called “Martin Luther King Jr. Jr.” at school because of her insistence on peace, equality, and standing up for what is right. She has played soccer since she was three years old, is involved in 4-H, marching band, quiz bowl, and several other school activities that keep our family busy. She’s the top of her class and I couldn’t ask for a better child.
When I am not Library-ing, you can find me in the garden. My family bought our dream home in western Pike County nearly two years ago, and I am still in new home heaven. Our house sits at the edge of a deep, dark wood, so I lovingly call it “The Forest House.” We are surrounded by an oak grove, and there are gorgeous mushrooms, plush moss, wildflowers, birds, butterflies, and squirrel babies everywhere! Before buying our home, we lived in an upstairs apartment with no yard for 10 years. I felt like a rat in a cage, so returning to nature has been very therapeutic for me. Now, I’m gardening again, which was something I treasured as a kid in the holler. I feel at peace surrounded by the forest. I have returned to my roots.
I love cooking, talking about big ideas (philosophy/politics/psychology/the world), hiking, and spending time alone. I was inspired by the filmmaker David Lynch to learn Transcendental Meditation and have been practicing for a year now with outstanding results. I love music, and forbid outgrowing Grunge. The 90s are in style now? I never left… I love going to concerts and have seen the majority of the bands on my “Band Bucket List.” I’ll be crossing Weezer off of that list this summer, too!
My favorite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Mellville. I love the flowery, half-biblical/half-Victorian prose, which is not typically my style, but Melville works it. I love the themes of brotherhood and fraternity and otherness, but, most importantly, I love the takeaway that Thou Shall Not Mess with Nature. Nature is something to be feared and respected, and if you underestimate it, it will gobble you up every time.
I recently read Wonder by R.J. Palacio with the Book Club in Waverly, and it gave me an opportunity to write some of my own precepts, which I’ll share with you here:
- “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero
- “K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)” This just means don’t overcomplicate things. Why reinvent the wheel?
- “Haters gonna hate.” Some people are negative and there’s nothing you can do about it. Find a way to work with them or around them and don’t take it personally.
- “The quicker, the done-er.” This is something Gracie said when she was about five years old. It has become a maxim in our family. In other words, don’t procrastinate.
- “Play hard but work harder.” This is my personal philosophy. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t work hard enough to earn your play. Work harder no matter what.
- “Have compassion, especially when they don’t deserve it.” You NEVER know what’s going on in someone’s life. If they are grumpy, there’s probably a reason, and compassion and love is your best hope at making an impact.
- “People are strange…” Oftentimes, when there’s no other answer/reason for why something odd happens in the library, I find myself humming The Doors, and that’s good enough for me.
Thank you all for making me feel so welcome in my first week at CRCPL. I have some big shoes to fill, but I intend to work hard to help the Access staff accomplish their goals, and to help our library continue to thrive! I am so happy to be here!
Feel free to reach out if you need anything. firstname.lastname@example.org, (740) 702-4103.