Our Head Librarian of Adult Services, Jacob, is one of the most recognized faces here at EPL, and not just because of his reputation for wearing snazzy shirts with matching masks during COVID! He has served our patrons and our community for 20 years in various roles, and he has spent the last 9 years in Reference/ Adult Services. If you have ever walked in here with a question that you needed answered, odds are good that Jacob is the one who helped you. Those odds increase along with the difficulty and/or complexity of the question. I am often amazed at Jacob’s broad knowledge base, and if he doesn’t know the answer, he knows where to look for it. Jacob also has a real heart for service. I have seen him being asked very unusual things and have been with him during stressful situations, and he has a special way of connecting with people and speaking to them in a way that they feel respected and will relate to. Thank you Jacob for your 20 years of service, and Congratulations!
- Jill Schardt, Library Director
In what part of the library do you work and what do you do?
Adult Services. This department deals in reference, interlibrary loan, and adult programming.
What has changed the most since you started working here?
Myself. It’s wild to think of the 19-year-old that start working here in 2001.
What services offered at the library do you wish more people knew about?
There are databases like AtoZ World Travel and Ancestry Library Edition that everyone should be aware of. There are parts of the collection like Binge Boxes, video games, and the Lucky Day shelf. Mainly, more people should know how responsive we are to feedback and requests. If someone expresses interest in a certain kind of educational program or a certain type of lending material, we put a lot of energy into making those things happen.
What has kept you working at the library?
A public library feels like the perfect intersection of education, recreation, and personal growth. These are pursuits that I’ve never tired of, and that I’ve felt increasingly suited in serving over the last 20 years.
If you could have coffee with any author, who would you choose?
If not limited to the living, I’m going with Anthony Bourdain. I know the coffee would be good. Hopefully I’d get to travel somewhere interesting to meet him for that coffee.
What’s an underrated book you think everyone should read?
I continue to recommend The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt. It’s now been 16-17 years since I read it. I hope it still holds up. No one that I’ve recommended it to has ever brought it up again.
Do you have a book character role model?
I’ve answered this question with ‘Atticus Finch’ previously. Go Set a Watchman might have changed that answer.
What is your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?
Circe by Madeline Miller is the book that I’ve gotten to the know the best in the past year. It was a lot of fun to discuss this book for NEA Big Read Edwardsville, and it was very interesting to chat with the author.