Spotlight on Staff

Sure, you know who works in the Fairborn library. But do you really know them? We decided to give you a slightly fuller introduction to some of our staff. This month we’ll feature Tracy, Rick, and Carol.


Tracy Marks, Reference Librarian

How did you come to work in this library?
I wanted a job close to home and the Fairborn library was hiring! It’s still close to home, and it also turned out to be a great fit for me.

What is your library superpower?
Genealogy! I have spent a lot of time researching my family’s origins. My coworkers discovered this, and started referring patrons to me with family history questions. I enjoy it so much that I decided to learn more, and I have actually just completed a certification program from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

What’s the most amusing question a patron has ever asked you?
What's the number for 9-1-1? (I’m not kidding!)

What book do you think absolutely must be part of a library collection?
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—the whole series. Must have it.

What would our library patrons be surprised to learn about you?
I have an MA degree in Education, and I taught in a public school special education classroom prior to coming to work in the library.

What is the coolest thing about working in a library?
All the fun people you get to interact with! I enjoy our patrons, and my coworkers are fantastic.


Rick Nickels, Reference Librarian

How did you come to work in this library?
By accident of course. I was looking for a part-time job back when I was a stay-at-home dad. There was a sub position open in the Yellow Springs library. Since then I’ve gone back to school and completed a Library & Information Science degree at Kent State University, and I’ve been working here in Fairborn for about seven years.

What is your library superpower?
I usually know where to find almost any subject without having to look up the call number. That’s because I help weed the collection, which means I review many of the materials we currently have, and decide what to keep and what to “weed” to make room for newer items.

What’s the most amusing question a patron has ever asked you?
When I am sitting behind the information desk working, wearing my badge, I have been asked more than once "Do you work here?"

What book do you think absolutely must be part of a library collection?
For me it's George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The themes regarding Big Brother and doublespeak are timeless.

What would our library patrons be surprised to learn about you?
Maybe you’d be surprised to learn that I ride a motorcycle.

What is the coolest thing about working in a library?
I like helping people access online resources and solve various computer issues, especially when the patron had no idea libraries could help with those concerns.


Carol VanDerSluijs, Youth Services Librarian

How did you come to work in this library?
I got "downsized" from my school librarian job (at a little private school) and wanted to find another place in the library world.

What is your library superpower?
I know lots of YA fiction! I’ve been reading and discussing teen books with teens for most of my career.

What’s the most amusing question a patron has ever asked you?
A patron noticed the Harry Potter series on the shelf and said she didn't know they made books from those movies!

What book do you think absolutely must be part of a library collection?
I adore the Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ll help you find it in our juvenile fiction section! It offers such a great window into what life was like in the mid-1800s.

What would our library patrons be surprised to learn about you?
I was an accountant for six years right after college.

What is the coolest thing about working in a library?
It's so amazing when patrons come back to say hi, often years after having last been here! Many of my former story time kids are all grown up!

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