You may have noticed Donnie Simmons working on the Hub desk. Or maybe at the Trove’s Compass desk. Or then again, you may have met him in the Edge, surrounded by teens. Donnie, while working part-time, is the only librarian on staff who has served in all three departments, assisting patrons throughout the building while covering programs such as Chess Club in the Edge.
Donnie’s flexibility and approachability are just two of the reasons we are so pleased to now welcome him as a full-time Youth Services librarian, working with both children and teens. This week we met up so I could find out a little bit more about him.
Simmons’ path to his library career was partially brought about by an injury. During his sophomore year at Syracuse University, he tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) playing football and had to find a part-time job to support himself. He found one at the MLK Library on Syracuse’s campus. Simmons quickly realized how much he enjoyed the work and became interested in pursuing it further. Also, Simmons’ father Don, an educator, convinced him that working in a library would put him in a position to be a “voice” to inspire kids in his community. Shortly thereafter, he decided to attend Syracuse’s iSchool for his masters in library and information science.
Simmons was born and raised in White Plains, so the community isn’t new to him, but he is excited to get to know our patrons better. Now that he’s joined our Youth Services department, Simmons says what he’s most looking forward to is “reaching out to White Plains youth, getting to know the community better,” and forming healthy relationships with our younger patrons.
In his spare time, Simmons enjoys reading comics and graphic novels, and watching anime. He says his favorite superhero is Black Panther, particularly Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run, but that Spider-man was the “OG” for him during his younger years, and that the character is a close tie with T’Challa. Simmons, who likes to live an active and healthy lifestyle, recommends patrons check out B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light On Yoga to learn more on the topic from the world’s greatest and best known teacher of yoga.
Please join us in welcoming Donnie to the Library.