Our newest librarian is Erica Roberts, a native of Maryland who recently graduated from the University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science at Chapel Hill.
What interested you in becoming a librarian?
When I graduated college, I was sure I was going to end up working in the publishing industry. After a number of false starts, I ended up working at my local Barnes and Noble – and as much as I hated the sell-sell-sell focus of the job, I did really love interacting with customers and offering book recommendations. When a relative suggested I talk with a friend of hers about her job as a librarian, it spurred me to switch tracks and go to library school. And now here I am!
Why did you decide you wanted to work with youth?
When I was in high school, I was a part of two long-running programs that my local public library offered – one giving myself and fellow teens the chance to write book reviews for teen advanced readers copies, and the other a teen advisory group that also offered the chance to interview visiting authors and publish the interviews on the library's webpage for teens. My time in both of those programs was the root of my prevailing interest in working with teens and teen literature in my (future) career. My classes and my internship over the last year gave me experience with programs and literature for younger children as well, and have helped me become more comfortable working with and for a wider range of youth.
Any programs or services you're looking forward to trying out this fall?
A number of them! I'm most excited to bring the role-playing game Wanderhome to teen programming (and depending on its success or lack of, potentially also to adult and tween programming). It’s a pastoral fantasy game where animal characters, that the players create, go on a journey through the peaceful land of the Haeth. I'm also excited to work on the Tweens Read Banned Books monthly book club with my colleague Raquel and the Stories & Stuff program with Caroline!
What has surprised you the most about White Plains?
Especially compared to the previous libraries I habitually visited and worked at, I was pleasantly surprised by the way White Plains Library displays and programs not only acknowledge the cultural diversity of the city's population but also celebrate it! I look forward to learning more about our community and supporting our library as we celebrate different cultural holidays throughout the year.