On November 17, 2020, the wonderful Pat Yannarella will mark her 40th anniversary of working at Boone County Public Library! She began her time with BCPL in 1980, working as the Information Services Librarian at the only BCPL location at the time, the Florence Branch. As she continued her career, Pat has held many positions such as Reference Librarian, Information Services Coordinator, Branch Manager of the Main Library, Record Retention Officer, Information Security Officer and Branch Manager of the Chapin Memorial Library (phew!). She has worked with several library directors over the years, including Jane Smith, Cindy Brown, Greta Southard and Carrie Herrmann, as well as witnessed the growth of the system from one location to six.

With decades of library experience, Pat has seen her fair share of changes when it comes to libraries and claims no change has been more prominent than the growth of technology. She says libraries have adapted and evolved to serve their communities whether it be with online resumes, researching databases or helping customers with their devices. And while she would suggest to anyone looking to get into the library field to stay up to date with the ever-growing technology, she says it’s making the customer feel comfortable and gaining a rapport that is key to working at a library. When asked what she likes the most about working specifically at BCPL, Pat answers it’s the great staff and the fun of researching. In true reference librarian fashion, she has always enjoyed the challenge of hunting for an answer.

In addition to being an outstanding librarian, Pat keeps herself busy outside of the library by serving as the secretary of the Boone County Historical Society and being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a member of the Florence Women’s Club and a member of the St. Paul’s Choir (she’s a soprano!). But her musical talents didn’t start with the choir. In fact, from ages 14 to 22, Pat was a part-time organist at her local Toledo church, Monday through Friday, for the 6:15 a.m. service! In 1971, after working two years as a teacher, Pat saved enough money to leave Toledo to earn her Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She then married her husband, Phil, and moved to Nebraska where she worked for the Omaha Public Library. It wasn’t until 1977 that Pat found herself in Kentucky, first working at Northern Kentucky University as a reference librarian and then finally making her way to BCPL in 1980. For those counting, that means Pat is coming up on 50 years as a professional librarian!

Some other fun facts you may not know about Pat include:

  • She enjoys reading cozy mysteries, including Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mysteries. (And like all of us, she says she sometimes intends to do the recipes that are included in the books but rarely gets around to it.)
  • She likes the Jack Reacher films and has watched Jack Reacher: Never Go Back several times. (Who knew?!)
  • At one time she had over 80 houseplants but now has between 40 and 50 (including a tree in her kitchen).
  • She and her husband own two dogs named AC and Lily and one feisty cat, who absolutely bites when picked up without permission, named Kitty.
  • She collects several things such as pop-up books, Golden Books, teapots and dolls (some of which have been displayed at various library locations from time to time).
  • And finally and fittingly, she describes her basement as being full with “oodles of books!”

Whether you’re a customer or a staff member, chances are Pat Yannarella has answered a question for you, and we can’t thank her enough! She is an integral part of the Library system and a fantastic co-worker and librarian. Next time you see her in the Library, be sure to say thank you and congratulations on her 40 years of leadership, research and hard work!