Updated June 2022: Dawna moved from Teen Librarian to Youth Services Manager and is now the Public Services Director.
“The things I love most about my job all have to do with the people I work with.”
I have been with BCPL as the Teen Librarian at the Scheben Branch for 4 years. I spend most of my time leading teen programs, coordinating teen library volunteers, and facilitating after school book clubs at Ockerman and Gray middle schools. The things I love most about my job all have to do with the people I work with. My co-workers bring a smile to my face every single day, and 10 minutes with my teen volunteers or book club members can change the worst day into the best. I’m also thankful to work in a place where I see families grow and can, hopefully, bring small joys and laughter into their lives, not to mention helping them find excellent books!
I grew up in Winchester, KY with my mom and grandparents. I attended Lexington Catholic High School and moved to northern Kentucky to attend Thomas More College as an Elementary Education major. After completing my degree, I taught 3rd grade and Kindergarten in Covington Independent Schools, but didn’t love it. While I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I went back to Thomas More as an Admissions counselor and dual credit program coordinator.
During my second year working at the college, we were encouraged to do community service, and, recalling my years of being a teen volunteer at the Clark County Public Library, I applied to volunteer in Kenton County. Under the guidance and encouragement of several of their librarians, I decided to go to library school and chose UNC-Chapel Hill. I was finishing my master’s degree and working as a weekend programs coordinator at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (the COOLEST job I’ve ever had, though BCPL’s still my favorite) when a friend, who was working part-time at BCPL, sent me this Teen Librarian job posting. After a Skype interview, a graduation, a move back to Kentucky, and a great first day, I was home.
Outside of the library, I am a big musical theater nerd. If you pull up next to me at a stop light, you might get a re-enactment of Kinky Boots, Waitress, Newsies, Smash/Bombshell, or Lion King…this month anyway. As a kid I loved Gene Kelly, Rogers and Hammerstein, young Elvis movies, and Chuck Norris. I was a ballet dancer for 10 years dancing for a season with the Kentucky Ballet Theater, performing at the Lexington Opera House and after finally peaking at 16, hanging up the point shoes. Living near Cincinnati now, I love going to the Aronoff Center or Music Hall for Broadway shows, ballets, and symphonies. Other than that, I like knitting presents, watching movies, reading fantasy, eating ice cream, and traveling with my husband. Oh, and I like purple.