Meet Cara Ringle, new director of the Benton County Public Library

Recently, Northwest Regional Coordinator Kimberly Brown-Harden visited the Benton County Public Library. While there, she had an opportunity to meet and talk to Cara Ringle.

Are you from the area? If not, where are you from originally?
Yes, Fowler is my hometown. I lived in other places for school, and I live in a different city now, but I travel to the BCPL in Fowler every day.

What inspired you to work in libraries?
I’ve always loved reading and just learning in general. I always came to the library as a child, so when I needed a summer job, I started working there. I learned how multi-faceted libraries actually are and made the decision to get my MLS in grad school. Along the way I’ve had wonderful mentors who taught me what being a great librarian is all about, and I want to follow in their footsteps.

What is your favorite thing about working for your library?
To put it simply, I love the people. We have wonderful community members who come in and I very much enjoy chatting with them and helping them find what they need. Sometimes they stop by for no reason other than to say hi. When kids call me “Ms. Cara” my heart swells. Everyone has been very kind and supportive of me, especially since I became the director.

What is your favorite book? I’m a librarian; there are too many to name! My favorite YA is “Looking For Alaska” by John Green (I have a line from the book tattooed on my shoulder), because it’s an honest, realistic depiction of teenagers. Another favorite is “This Side of Paradise” by F. Scott Fitzgerald because his life fascinates me and the Jazz Age is my favorite era to read about.

If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, so I could tell her she was a strong woman who deserved better than the life she was given. Mary Shelley, because she essentially invented the sci-fi genre when she was just a teenager and it would be fun to pick her brain. Gilda Radner, one of the original female members of Saturday Night Live, so I could thank her for fostering my love of comedy and for being fearless and hilarious in her performances

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I have a writing degree, so I write quite a bit. I dabble in short stories and memoir-type essays and I’m also working on a novel. I’m big into theatre, so I drag my friends and family to see musicals with me. In terms of reading, I average about a book a day.

I’m also on the board of directors and the secretary for the Prairie Preservation Guild, which is a non-profit that helps run the historic Fowler Theatre. I volunteer my time and strengths in a collective effort to bring quality affordable arts and entertainment to our area.

This blog post was written by Kimberly Brown-Harden, northwest regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Kim at kbrown-harden@library.in.gov

 

Meet Akilah Nosakhere, new director at the Muncie Public Library

I recently sat down with Akilah Nosakhere, new director at the Muncie Public Library. Akilah grew up in Muncie, Ind. and graduated from Ball State University. She moved to Atlanta, where she earned a Master of Library Science from Atlanta University. She said she really discovered her love affair with information while living in Atlanta. She went on to be library director at New Mexico State University, before returning to Muncie. Akilah’s first day as the director of the Muncie Public Library was January 3, 2017. She was really interested in the position because she was genuinely impressed with the public library, the public service they provided and their work within the community. I had a couple of questions for Akilah.

Akilah Nosakhere, director, Muncie Public Library

What’s your favorite thing about working in libraries?
Free access to information from all sources.

What’s one thing coming up at your library that you’re really excited about?
The Community Garden Pavilion and our author event with Peter Kageyama.

What are you reading right now?
For the Love of Cities” by Peter Kageyama.

The Maring-Hunt Branch of the Muncie Public Library has a makerspace.

The Maring-Hunt Branch of the Muncie Public Library also has a 3D printer.

We chatted a bit about these exciting events. The Community Garden Pavilion is a project by a group of Ball State students, looking to build and expand on the library’s green space. The group just presented their literature review for the project and have a community planning event on Feb. 8, 2017 at the library where community members can express their ideas about the pavilion. Building begins on April 7, 2017 and will be completed by the end of the semester with a showcase on May 1, 2017.

Hardware from the original Carnegie Library displayed in the Maring-Hunt Branch.

The library is also partnering with other community organizations on Love Where You Live: An Evening with Peter Kageyama, the author of “For the Love of Cities.” This event takes place on March 15, 2017.

You can learn more about the Muncie Public Library here.

This blog post is by Courtney Allison, professional development librarian. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov