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 email@example.com