By Melissa Boyd (Whetstone staff)
Jessica Olin isn’t your average librarian.
“I want the library to be a part of the college community, which means more than just books,” said Wesley College’s new head librarian.
In addition, a novel that she’s recently read and declared is one of her favorites is Weathercraft by Jim Woodring, a mostly wordless graphic novel.
“I have read a lot of theories about the philosophy of art and I think this book is an exemplar of art,” she said. “It makes you think and that he can do that without words, is amazing.”
She has two Master’s Degrees: one in Library and Information Science in 2003 from Simmons College in Boston, Mass., and the other in Education.
After being a librarian for 10 years, she was hired this semester to be the new library director at Wesley.
“Before my interview, I had never been to Wesley,” she said. “I want this library to be an essential part of student life. I want this to be a place that people can come for anyreason, including personal and academic.”
One way she hopes to change students’ views on the library is to add popular reading materials.
“We’ll buy more in the future, but right not we’ve got a lot of popular fiction and nonfiction that were donated to us,” she said. “We’re processing them and hopefully getting them up by March.”
Some of the new books include: Half Moon by Anne Perry, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, The Passage by Justin Cronin and Toxin by Robin Cook.
She also hopes to create a movie section in the library for students to borrow, and to have more study jams.
“We want some fun events,” she said.
Sophomore Cara Baldridge, a student worker in the library, said she has had nothing but good interactions with Olin.
“Any problems that are going on in the library, she comes to ask for our assistance and that’s what we’re here for,” she said. “She’s very involved with the students to get their perspectives to see what they want done in their library.”
Baldridge said she knows Olin has plans to expand the library and she likes those plans.
“I think it’s good that she wants to bring in more books,” she said. “I don’t think our selection is very good right now so I believe bringing in more fiction books will definitely be good for our library.”
Sophomore Elauna Simms said she spends a lot of time in the library and a pleasant librarian is important.
“She’s [Olin] really nice and funny,” she said. “She seems like she tries to be stress-free and positive.”
She said that she’s seen a few changes in the library prior to Olin’s arrival that upset her.
“They took the volume off the computers,” she said. “I used to plug my earphones in and listen to music while writing my papers. I wish they’d change that back.”
She also said that she hasn’t checked out any books so far because she doesn’t really like the selection.
“I like to read teenage fiction and I haven’t seen much of that here,” she said. “I wish we could get more popular books and I’m excited that she’s actually getting more books. I’d probably be in the library even more than I already am.”
Olin said she’s done some unlibrarian-like things in her day, proving she’s not just a book nerd.
“I’ve been bungee-jumping,” she said. “I only did it once but it’s one of those things people don’t suspect about me. It’s not an activity I would’ve picked, but someone picked it for me and I’m glad I did it.”
Jessica Olin’s Favorites
-Show: “Dr. Who” & “30 Rock”
-Star Trek Captain: Captain Janeway
-Book: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
-Music: Indi-Pop: The Decemberists; the Mumford & Sons
-Movies: Kill Bill; Ran; The Blues Brothers; The Big Lebowski