Despite growing up as a patron of the Green Bank Library and surrounded by librarians, including her mom, Sue, Hallie Herold never really thought about becoming a librarian until the opportunity recently presented itself.
“I shouldn’t say I didn’t want to go into [being a librarian],” she said. “It’s funny, I didn’t think of it, really. I have a degree in world languages, literatures and linguistics, which is a real fancy way of saying a French degree. I never thought of it until a couple of years ago when I started an AmeriCorps program for High Rocks serving all five libraries in the county doing programming.
“I was on my second year of the AmeriCorps program – about half way through my second year,” she continued. “It just sort of happened, and I realized I might become my mother. I kind of feel like I grew up in libraries, so it’s always been a place I love and I felt comfortable, but I just never made that connection that I could make a career of this.”
Now, two weeks into being the librarian at Green Bank, Herold reflects on her history and connection with libraries.
“Growing up with Mom, of course, as a librarian influence, but also her friends because she got her degree in library science with Ginger Must and Susan Chappell,” Herold said.
“When I was in middle school, I was in the library with Mrs. Must all the time, and when I think of spending time learning about libraries, I think of her. Mrs. Chappell was the librarian at the high school.
“And Jane [Mospan], of course,” she continued. “I went to playgroup at the Octagon [Green Bank Library]. I remember Jane.”
As the AmeriCorps for the libraries, Herold traveled to the five county libraries and became close to the librarians and learned a lot about the programs offered at each facility.
“Since I did the AmeriCorps program, I’ve gotten to know about the libraries in the county, and so it’s really neat because I feel like I can draw from knowing the way they each do things differently,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to sort of learn from that and decide what I’m going to pull from the different places and find out what works best for me.
“I’ve had a lot of librarian mentorship.”
As she plans for the future, Herold said there are some programs she wants to bring to Green Bank, and she wants to continue many of the programs which are staples of the facility.
“I do hope to bring some more programs to the library,” she said. “I want to get the teen book club back. The playgroup here is already great. We have a steady group of kids coming, so I help Mary Ann [Alonso] with that. We do our summer reading program, but I do hope to try to make some connections with the school and some other groups like parks and rec.”
As a librarian, it’s important to keep up on trends and new releases of books, so, of course, Herold is an avid reader who is open to trying new genres.
“I guess it depends on my mood, but I really like historical fiction,” she said. “I also like satire. I like humor. I like things that make me laugh. With my teen book club, I’ve been introduced to a lot of new things. I had never really read science fiction before and some of my teens picked science fiction, and I really enjoyed it, so that’s a new one that I like.”
Herold feels at home in libraries, in part because she has been around them since birth. Her mother reminded her that she held a special record at the Green Bank Library when she was very young.
“When I was born, my mom was a volunteer at the Green Bank Library, and when I was five weeks old, my mom got my library card at Green Bank Library,” Herold said. “They put a picture of me in the paper and it said, ‘Green Bank Library’s youngest cardholder.’ That’s what she can’t get over. She’s like, ‘I can’t believe you’re the librarian now, because you were their youngest cardholder when you were a tiny baby.’”
While she didn’t plan to follow in her mother’s footsteps, Herold said she is excited to take on the responsibilities and programs at Green Bank Library and hopes patrons find the same comfort she found there.
“I learned with traveling to the libraries in the county that each one has its own community and personality, and it’s great here,” she said of Green Bank. “It’s a good feel. It’s warm.”