Donna was hired in October of 2020 and comes to us with a background studying and teaching philosophy, theology, and postcolonial and feminist theories at the graduate level, management experience at an educational technology firm, and years in cardiac nursing. She was the Assistant Director of the Ethics Center at the Seminary at Northwestern University and she now has a small hobby farm (chickens, fruit trees, garden) in Paradise, IL.
Her favorite authors are Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, and John Irving. Novels with theological themes and magical thinking capture her attention and imagination. She also loves a good near-future science fiction novel and post-apocalyptic literature.
For a fun conversation, ask her about her childhood in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
Janet describes herself this way: "My farm background is "Drive fast Dad, it stinks!" I was raised in a suburb of Chicago and got to this part of the world when I went to the University of Illinois. I met my husband on a blind date in LeRoy. I had a lot to learn about farm life. Words like barrow, gilt, and elevator don't mean the same to city folks. I think I took to farming pretty well. Two weeks after we got married I was in the back of a grain truck scooping soybeans being loaded from an overhead bin. We raised four sons and spent many summers at county fairs showing pigs. All in all it's been a good life."
Janet's favorite book is The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. "The best book EVER written!!!!"
For a fun conversation, ask Janet about 1) How has this library changed in the 31 years she's worked here, or 2) about how her first steps walking were on her grandfather's boat going down the Mississippi River.
"I have lived in Piatt County all my life and graduated from DeLand-Weldon High School. My Husband and I have lived in Monticello since Dec. 1963. We have 2 children, a son and a daughter; neither have ever been married. I enjoy spending time with them since they both have moved back from Colorado in 2012. John and I enjoy eating out, going to Clinton Lake since he enjoys fishing, and both of us are active in our church."
Linda says, "My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury. My favorite series that she wrote is the Baxter series. It portrays the struggles and triumphs in the everyday lives of the Baxters and how we can relate. I have read many books I have liked from this library the past 28 years."
For an interesting conversation, ask Linda about knitting. She has a variety of interests such as reading, word search puzzles, sewing, and playing the accordion.
Twenty years of Ruth Ann's career were spent at the University of Illinois College of Law working with some outstanding law faculty. Besides teaching, these faculty members' duties consisted of being expert witnesses in various fields of the law, an attorney during the Watergate Investigation, helping to write constitutions for other countries, and being a member of the NCAA Board. Before retiring, she became Administrative Secretary to the Dean and to Human Resources.
She says "Growing up I was not much of an avid reader. That all changed in the early 1990s. While recovering from surgery, my sister-in-law introduced me to Debbie Maccomber and her Cedar Cove Series. I fell in love with all of her characters; and to this day, I follow her and have trouble putting her books down."
For an interesting conversation, ask Ruth Ann about her years being co-coordinator of the 20th Engineer Brigade Vietnam Veterans Reunion.
"My hobbies include woodworking, photography, and collecting ancient coins (Roman, Greek, and others from pre-600 AD.). I'm also interested in astronomy. "
Bruce says, "I read mostly mystery and fantasy fiction."
For a fun conversation, ask Bruce about his degree in Bio-Oceanography.
"I grew up in Decatur, and met Jim on a blind date. We have 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren (on the way). We moved to Bement in January of 1977 and opened a restaurant (The Rooster Inn). After 32 years we retired. I still miss the people (we made many friends) but not the long hours and hard work."
Lois doesn't really have a favorite author or book. "I do enjoy John Grisham, Ken Follett, and Harlan Coben. While browsing the library shelves I found books by Petra Durst Benning and Ellen Marie Wiseman which I really enjoyed."
For an interesting conversation, ask Lois about her job cross-stitching, her kids, or Tucker.