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.
"I am the Student Engagement Advocate at Leal Elementary in Urbana Illinois and am serving as the Children's Programming Coordinator for Bement Public Library.
I grew up in Monticello and am happy to be back in the area after living in Urbana for so long. I love reading, writing, spending time outdoors and spending time with my family. I am a mother of 7 kids: 1 at the U of I, 1 at SIU-Carbondale, 1 at BHS, 2 at BMS and 2 at Bement elementary."
For an interesting conversation ask Katie about one of her favorite hobbies--antiquing. She is always up for an adventure!
"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 am currently a student at Millikin University majoring in literature and professional writing with a minor in publishing and editing. I am a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Upsilon chapter at Millikin University. I love crocheting, reading, and watching movies!
My favorite authors are Sarah J. Maas, Rick Riordan, and Taylor Jenkins Reid. I am a sucker for a good romance book but I dabble in many genres! The Percy Jackson series introduced me to my love of reading! My favorite book would have to be The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and I highly recommend it to fellow lovers of young adult fiction!"
For an interesting conversation, ask Anna about young adult literature!
"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.