Our library functions because our staff members like each other, and their jobs. Ms. McNerney and Mrs. Gaefke have very different professional backgrounds, but at heart they might actually share the same brain. Both are devoted to helping readers discover and develop their own reading passions. Both like to laugh at themselves, each other, and books. Both have been known to cry at work over characters they love. They don’t apologize about that because they believe reading should make you feel things. They want you to feel things too. They believe in equality, access for all, and that libraries are one of the great American institutions that helps put all people on an equal playing field. They also like popcorn, FYI.
Ms. McNerney’s first love is her family, including her menagerie of dogs and cats. Luckily she’s got a big heart– other loves include her students, countless fictional characters (especially in romance novels) and people who embrace copious exclamation mark use. Her professional journey includes teaching at the elementary, middle, high school and college level– but her dream job is working as the OE librarian. Career highlights also include serving on many American Library Association book award committees including the Michael L. Printz award, the William C. Morris award, Best Fiction for Young Adults, and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She also spent several years writing YA book reviews for Kirkus (another professional dream come true).
Mrs. Gaefke didn’t grow up knowing she wanted to work in a library, but her background in Human Resources shows she’s always been a people person. Once she started working in the library she proved herself to be a natural. Her family often finds her curled up at home with her latest favorite YA novel, and she’s always eager to share her suggestions with people looking for a hot new read. Beyond her reading talents, she’s the crafty genius behind the library displays. And her good taste is also evident in her fashion choices– especially her enviable coat collection and always sparkly jewelry.