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Children reading to dogs is one of Patron Services Specialist Melia Tatman’s favorite Library memories

Children reading to dogs is one of Patron Services Specialist Melia Tatman’s favorite Library memories

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff

This week in our ongoing series introducing Library staff, meet Patron Services Specialist Melia Tatman. Melia has worked at the Library since 1998 and can most often be found at Ladd Library.

What does your job typically include?

Guiding patrons in all aspects of the library experience, from finding materials to using computers to apprising them of our programs and services. Patron Services Specialists do a lot of everything!

What made you want to work here?

I’d been a director of a high school library and of a small public library but welcomed the chance to “stretch my wings” at a large public library by working in circulation and programming.

What’s your favorite part about working here?

Having such great colleagues and working with wonderful patrons. I especially enjoy Reader’s Advisory; matching patrons with the perfect selections is rewarding!

Do you have any moments or stories from the Library that stand out that you would want to share with patrons?

We have a program at Ladd Library called Read to Dogs where emerging as well as experienced readers are encouraged to share stories with trained, certified therapy pups. Children earn a free book and bookmark. One night, a very shy little girl came in with her mom; she was extremely hesitant about approaching a pup to read to. After much coaxing, she finally chose our sweet Sheltie, Ruger. Gingerly, she sat down and began reading haltingly. By the program’s end, she had gained much confidence reading to Ruger and two other pups, Kona and Pippa. It was so gratifying to see such joy in her face, a new affection for dogs, and her satisfaction in choosing a book and bookmark. Real reading success!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I’m currently writing a book about library experiences. Also, I love attending sporting events, movies, concerts, and walking my dog, Tucker.

What’s your favorite book genre? Why?

Mysteries. I love the suspense, plot twists and turns, and unpredictable endings.

Do you have a favorite book? What do you like about it?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s a fictional tale that reflects and resonates truth about our history. The fact that Lee took on racism at a time when discrimination and segregation were prevalent was, and remains, admirable.

If you could pick a superpower, what would it be?

Spelling the word “terrific” without looking it up! And flying.

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