Janine Waters may be a familiar face if you frequent the Narberth Community Library—but how much do you really know about your local librarian? Patch stopped by Narberth Library on Wednesday to chat with the dog-loving 35-year-old, who joined the staff as head librarian in September.
Name: Janine Waters
Do you live locally? Janine lives in Langhorne with her husband—near Sesame Place, for those not familiar with Bucks County. They’re looking to move closer, because it’s about an hour commute each way to work.
Have you always wanted to be a librarian? Nope. Right out of college, Waters participated in AmeriCorps, and she still does a lot of volunteer work. The first year in the program, she was in Seattle working as a literacy tutor and the next year, in San Francico at a microlending company.
When and why did you make the switch? "I’ve always been interested in non-profit work, and I’ve always been a nerd," Waters said. In 2005, she went back to school at University of Pittsburgh for her library science degree, and has been working in libraries ever since. Her last job, in Fallsington, was at a tiny library—she made the switch to Narberth so she could be a full-time librarian.
What was your favorite book as a kid? "'There Are Rocks in My Socks!' Said the Ox to the Fox," by Patricia Thomas and Mordicai Gerstein (illustrator).
What’s your favorite book now? "Anything David Sedaris—he’s hysterical. I’ve seen him speak five or six times."
What are you reading right now? "Faithful Place" by Tana French. It’s an Irish mystery.
What do you do when you’re not working? Waters volunteers a lot—she's a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been working with her "Little" for a year and a half now.
She also volunteers two or three days a week at ACCT Philly, a Philadelphia animal shelter, and has two doggy pen pals there, Nate and Winston. "They are dogs that are being overlooked and are considered 'less adoptable,' so they are paired with volunteers like me to work on training," she explained.
Waters and her husband have also fostered 13 dogs.
Tell us about your dogs. A 1-year-old American Bulldog/Weimaraner mix named Offa was her "lucky 13th foster dog," and Waters and her husband ended up adopting her. Their other dog is Isabella, a 5-year-old pug/Boston Terrier mix with big buck teeth, whom Waters adopted from Petfinder a few years ago. One of Waters' dogs was a reading therapy dog at her last library.
Do you have a favorite breed? "I love pretty much all dogs, but I have a fondness for 'bully breeds' like pit mixes, because they're so wonderful and have gotten so much bad press that I don't feel is deserved." Nate, one of Waters' pen pal dogs, "is such a positive example of a happy, loving pit bull mix!"
She loves them so much, she just applied for the model call for the next Pinups for Pitbulls calendar—an organization based out of New Jersey that focuses on bully breed awareness. The yearly calendar features everyday people posing with pitbulls in an old-fashioned '50's Bettie Page look.
What are you working on at the library? Right now, Waters is working on finalizing the library's summer programs for kids. The library is working to add more storytimes and events for the summer, including a traveling zoo, a musical puppet theater and more.