Information Station

If you’ve noticed a few new faces at the Sioux Center Public Library, you aren’t imagining things. We’ve hired three new part-time circulation librarians within the last two months, and they’re all talented and fun girls to be around. Their names are: Melissa Hassman, Myriah Wynia, and Hannah Hulstein. I asked them a few questions so that Sioux Center library patrons could get to know the girls behind the smiles:


Why did you want to work in the library?

Melissa: I love to read, and I’m excited to share my love of reading with other people!

Myriah: I love books and I like being here, and I like the people here.

Hannah: I’ve wanted to work in a library since high school. I like being in an organized and productive environment, and the library is that! Plus, I think books are kind of fun.


Did you have any meaningful work experiences before coming to the library?

Melissa: I worked at the Marshalltown Public Library in high school. I did a variety of things in college, but the most interesting was my job as a resident assistant. I was in charge of a wing of girls in my dorm and I planned activities for them.

Myriah: Other than babysitting, this is my first job.

Hannah: In high school I was a dietary aide at Royale Meadows. Otherwise, I’ve done a lot of babysitting.


What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Melissa: Reading, knitting, scrapbooking, crafts in general, and coffee dates with friends.

Myriah: Reading, tae kwon do, and walking (when it’s not too cold outside).

Hannah: My favorite thing to do is probably hang out with friends or watch movies.


What is your favorite book, or two or three of your favorites?

Melissa: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boomand the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Myriah: The Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan, the Chronicles of Narnia, and the Blood of Kings series by Jill Williamson.

Hannah: Mila 18 by Leon Uris, Watership Down by Richard Adamsand Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck.


What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2013?


Melissa: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

Myriah: I’ve read so many… Mastiff by Tamora Pierce is the last book that I’ve read, and it was good!

Hannah: I’m reading Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership that Changed America right now, and it’s good.


What is one interesting fact about you that would be fun for Sioux Center patrons to know?


Melissa: I speak Spanish and spent the last semester of college in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Myriah: I was born in Scotland but I’ve never been out of the U.S. Figure that one out!

Hannah: When I was growing up, I wanted to be a grape washer as a career.




Book Review


The Dark is Rising series: Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark is RisingGreenwitchThe Grey KingSilver on the Tree

By Susan Cooper


Right now I’m reading my way through the series, ‘The Dark is Rising,’ by Susan Cooper. It’s an older series of five books, having been written between 1965 and 1977. I don’t think the series is well-known anymore, but one of the books, The Dark is Rising, was a Newbery Honor book in 1974 and the fourth book in the series, The Grey King, won the Newbery gold medal in 1976.


I feel both indifferent toward it and love it in turns. On the one hand, this series is much more slow-moving and much less dramatic than most fantasy I’ve read recently. But on the other hand, this series makes me want to read Arthurian legends and Celtic myths and visit Wales. Each book weaves together five or six characters who are, although not as relatable as Harry Potter,  pretty likable.


Over all, I’m enjoying ‘The Dark is Rising’ series. I love getting to read slightly older fantasy that has stood the test of time. It has more depth than books that are merely gripping page-turners. The characters and the issues they struggle with are timeless and invite me, even in my 20s, to think about my life and how I respond to challenging situations.