September 14, 2022
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
The Ohio Library Board recently honored Taryn Mirabello, a student in the Department of Library and Information Studies at Valdosta State University, with the 2022 Diana Vescelius Emerging Leader Award. She plans to earn a Masters in Library and Information Science from VSU in May 2023.
Taryn Mirabello is the mother of 2-year-old twins Violet and Claire. She hopes winning the Ohio Library Council’s Diana Vescelius Emerging Leader Award will “inspire other girls and young women to pursue their dreams, build each other, and know their own worth.”
Taryn Mirabello is currently Supervisor of the Lucasville Branch of the Portsmouth Public Library in Scioto County, Ohio. She said: “What I enjoy most about working in a library is being able to offer the same magic to all customers, especially young children whose new relationship with the library translates, hopefully out of a lifelong love of learning. I know firsthand that libraries and librarians change lives.”
VALDOSTA — The Ohio Library Board recently honored Taryn Mirabello, a student in the Department of Library and Information Studies at Valdosta State University, with the 2022 Diana Vescelius Emerging Leader Award. She described the recognition as a defining achievement in what she hopes will be a meaningful, lasting and impactful library career.
Mirabello was born and raised and now works in Scioto County, a rural Appalachian region located in the southern foothills of Ohio.
“Fortunately, I come from a long line of strong, industrious women. In many ways, I feel like this award is a testament to my mother and my late grandmother, because without their love, guidance and their support, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today.
Mirabello is currently Supervisor of the Lucasville Branch of the Portsmouth Public Library in Scioto County, Ohio. She helps provide programs, materials and services to a diverse population and was instrumental in developing a sensory story hour for adults with disabilities. She also writes articles for “The Time Traveler”, a local history publication.
“Throughout my formative years, the library has been a source of inspiration and happiness for me,” she noted. “What I enjoy most about working in a library is being able to offer the same magic to all patrons, especially young children whose new relationship with the library hopefully translates into with a lifelong love of learning. I know firsthand that libraries and librarians change lives, and it’s very rewarding as an emerging library leader to be able to take that forward.
Growing up, Mirabello’s one and only professional aspiration was to become a writer. She never really thought about working in a library, but that all changed when she entered school at the Art Institute of Chicago to pursue an MFA in writing and landed her first job in library.
“I worked as a circulation clerk at the John M. Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,” she added.
Mirabello “enjoyed” working in the university library; however, she said she “still hadn’t considered pursuing a career in librarianship”.
After graduating, Mirabello returned to Ohio to help care for her grandmother and to write. In 2012 she started working as a clerk at Portsmouth Public Library.
“For years, writing remained my main focus,” she explained. “Over the next six years at the Portsmouth Public Library, I was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility. It wasn’t until I became Branch Supervisor in 2018 that something clicked, and I thought, “Okay, Taryn. You like library work. You’ve been promoted, so you must be a little good at library work. You’ll most likely be working in libraries for the foreseeable future. Why not get your Masters in Library and Information Science?”
Mirabello’s first point of contact at VSU was Dr. Linda Most, associate professor and former head of the Department of Library and Information Studies.
“His quick response to my initial inquiry was one of the main reasons I ultimately chose to attend VSU,” Mirabello said. “Dr. Most is my academic advisor and has always provided me with timely, informative, and helpful answers to all of my questions. I am so grateful to him and all of the phenomenal teachers at VSU.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, Mirabello served as Vice President of the Library and Information Science Student Organization. She plans to earn a master’s degree in library and information science from VSU in May 2023.
“I chose to make library management my area of interest,” she explained. “It gave me valuable knowledge, experience and networking opportunities that will be very useful in my future career plans.”
As part of a project for the Leadership in Libraries course taught by Dr. Gordon Baker, recipient of the Georgia Public Library’s 2019 Champion of the Year Award, Mirabello had the opportunity to interview Beverly Cain, Librarian of Ohio State.
“The insights from that interview continue to inform my leadership process today,” she said.
In her course on Academic Libraries, Dr. Emily Rogers, Professor and Reference Librarian at the Odum Library, introduced Mirabello to key trends in academic libraries and gave her the opportunity to interview librarians at research universities. Across the country. Thanks to Dr. Julia Skinner’s Libraries and Literacy in History course, Mirabello was able to use her training in creative writing while writing a research essay on women librarians in the Victorian era.
“After researching the Masters of Library and Information Science course offerings in programs nationwide, I am certain that I would not have had all the opportunities I had at VSU if I continued my studies elsewhere,” added Mirabello. “I cannot stress enough the quality of the library science program at VSU and the value of the courses in preparing me for my future.”
Mirabello is a first-generation college student, wife, and mother of 2-year-old twin girls. She hopes winning the Ohio Library Council’s Diana Vescelius Emerging Leader Award will “inspire other girls and young women to pursue their dreams, build each other, and know their own worth.”
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