Tess Lyle found a career path that perfectly combines her background with her desire to serve the public.
Lyle was hired as a library assistant at the Cartersville Public Library in July after working in her college library while pursuing her master’s degree.
“When I was in graduate school, I worked in my school library for my assistantship, and I absolutely loved it,” she said. “Plus, I’ve always loved public libraries because of the services they provide to their communities. My educational background is in literature, and I wanted a job that involved public service, so working in a library seemed perfect for me. I’d definitely like to make it a career.”
Name: Savannah Tess Lyle
Occupational title: Library assistant
City of residence: Dallas
Education: I have a Bachelor of Arts in English, class of 2014, and a Master of Arts in English, class of 2016, both from Georgia College.
Family: I live with my parents and my younger brother, and I also have an older sister.
DTN: When did you start working at the Cartersville Public Library, and why did you want to work there?
STL: I started my job in July of this year. I wanted to work here because I love this area, and I was looking for library work, specifically in youth services, so it was a perfect match.
DTN: What are your responsibilities at the library?
STL: A big part of what I do is planning events for our teens here at the library. We have to figure out what would make young people in the area want to come to the library instead of somewhere else. For example, every month we have cooking classes for kids and teens, so I have to find exciting recipes and teach them how to use them. I like to try to think of things to do here that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to replicate at home so that they feel more compelled to visit the library, which is a fun challenge.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about your job and why, and what do you like least about it and why?
STL: The thing I like the most about my job is that I get to work with young people because I feel that a lot of times, they are underestimated. I like being a part of their support system that isn’t related to family or school. I find that most of the teens I interact with on a daily basis are extremely smart and passionate, and they often think in completely new ways. That’s exciting to me because I love seeing the ways that young people are shaping our future. As far as something that I find frustrating, it can be difficult to reach teens now because they have so much going on. We try to plan things around their hectic schedules, but it can be a real challenge to bring them in sometimes.
DTN: What do you think is/are the best thing(s) about the Cartersville Public Library?
STL: Personally, my favorite thing about the Cartersville Public Library is how involved we are within the community. A lot of kids in this area are either home-schooled or in private schools, and I think that for a lot of families, the library serves as a community center where they can meet people that they may not have met otherwise. Something I hear a lot from people who are first-time visitors to our library is, “Wow, it’s more than just books!” Obviously, books are a very important part of libraries as a whole, but that human element is what keeps us going.
DTN: What kinds of changes would you like to see occur in the library system in the next five years?
STL: I’d like to see an increase in our focus on STEAM programming, which is something that we’re already working on for next year. I’ve seen a lot of information about libraries helping young people with career development, and that’s something that I’m definitely interested in. Overall, I’d like to keep giving young people the tools they need for the real world.
DTN: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
STL: It would probably be “How Can I Help?” because I think that’s the question I ask most often. I’ve worked a lot in the service industry so I like being able to help out wherever I can, both inside and outside of work.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
STL: Passionate, ambitious and silly.
DTN: If you could visit any period or event in the past, what would you choose and why?
STL: I would probably go back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, just to see what it felt like to be a part of something so new and exciting. I’ve always loved old movies, especially musicals, and seeing the process of filming something like that would be amazing.
DTN: Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing?
STL: I don’t have an official bucket list, per se, but something I really want to do is travel more. I’ve never left the country so that’s something I’m trying to make happen in the near future.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
STL: I’m a huge fan of true crime. I watch all of the investigation shows with cheesy dramatic re-enactments, read tons of books about serial killers and listen to true crime podcasts. It really is an obsession.
DTN: What is your favorite book, and why is it your favorite?
STL: This is basically impossible for me to answer. I have so many favorites. It depends on my mood, the time of year, the genre and so many other things. If I absolutely had to answer for my all-time favorite, it would probably be “Ariel” by Sylvia Plath. It was her final collection of poetry before her death, and I wrote a chapter of my master’s thesis about it. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the publication, which is interesting to me, but the poems themselves are really amazing. She puts together phrases in such unique ways that I find something new to love about it every time I read it.