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March 27, 2023

Staff Spotlight on…Danielle Acton!

You see their faces, you may know their names, but it’s time to really get to know your local librarians and library staff!

Meet Danielle Acton, Adult Engagement Coordinator in our Public Services department.

Q: What brought you to HEPL and how long have you been here?

A: I have worked in libraries for about 23 years. I started out as a shelving page in my hometown public library and attended IU Bloomington for my Master’s degree in Library Science. I worked at the Anderson Public Library for nearly 13 years before joining the HEPL team in my current position in 2019.

Q: What do you do at the library?

A: As the Adult Engagement Coordinator, I lead our Public Services librarians in planning and facilitating all of the library’s programs and classes geared towards adults. I also work closely with the coordinators for other age groups to plan all-ages initiatives like the Summer Reading Program and the annual Books Build Bridges community read. A typical day is spent composing or responding to emails, living in the staff side of our online event calendar software, and always thinking 3-12 months ahead! At this very moment, I have one ear on the virtual tai chi class Zoom call that is underway. If participants need any technical assistance while the instructor is busy teaching, I am available to help.

Q: What is your proudest work achievement?

A: It could be because we’re in the midst of final preparations for it, but our Local Author Fair is a pretty awesome event. This year’s fair on April 15 at the FORUM Events Center in Fishers is our biggest one yet, with booths for more than 60 authors and literary organizations. We offer booth space at no cost for the invited authors, and I know that the fair is a huge opportunity for the authors to connect with the community (and each other!) and sell their books. An author who participated in the 2022 fair sent a note to me a few months afterwards to share how being able to participate in the Local Author Fair was a dream fulfilled for her friend, a newly published author battling cancer and invited to the fair for the first time. Knowing that we impact people’s lives through the events that we plan at HEPL is truly meaningful for me.

Q: What’s one thing people might not know about you?

A: I really love board games! While I sometimes get to teach board games at work, I also volunteer my time outside of work to teach games at conventions.

Time for some rapid fire questions!

Q: What’s your dream travel destination?

A: New Zealand. One word: Hobbiton!

Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

A: Learn to speak another language fluently!

Q: What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

A: Painting house exteriors in the summer.

Q: What’s your go-to snack on a road trip?

A: When I start feeling sleepy as the driver, I need to have Wild Berry Skittles on hand to slowly eat, one by one, to help keep me awake!

Q: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

A: Ooh, tough question. Dolly Parton—for her philanthropy and support of literacy. She’s a national treasure!

Thanks for answering our questions, Danielle! Look for her next time you’re attending a library program or event, like our upcoming Local Author Fair!