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June 30, 2023

Staff Spotlight on…Donna Warfel!

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 Donna Warfel, Youth Services Librarian.

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

A: I have worked in a library setting for 38 years. I started out helping in my high school library, and then got a job at the Grisson Air Force Base library. The excitement I saw from teens at school and young children at the Grissom AFB library helped me to see that I wanted to be someone that helped others find the same joy in reading. I went for my undergraduate degree at Ball State and then my masters at IU. I have been at HEPL for over 32 years and love working with children. My first job after my undergraduate degree was a Children’s Librarian at the Muncie Public Library. After my husband graduated with his masters, I followed him to Terre Haute where I worked as a temporary Children’s Librarian and then as a clerk. When I started my masters program, I also pursued an opening at the Noblesville Public Library (later named Hamilton East Public Library) in the Circulation Department and was hired as an Assistant Department Head in 1991. After I completed my MLS, I transferred to work as a Children’s Reference Librarian.

Q: What do you do at the library?

A: I am one of the awesome Children’s Librarians. I have had a number of different jobs at HEPL. I first started doing story times and school-age programs. After we opened our Fishers location, I added a homeschooling program. At one point, I was asked to work with another of our librarians to start a teen section in the youth area. My current job includes presenting baby time, pre-k storytimes, and messy munchkin programs. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the children that attend our programs. I also get the joy of working with the Hamilton Southeastern School District’s Media Specialists. There are times they need to borrow books on certain topics or specific titles to help supplement their school’s library collection.

Q: What is your proudest work achievement?

A: I love being able to say I have been at HEPL for over 32 years. My favorite program was when I used to do a Dr. Seuss program where I would dress up as the Cat in the Hat. I also enjoyed dressing up as different book characters. Currently, I love doing baby time. When we do action songs, I get to see the smiles on all the babies’ faces. About 10 years ago, I had a young lady come in and just start talking to me about story times she used to attend as a child. She told me that when she became a teenager, she would always come to the library because the library and staff made her feel safe. She also felt that the staff never judged her. There was another young lady that came in a few years ago and told me the story times we offered gave her a love of reading. She said she would go home after programs and pretend she was a librarian reading to her stuffed animals.

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

A: I love doing Diamond Paintings and sitting around a campfire listening to the wildlife in the woods next to a stream.

Time for some rapid fire questions!

Q: If you could pick any superpower, what would it be?

A: Super Speed

Q: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

A: Alligator

Q: What phrase or cliché do you most live by?

A: Don’t worry about the past, it’s over. Don’t worry about the future, it has not happened yet. Live for today and make the most of it.

Q: If you could time travel, where is the first place you’d go?

A: I would love to live as a countess or marchioness in England around the 1800s.

Q: What skill would you love to master?

A: Cooking! I’m not patient, I want to cook fast, and I burn things.

Thanks for answering our questions, Donna! Stop by and say hello to her at library story times!