Staff Interview: Kathleen Konno

Teens D.C.

Staff Interview: Kathleen Konno

Teen Council employee, Toni Jackson, interviews her supervisor, Kathleen Konno, at the Georgetown Library.

How long have you worked at the library? What is an average day like for you? 

I've worked for DC Public Library as a Library Associate for about 4 1/2 years now. An average day in a branch library is full of a lot of different tasks! For some part of the day, I usually sit at the reference desk and assist people who are looking for a book or need help with our computers. I also get to do some hands-on work with the collection- checking books in and out, reshelving books, and making lists of books to review and display on our shelves. Any other time I have in between these responsibilities is dedicated to thinking up cool program ideas, planning and hosting the events, and talking to community partners.

How did you know you wanted to be a librarian, why did becoming a teen librarian interest you?
I was initially drawn to library work, and specifically teen services in the library, because I've worked in libraries since I was 15, starting out as a teen worker re-shelving books at my hometown library. I wanted to provide more opportunities for teens to discover the resources we have at the library as well as connect with the local community. I believe the library is one of the most accessible spaces to learn more about your community and your neighbors.

What's the most surprising thing you've learned during your time working at DCPL?
The most surprising thing I've learned is that we have to be ready for any kind of question from the public, because when people need to know the answer to something complicated, a lot of times they come to the library. We get all kinds of reference questions, and because of that, I've learned so much about the government agencies and community organizations I can refer people to that offer unique services.

Are there any hobbies/interests you have that have come in handy as a teen librarian?
There are two interests of mine that have been really applicable to my teen programs. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games and listening to Korean pop music, and over the last few years I've been able to run successful programs about both of these topics. I am also very interested in technology and the latest trends, which is always useful when thinking about new teen programs.

What books/TV/media are your favorites? Or, what are you reading right now?
Right now, I'm reading Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown. It's a really inspiring read that talks about natural patterns and ways we can work together with others to create change in an organization, as well as throughout the world. I've already learned a lot from the book about facilitation and building a community, and I think it's very relevant to the programs we have here at the library.