Ariel Shirley is a Miami University alumna and former Miami University Libraries student worker who has returned to King Library as a library technician and overnight supervisor while working toward her master's degree.
Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?
I was born and raised in Oxford, Ohio. After finishing high school, I decided to continue my studies in Oxford and attend Miami University. While there, I obtained a B.A. in psychology with a minor in child studies. I am currently working on a master’s in instructional design and technology at Miami.
What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?
I am a library technician and one of the overnight supervisors for the main circulation desk. I make sure that students feel safe and welcome while connecting them to the many resources King Library has to offer.
What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?
While attending MU as an undergrad, I actually worked all four years at King Library. I held student positions within the IMC, Tech Services and Special Collections. This experience helped me better understand the wide range of services libraries provide, while offering me the opportunity to better understand my academic and career goals. After graduating from Miami and working full-time in a different city, I decided to return to the Miami as a library technician. The welcoming atmosphere, as well as Miami's amazing academic offerings and career benefits drew me back to Oxford.
What's the best part of working in a library?
The opportunity to discover new books, the wonderful co-workers, and the ability to help someone finish a project or learn a new skill.
What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?
The library is a welcoming and supportive environment, and the library staff is here to help with projects and questions – all they need to do is ask.
What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?
Right now, it is "The Last Days of Jack Sparks" by Jason Arnopp. If I could be any book character, it would be Sabriel from the Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix. She's a cool, smart and compassionate necromancer/charter mage – something I can totally get behind.
I enjoy creative writing, horseback riding, hiking, going to the movies, and spending time with my family.
What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?
I am a huge comic book nerd! I enjoy reading DC/Vertigo comics, as well as indie comics (sorry, Marvel fans). Some of my favorite titles include: Hellblazer, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and the Umbrella Academy.