Nevada has a new resident and a new Youth Services Librarian.
Dylan Davison, 24, began her position at the Nevada Public Library on Nov. 22. Davison is originally from Winfield in southeast Iowa but is more recently from Iowa City, where she completed a master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa.
Davison said she followed her high school years by attending Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and by chance, she was placed for the college’s “work/study program” in the college library. In Mt. Vernon, the college library and city library share a building and resources, so she gained experience in serving not only the academic community but also residents of the greater Mt. Vernon community.
“I was a circulation assistant at the library all four years that I attended Cornell,” Davison said. Along with her library work, she also worked as an assistant for the college’s History Department for a couple of years and then as an assistant for the Cornell College Archives.
Double majoring in history and psychology at Cornell, Davison said her original career thought was to become a child psychologist. “I liked understanding how the brain develops and how we evolve and how our environment affects how we develop,” she said. She also was fascinated by history.
Her work/study position in the library, however, gave her a new career focus. “My senior year I decided [working in a library] was the route I wanted to go.”
She applied to the University of Iowa’s Library and Information Sciences program and got in. While doing two years of schooling for her master’s, she also worked for the Iowa Women’s Archives, an archive dedicated to collecting the history of women in Iowa.
“I was really interested in getting back into public libraries,” she said. She was searching for a public library job when she saw the Nevada posting for a Youth Services Librarian. She’s glad to have the job, as she feels like it’s the perfect fit.
“I love that kids are eager to learn about anything, and that they’re (often) hilarious. They all have very different personalities, and it’s cool to see them learn to navigate the world. It reminds you to look at the world from a different perspective,” she said.
In her position at Nevada, Davison will focus on working with youth up to 18 years of age. She and the library’s directors have established goals to get programming worked back up to its pre-pandemic levels. “We want to have one program for each age group a week,” Davison said. “Obviously, it won’t happen right away, but we really want to get storytimes back to being in-person. And we’d like to bring some toys back out, depending on how COVID is going, so the children’s area will be more welcoming to kids.”
Davison said the residents and youth of Nevada will find her to be easygoing with a lot of creative ideas. “I want to do things. I don’t like to sit around and do nothing.” She thinks her style will match the needs of the job she has. “I think they need someone who can do things without having to be told, especially when it comes to program planning, bulletin board changing and all the things that go with maintaining the children’s space in the library.”
When she’s not working, Davison enjoys knitting, crocheting, and, of course, reading. “I like young adult fiction, and I’ve been getting more into junior fiction and picture books. Right now, ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ graphic novels and ‘Nancy Drew’ novels are big,” she said. She also enjoys her cat, Meeko, a part-Norwegian Forest cat breed.
—Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada