Posted on: May 13, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Niki Kowal, Arts & Entertainment Editor

If someone wrote a book this semester on the Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins Library, the first page would feature librarian Ash Hermosillo in action. Whether she’s getting body parts for anatomy students to study or grabbing podcast equipment, Hermosillo is one of the first–and brightest–characters library patrons will meet. 

For the past two years, the 20-year-old Moraine Valley student has sat at the front desk working as Circulation One, a librarian who answers questions and helps build a community within the library. 

Hermosillo had been working in the food service industry before her sister introduced her to the realm of libraries, where she discovered just how meaningful this work could be. 

“My sister had previously worked in libraries and was like, ‘You should definitely try and have a change of pace, and you would actually be able to sit down.’” This advice elicited a positive reaction since Hermosillo was coming from a job where breaks were scarce.

As she started the job search, a Moraine Valley library job popped up. Hermosillo eyed it for quite some time before, one day, it vanished from the website. 

I’ve definitely changed throughout the years, but at the same time, it feels like no time has passed at all. It’s going to sound corny but like, I love my job.”

MV Librarian Ash Hermosillo

“I freaked out. I was like ‘No, I missed my chance!’ But then, it appeared again, and I applied. They took a chance on me, and now here I am.” 

She laughs remembering a moment from the interview process: “There’s a song in an ‘Arthur’ special that’s like, ‘Having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card.’ I sang that at my interview, and they still let me in. They were like, ‘That’s so charming.’”

Not only was the Circulation One job a place where she could relax, but it also became something much deeper. It gave her a sense of purpose. 

“It’s one of those jobs where it actually feels like I’m helping out the community,” she said, her voice radiating with sincerity.

After her time at Moraine, she’s transferring to College of DuPage to continue pursuing a degree in library sciences. She wants to further the mission of libraries to provide resources for people who lack equal access to knowledge. 

With parents who came from Mexico, Hermosillo and her siblings grew up as first-generation immigrants.

“My brother and my sister felt like they had to focus more on mostly on education that would get money rather than what they were passionate about,” she said, “so when it came to my turn, I did the same route, unfortunately.” 

Through her work in the library, Hermosillo has realized that she can support herself while doing what she loves: “I can make money, and I’d be able to better the community around me, make people’s days and help people.” 

Photo by Niki Kowal
Ash Hermosillo is one of the first faces people see when visiting the library.

Growing up, Hermosillo was always entranced by the world of books.

“I grew up reading the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ because I was always destined to be a little weird Goth kid. I remember just reading these characters and seeing a family dynamic that’s very similar to my own with my brother and my sister, and just being absolutely mesmerized by it–especially because it was a very important representation for a lot of people.”

Throughout her life, books have remained important to Hermosillo. One of the most impactful was “Mexican Gothic” by Sylvia Garcia. 

“It is a very beautiful book,” she said, recalling the themes. “It’s a book about a lot of things, but it’s a book about colonialism, its about eugenics, it’s about navigating the world when colonization is actively happening and impacting how white supremacy destroys towns.”

The book broadened her perspective, and she was able to see characters that represented her and her family. 

“it kind of made me realize that there’s so much beautiful Gothic literature that is outside of what we could possibly comprehend and what we could learn to comprehend.”

As her chapter at the library closes, she recounts her favorite memories working there. Her coworkers stand out as the main highlight, and she appreciates when they take her suggestions seriously. She also loved being given the opportunity to organize a pop-up library dedicated to Manga, one of her favorite genres.

“I’ve definitely changed throughout the years, but at the same time, it feels like no time has passed at all. It’s going to sound corny, but like, I love my job.”

As she shares her interests, provides recommendations, and enthusiastically discusses the latest releases and adaptations, she is able to connect with visitors and introduce them to new worlds of storytelling.

With a passion for literature and a dedication to inclusivity and community, Ash Hermosillo is a librarian with an open-book heart who is ready to inspire and make a difference, one page at a time.