Paarsmith arrives at Washington Public Library

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Earlier this week Allie Paarsmith took over her job as the adult services librarian at the Washington Public Library.

Growing up in Marshalltown, Paarsmith attended college at Beloit College and finished at the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in theater art. She worked on sustainable farms for a few years before attending library school, finishing the degree in May. She had worked part time at the Coralville Library before being hired at the Washington Public Library.


What brings you to Washington?

It seems like a really wonderful community. I?m really excited to get to know it. I love small libraries and this is my first full-time library position. It seems like a wonderful place to get my feet wet.


Since you have been here, what do you think?

It?s gorgeous. I love it. Everyone seems very nice and kind and there is a wonderful sense of community in the area.


What?s your favorite thing so far?

I?m really enjoying getting to know the staff I am going to be working with. Everyone is so nice here. Just finding my feet and seeing what my part will be in the organization has been very interesting.


Why did you decide to go into drama?

I loved the people involved in theater. I figured out that it is a very hard field to get a job in and I want to stay in Iowa. Unfortunately, there just aren?t the positions out there for that. I decided to make a different impact on my community and libraries seemed to fit that better.


Do you plan on being part of the Washington Community Theater?

Probably not. Maybe as soon as I find my sea legs. It is a possibility. I do still enjoy theater.


Why did you decide to work on sustainable farms?

Again, I found theater wasn?t making the impact I wanted to make on the world so I decided I wanted to go a more eco-friendly route. I love food and I decided I wanted to explore my roots, coming from an agricultural background in Iowa, and take it from there.


What impact are you trying to make?

I want to help people. Whether that is helping the world and providing good food to people as a farmer vs. helping people sitting here. I want to sit and help people and kae their lives better. This is a better fit than what I had been doing. It is just something I have always done and it makes me happy.


What are your plans at the library?

I am taking a close look at the collection and seeing what people are reading and where we need to grow as a library. I am also looking at some programming and introducing some more programs so we can get more people involved at the library.


What are some of your hobbies?

I have a Dungeons and Dragons group I play with. I play a lot of video games. I read a lot. I knit.