Meet the Librarian: Janeé Jackson-Doering

Janeé Jackson-Doering

What she does: Youth Librarian at South Side Library. She started with the Des Moines Public Library in 2013.

How would you describe your role with DMPL?

“At South, I plan and present storytimes for Toddler, Preschool and Family Storytimes as well as special programs for kids and teens. I engage in outreach activities with schools in South's quadrant, order books for the library, plan Summer Reading events, and lots more!”

When did you know you wanted to be a librarian?

“While I was working as an assistant preschool teacher at Head Start in Illinois. The lead teachers scheduled the youth librarian from Rock Island Public Library to visit our classrooms once a month to read to the kids. Each month, the librarian brought fun and engaging picture books to read, and I thought, ‘What a fun job! I want to do that.’”

What is the best part of your job?

“Storytime and Teen programs! I love to make things, and I love being creative with the teens during our Teen Maker Labs. With storytime, I'm really passionate about showing kids and parents how fun reading can be.”

Why do you enjoy working for DMPL?

“There are so many opportunities to try new things and do more for the community at DMPL, and I love how engaged the librarians are in helping others here. It's inspiring!”

Speaking of that, what inspires you as a librarian? Do you have any specific examples of recent moments where you felt inspired by something that happened at the library?

“At South, we created Rosie's Zoo, where we transformed the children's area into a zoo-themed area with literacy stations and a book walk of Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? We also revamped the elementary area with new furniture and made it into a cozy nook.

Seeing all of the changes that Brenda (Hall, South Side branch manager) and I made and how happy the kids are to play with the zoo animals and how the community has embraced the spaces made me proud. It makes me happy to come to work to see these spaces.”

What are some things people might not realize the library does for the city’s children?

“The library is so vital to a child's life and development. With storytimes, children are doing more than just listening to stories. They're engaging in cooperative play, learning school readiness skills, and developing social and emotional skills. I also encounter families that come into South that want to help their child start to read. When I talk about Beginning Readers and show them BOB Books that help them learn sight words, they're happy that they can find items that can help their child read.”

When you’re off the clock, what are your hobbies?

“I love cardmaking, reading horror books and you can find me at the movie theater. My husband and I also travel to film festivals quite a bit.”

What are you reading right now?

“Gosh, I'm reading a lot of books right now! I'm reading Lu, by Jason Reynolds (Kid's Fiction) and Nightingale, by Amy Lukavics (Teen Fiction).”

Any upcoming programs you’d like to highlight?

“November 26: Not a Box Storytime, and December 26: Willy Wonka: We'll have props you can use to interact with during the film!”