Meet the WRL Library Staff

Rebecca Seipp
Rebecca SeippAssistant University Librarian/Humanities Liaison Librarian
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I’m originally from Texas, but have lived in Virginia for about 7 years.
I like to read all kinds of things! Right now I am learning more about antiracism and I have two books by Ibram X. Kendi on my nightstand: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to be an Antiracist.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
I like to cook, go on walks with my dog and husband, and spend time with my friend-family.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I love the possibilities that libraries create – there’s so much power in the knowledge that libraries can help you access. One of my favorite things is working with students and learning about their research, not just what it is, but why it interests them and is important to them. That energy is a wonderful thing.

Book an  appointment with me.

Maryke Barber
Maryke BarberInformation Literacy and Outreach Librarian/Arts Liaison Librarian
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I am originally from a place called Leiderdorp, in The Netherlands. I like to read most things, but my current default is literary fiction. A couple of recent favorites are Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light and John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
I really enjoy getting outside to go hiking, or kayaking on Carvin’s Cove. I also love to cook!

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
Helping people to find the information they need can be a great adventure, with a satisfying conclusion – it’s my favorite thing.

Book an  appointment with me.

Luke Vilelle
Luke VilelleUniversity Librarian/Social Sciences Liaison Librarian
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I’m from the 1,000-person-strong Midwestern town of Cole Camp, Missouri, where I graduated high school in a class of 55. I’m an omnivorous reader (pretty much anything except poetry — my apologies, poets!), check out my Goodreads account to see what’s on my mind.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
Hiking (there are many great hikes in the Roanoke Valley, and I love to offer recommendations); baseball (there’s no better way to spend a summer evening than at a Salem Red Sox game), plus just about any other game or sport!

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
We partner with everybody in our community. Whether you’re a student working on a research assignment, whether you’re a faculty member seeking to integrate information literacy learning into a classroom, whether you’re a student group seeking resources for an event, whether you’re a staff member seeking your next great read, we want to work with you!

Book an  appointment with me.

James Miller
James MillerDiscovery and Sciences Librarian/Natural Sciences/Mathematics Liaison Librarian
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
Austin, Texas. I used to be a heavier fiction reader (Cormac McCarthy, Don Delillo, etc), but now I read more historical non-fiction very slowly. I’m currently into a book about the Cherokee Nation called “Blood Moon.”

What do you like doing outside of the library?
Skateboarding, fishing, vegetable gardening.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
Helping students with research and seeing their enthusiasm for their topics. Lately, I enjoy seeing how students use our online interfaces and conducting tests and studies to come up with better designs, so they are easier to use.

Book an  appointment with me.

Coleman Holth
Coleman HolthAcquisitions and Copy Cataloging Coordinator
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I’m from Craig County, Virginia. I enjoy reading Westerns and non-fiction works about history, politics, folklore, philosophy, or film. I’m currently reading Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
Hiking, going to local music events, and trading card games.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I like working with information and data, preserving it, and making sure it’s both useful and useable for patrons and staff.

Beth Harris
Beth HarrisArchivist and Special Collections Librarian
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
Originally from New Jersey but have been living in Roanoke long enough to feel part-southern (if there is such a thing). I like social history and historical fiction.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
What do you like doing outside of the library? Walking and puttering around my house (baking, listening to audio books, etc.)

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I love the combination of books, technology, and people.

Karen Ryan
Karen RyanCirculation Coordinator
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I am originally from Charlotte, North Carolina. I love reading all sorts of literature but some of my favorite genres are magical realism, urban fantasy/mythic fiction, gothic horror, weird fiction/cosmic horror, alternate history, and works of non-fiction.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
My hobbies include tabletop roleplaying games, board games, baking, cooking, and walking nature trails.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I find assisting students, faculty, and staff in finding whatever information they may need, be it academic research, personal research, directions, or something purely for entertainment, highly satisfying.

Shawna Battle
Shawna BattleInterlibrary Services Coordinator
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I am a native of Washington, DC. I like to read general fiction, historical fiction, biographies and some horror and suspense.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
I enjoy baking, gardening, music, dancing and learning about quilting.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I enjoy helping patrons find what they are looking for and the peaceful, quiet environment.

Julie Peters
Julie PetersAdministrative Assistant
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
Lockport, NY, a suburb and equal distance of Niagara Falls and Buffalo. My favorite things to read are books that are biographies of normal people and their life struggles…drug addictions, tumultuous upbringings, chefs. Anthony Bordain’s Kitchen Confidential was a good one.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
Cooking delicious Italian food while enjoying red wine. Playing my clarinet. Growing hydroponic basil so I can make loads of pesto. Making macramé plant hangers. Soaking up the sun.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
The peacefulness. I came from working in the military where situations were high-stress and things needed to be done yesterday. Working in the library has been a welcomed change of pace!

Wyndham Robertson Library
Wyndham Robertson Library The Building
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
Hi! I’m in Roanoke; you can see my red roof from the road as you drive onto the Hollins Campus. I absolutely love to read. So much that when I was built in 1999, they made me a National Literary Landmark. I usually start with books by Hollins alums, there are so many: Margaret Wise Brown, Annie Dillard, Lee Smith, Cathryn Hankla, Balli Jaswal….and right now I am reading Sally Mann’s biography Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
Honestly, I don’t get out much! But when I do, I like to sit in the rockers on the porch and look at Tinker Mountain.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I love visitors, and luckily, libraries are always full of people. They’re getting books, or movies, or doing their homework, or planning the next world revolution…even if they’re just dropping in to get a coffee, it is so great to have company!