Meet the WRL Library Staff

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.

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, from romance novels to science fiction. A series I read recently that I recommend: The Broken Earth series by N. K. Jemisin.

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.

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, mainly American fiction reader (Cormac McCarthy, Don Delillo, etc), but I’m trying to branch out. See my GoodReads account.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
Skateboarding, vegetable gardening, and aspiring to play tennis more often.

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.

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.

Jessi Hood
Jessi HoodCirculation Head
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I am from Moose Pass, Alaska. I try to read a wide range of genres, but my favorites are contemporary fiction and memoirs. I also enjoy reading from all age groups. My all-time favorite book is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
I like to go to the movies, see live theater, spend time at home with my cat, and find other fun things to do in the Roanoke area.

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
I love that libraries have something for everyone. They hold countless amounts of resources, as well as books/movies to read/watch just for fun. Since childhood, libraries have been my happy place.

Emma Hartman
Emma HartmanAdmin Assistant
Where are you from and what do you like to read?
I was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I like to read all sorts of things, primarily poetry and slice of life novels. On the nonfiction side, I am a massive fan of history, particularly focusing on contemporary music history and social movements.

What do you like doing outside of the library?
I am a musician, so I spend a lot of my free time writing and recording music in a variety of styles. I also love attending local music events, playing trading card games, and watching sports!

What do you enjoy most about libraries?
It is extremely exciting to know that at any given moment, I am surrounded by infinite knowledge. Being in a space meant for learning and personal growth is incredibly therapeutic, and getting to spend my days here is a dream come true.

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!