Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard library manager

Reading always part of Nesbitt's life

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
Robin Nesbitt is manager of the Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

If visitors to the Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library need a reading recommendation, manager Robin Nesbitt is happy to oblige.

"I enjoy matching people with books," said Nesbitt, 47, of Upper Arlington.

Nesbitt has managed the Hilliard branch for a little less than a year.

Last month, Nesbitt was named by Library Journal as one of its "50 Movers and Shakers for 2014." She was selected from among 200 nominees throughout the United States.

"I have received a lot of emails and calls, and my mother is real excited about it," Nesbitt said.

Nesbitt was nominated by a colleague in Seattle with whom she had worked on a national campaign. Nesbitt and others wrote reviews to help patrons choose books.

Nesbitt said she knew from an early age that reading and books would be a part of her life.

"I'm a true book nerd," Nesbitt said.

She began reading everything she could around age 5 and incessantly pestered her mother to take her to the library in Mount Gilead to exchange books she had finished. The library had a five-item limit.

"From the first time I went there as a child, I knew I wanted to work in a library," said Nesbitt, who worked at the Mount Gilead Library before coming to Columbus.

Nesbitt remains a prolific reader.

"I read a little more than 100 books a year," Nesbitt said.

Her selections are mostly mystery and fiction, "but I'm all over the map," she said.

Nesbitt graduated in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English from the Ohio State University and began working at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

She also holds a master's degree in library science from Kent State University.

Nesbitt has worked as director of the Columbus Metropolitan Library system's technical services, overseeing the purchase of materials for the entire system and determining policy on how purchases are made.

She said she studied patron demands and implemented a policy to order additional copies of printed books once lists to reserve a book title exceeded a 2-1 ratio.

"At many other libraries it is 4-to-1 or even 5-to-1," Nesbitt said.

Nesbitt also implemented a policy so that borrowed material remains at the branch where it is returned, rather than the individual branch that owns it, until a patron requests it be shipped to a specific location.

Last July, Nesbitt said she decided to step out of her administrative role and pursue an opening for a manager at the Hilliard branch.

"I wanted to come back and work with the public," Nesbitt said. "I enjoy talking with our patrons and helping find the best book for them."

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