Meet Michelle Jeske, Director-at-Large
My title is Denver City Librarian, meaning I’m the Director of the Denver (Colo.) Public Library. People look at me curiously when I use my official title. I assume it goes back to the 1800s when Denver had one librarian, THE city librarian. I’ve been at Denver Public for almost 16 years and have also worked at the San Antonio (Texas) Public Library and New York Public Library. I had a short stint serving public libraries as a vendor when I worked at TLC CARL Corporation, a job that brought me to Denver and I haven’t looked back! I live right in the heart of the city and have a cabin up in the mountains so we are here to stay. I live with my husband, two cats and a dog and enjoy making mosaics, traveling, cooking, fermenting, reading and hiking in my spare time.
Why I wanted to serve on the PLA Board
The United States is at a critical point in its evolution and the principles of our profession and the roles we play in our communities are more important than ever to ensuring that all people have free and equal access to information and opportunities to learn, grow and thrive. We have important work to do!
My vision for the future of public libraries
Public libraries are drivers of civic health and engagement. Individually, our libraries make positive impacts on our communities. Collectively, we have the power to make this a better world in which to live.
My favorite book
I don’t have a favorite book or even an author—I read widely. Most recently, I have enjoyed Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn, and Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich.
Somewhere I love to frequent in my community
Denver is changing right before our eyes. Almost every neighborhood is going through rapid growth and development. As I travel the city visiting our 26 locations and also in my personal life, I marvel at how different a block, street or neighborhood looks compared to the last time I passed through. So every day feels like an adventure. I’m very partial to City Park, a very large, old and beautiful park near my home. I enjoy a good sour beer so you will sometimes find me in one of the many new and delightful brewpubs in town.
Photo: Michelle Jeske with her husband while vacationing on Vancouver Island, June 2017.