Brandy Hamilton, a Knightdale librarian who says she has “lived all over the US,” is establishing her roots in eastern Wake.
Q: You are the manager for the East Regional Library in Knightdale. Was it a love for books and libraries as a girl that brought you to where you are today?
A: “Growing up, I really didn’t think about being a librarian. I really wanted to be a zoologist – that was just something that I was interested in. During middle school, I decided I wanted to be a reporter, or maybe a photojournalist. As it turns out, I was not that great in science (laughing) so I sort of forgot about being a zoologist. I attended the University of South Carolina and I majored in English and minored in Journalism. I was still thinking about working as a reporter when I was in college. I worked for a literary magazine and I was the editor of the yearbook. I did work as a reporter for a little bit but with deadlines and other issues, I decided I really wasn’t cut out for that. I was working my way through college and I took on a library assistant position. As it turns out, there was a librarian who went on maternity leave and they were looking for someone to take over the reference desk. No one volunteered so I said I would do it. To me, working the reference desk was like playing Jeopardy full time and I loved it.”
Q: How is working the reference desk like playing Jeopardy?
A: “Because people come in with all sorts of questions. You may have a little kid come in with a question about the rain forest, or a college student comes in working on a paper about a particular topic and they have questions. They may have questions about the general habitat for a particular animal or the effects of a medication. I could get all kinds of questions. It was just fun and exciting, and I just love teaching people. Someone suggested that since I enjoyed it so much, I needed to pursue it as a career. I went back to school, graduate school, and I received my masters in library and information science. As library manager, I now manage the staff and the day-to-day operations.”
Q: How long have you been in Knightdale?
A: “I have been at the regional library in Knightdale for three years. Before that, I was at the Garner library for nine years.”
Q: You said you have lived “all over” the country. Were your parents in the military?
A: “My dad was in the restaurant business, so we moved. I was born in Ohio. We probably lived in about a half-dozen states.”
Q: Of course, North Carolina is your favorite, but which state would you choose as second favorite?
A: “Yes, I have definitely enjoyed North Carolina. I consider it my home. As a young child, we lived in Knoxville, Tennessee and we camped a lot so there are a lot of fond childhood memories for me of us camping. We also lived in South Carolina for a while and we lived in Columbia and I also lived in Myrtle Beach – that was fun.”
Q: And you are planning a wedding?
A: “Yes, I am getting married Nov. 16. We had been friends for a couple of years and then it was like, ‘Hey, we enjoy spending time together’ and we started dating. I think our friends and family members sort of saw it and realized it before we did (laughing).”
Q: Will there by anything different at your wedding? Any unique personal touches?
A: “You know, I have always seen myself as a very non-traditional person but we are having the traditional wedding at the church – I even surprised myself with that.”
Q: Obviously, you enjoy reading and books, but what other hobbies do you have?
A: “I love the arts so I enjoy going to art museums. I also like bluegrass music and I had my bachelorette party at the recent bluegrass festival held in Raleigh. My fiancé and I, we like the outdoors, so we like to go camping where we can hike and fish. I just love to travel. I still have the lifelong dream to travel and see the world – I suppose a lot of people have that dream.”
Q: What is your favorite type of literary genre?
A: “I really just like the classics. All those books you were made to read in high school – I love those.”
Q: If you had to pick a favorite read, what would it be?
A: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. It is from the perspective of a young girl who kind of sees herself as a misfit. The novel follows her through to her 40s. It is a character novel. I wouldn’t recommend it to young readers but definitely to women 30 or older. I would recommend it really to anyone who has experienced hard times with themselves. If I had to pick one, I would pick that one. I just enjoy reading – I work at the perfect place for that.”