Katy Kelly is a librarian with a strategy.
The Upper Arlington native found her home here after finding good friends like Teresa Whitley in the city's South Park Historic District.
She found camaraderie by the pound in the neighborhood near Dayton's downtown.
"I love Dayton and it feels like my hometown now," the University of Dayton librarian said. "I really got connected early on with some great friends."
Now a Patterson Park neighborhood homeowner, Kelly said her social circle and attachment to Dayton has expanded by leaps and bounds since she moved here six years ago.
There is always something to do," Kelly said.
Her work at UD is partly focused on strategy.
"How can we do things different, new and stay relevant?" she said.
Part of her job includes outreach to students through things like therapy dogs ad massage chairs during finals.
We caught up to Kelly, the latest Daytonian of the Week.
What do you do?
I’m a librarian at the University of Dayton. I work with students and faculty on their research projects and teach classes on how to find and evaluate information. I also chair the marketing team that develops and promotes events and services at the library.
What superpower would you love to have?
Why did you become a librarian?
I knew I would always be proud to say “I’m a librarian.” Librarians are information experts and connect people to what they need. I particularly wanted to become a librarian at a university to work on a beautiful campus (UD is tops) and be part of higher education. My college experience at Ohio University is a big part of who I am, so I’m paying it forward.
What should people know about the modern librarian?
In general, modern librarians like cardigans, puns, cat memes, trivia and mason jars. Professionally, we strive to make information easier to access and promote literacy. Information is power. Librarians and libraries, as democratic institutions, want to level the playing field.
What are you reading?
I’m reading Alice Munro’s The Progress of Love, a collection of short stories. In the introduction Richard Ford says to read each story uninterrupted in one sitting which is actually kind of hard. But I’m all about following directions and a recent plane ride helped.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for my feminist book club in January.
When I first started someone called and asked if UD students would come rake her leaves. I thought out loud and said “no, probably not.” Well, it turns out students in the music program used to go out and rake leaves as part of a fundraiser. I just had to ask her a few more questions to figure that one out.
I love how we are known for our generosity. There is always something awesome going on where proceeds benefit a local non-profit or initiative. I’m honored to be in a community that is always looking for ways to improve the lives of others.
What would you do on a perfect date in Dayton?
My partner Nik is always a perfect date! Try out a new restaurant and challenge each other to write the most ridiculous hypothetical Yelp review. Go to a movie at The Neon and then stop by the bar at Lily’s for a night cap. Five stars.
Wheat Penny’s Matterhorn pizza. I am all about spicy, sweet and salty flavors together. I like starting with their arugula and shaved cauliflower salad to be extra fancy.
Why did you decide to settle in Dayton?
I moved here for my current job at UD. My college roommates grew up in Dayton so I had some knowledge of the city (important stuff like where to get a Killer Brownie). I was looking around for where to live and decided I wanted to be close to work. My first house was in South Park, a mere .8 miles away from UD.
What was the most challenging part of that?
Not knowing anyone. It was scary and lonely to be a 20-something in a new place without the built-in relationships that school provides. Right after I settled in I reluctantly went solo to a South Park Porch, Patio and Deck party to try and put myself out there. That day I met my first and best friend, Teresa Whitley! Meeting people was easy after that by volunteering with Professionals United for Sexual Health (PUSH) and hanging out by the jukebox at Lucky’s Taproom (both proven ways to make friends).
What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
It’s going to look and be awesome. We’ll have several arts and entertainment districts downtown. You will want to teleport (or ride a Link bike) around the city in order to do all the cool things.