Member Spotlight - Jordan Neal

February 7, 2022

This week's member spotlight is on Jordan Neal, a Career Librarian at the Champaign Public Library. Jordan is a director-at-large on the ILA Executive Board and a past co-chair of the ILA Diversity Committee. We asked Jordan to tell us a little bit about herself and to answer a few professional and amusing questions. Continue reading to find out more about Jordan. 

A little bit about Jordan

Libraries were a great resource for my family when they arrived in the United States. When I first started to read, one of my most favorite childhood memories was my mother letting us borrow or buy as many books as we wanted at our local library or bookstore. I started at my library as a page and now serve as a Career Librarian. When I’m not at the library, I spend as much time as possible with my family.

How did you get into libraries?

A dear friend encouraged me to apply for a library page/shelver position. My experience as a page still helps me today.

Best advice you've received since starting your career in libraries?

You don’t have to be an expert in anything to help.

Any advice to newcomers working in libraries?

When in doubt, ask. Your colleagues are available to help and support you — we are all still learning every day. 

When and why did you become a member of ILA?

I joined ILA while I was in graduate school. My manager at the time, who was already involved in ILA, invited me to join. I was not very familiar with ILA and she shared valuable insights from her experience. I then became a member of the Diversity Committee.  

What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

As a Career Librarian, I help people apply for jobs, update their resume, etc. It makes my day when someone follows up to tell me they were invited to an interview or excitedly shares they received a job offer. We can really make a difference in people’s lives.

Hardcover, paperback, e-reader, audio book or all four?


Favorite author?

I don’t really have favorites. I recently read Minority Leader by Stacey Abrams. Her words really reflected some of my experiences.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what five books would you bring with you to pass the time until being rescued?

A few that I’ve read and a couple I just started:

  • I Didn't Do It for You by Michela Wrong
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  • Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

Cat or Dog?


Favorite film, podcast, or television show?

If I had to pick one, it would be the TV series Insecure just because I recently watched the series finale and I’m so sad it’s over.

One person you would like to meet, dead or alive, and why?

My grandmother on my father’s side. I never met her but I’ve heard lots of great stories from my parents.

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