Thursday, February 6, 2020

Meet Loftan Miller

Library Services Coordinator

Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up mostly in Chesterfield County and graduated from Midlothian High School in the county's first class of International Baccalaureate students. I was a super nerd – played viola in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra and even on the weekends my friends and I would get together for studying parties. I really wish I was kidding. Earning an IB diploma meant that when I attended music school at Ithaca College most of my liberal arts classes were taken care of. I can only remember taking a math class titled, “What is Math?” which was naturally attended by mostly music majors. 

What brought you to Reynolds?
I started my professional librarian career in 2008 at Rappahannock Community College as the College Librarian. Though I loved being there, the commute really started to impact my growing family. When the position of Library Coordinator came up at Reynolds, I could not let the opportunity pass. It cut my commute in half and really opened up more opportunities for my family with having me be a lot closer to home. 

What is the most unusual situation you’ve had to handle in the library (no names, please!)?
I think my scale for unusual is a bit askew because libraries see a lot of really interesting characters and situations. It’s actually one of the things I love the most of working in libraries because no day is the same. Reference questions can often lead to some funny stories so I’ll tell you one of my very favorite questions I’ve ever received at the desk. This question came from a student when I was working at the University at Buffalo Undergraduate Library. She came up to me and asked me, “Where are the books for reading?” Turns out she was looking for the fictional books for pleasure reading but I really had to stop myself from laughing when I asked her follow up questions to find out what she was actually looking for. 

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Essentially 99% of my job is finding ways to help people. We take people having a terrible day and we use patience and kindness to help them find something they need that might help make their lives a little easier. My tough days are far and few between the good ones and for that, I am very thankful. 

If you had one extra hour a day, how would you use it?
Sleep. I’m expecting my third daughter in June and there are just never enough hours in the day for me to get a full night’s rest. So I supposed I could lie and tell you I’d spend it reading a book but let’s be real, I’d spend it on sleep. 

What do you like to do outside of your work at Reynolds?
I’m naturally a homebody and though you might meet me and think I’m an extrovert, I really am an introvert. I love being at home with my kids and crazy dogs just cooking and cleaning around the house. When I’m not cooking or cleaning, I am running a taxi service for my children and their activities. I’m often not sure how I get everything done in a day but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel so lucky to have a job that not only lets me spend my workday doing something I love but also allows me to be a Mom to two great girls. 

What do like most about Richmond? Favorite places to visit? Favorite restaurants?
Richmond is such a wonderful city – full of music and arts and fantastic places to eat! My fiancĂ© and I love seeing concerts in the area. You would be shocked to know how many artists come to Richmond to play. It’s really hard to narrow down a list of favorite restaurants but if I had to they would be; Heritage for brunch; Edo’s Squid for a special occasion dinner (the arugula, white bean, and squid salad IS MY FAVORITE); Stella’s for amazing Greek food; Tazza Kitchen for its hot sausage and honey pizza and fabulous desserts and coffee; and Mamma Zu’s for Italian (but get there early because it’s super small). 

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery what would you do with the money?
I would first hire a financial advisor and find out what to do with $100 million dollars! Did I mention I was a music major in college? We don’t take many classes on personal finance! I know I would set aside money for my children, give money to my church, and make a donation to the Richmond Symphony so hopefully they would name a concert series after me. Other than that, maybe buy a pony or two?!