The Secret Lives of BHS Librarians

BY ALEXINA LOCKIE

Bozeman High School’s librarians are an eccentric bunch, full of energy and fervent literary opinions. There are three of them: Kerri Cobb, Brittany Alberson, and Rita Kroon. They enjoy books (as one might assume), they all prefer fiction to non-fiction and don’t think The Twilight Saga: “New Moon” should have been written, and that’s about where their personalities stop overlapping.  

Before being a librarian at BHS, Cobb was an ophthalmology assistant who helped out with eye surgeries.  She also has a degree in teaching business education.

“I changed things up, I do about every decade,” explains Cobb about her shift in career.

Another factor for her choice to become a librarian might be her family. The librarian gene seems to run in Cobb’s family, as both her mother and her grandmother were librarians.

Cobb is a fan of mystery books and any book with suspense.

“If it kills people I’ll read it, I love murder books,” she says.

Her favorite book is Meg, a book similar to Jaws but featuring a megalodon shark out of the marianas trench. “Nobody checks [it] out and nobody in the whole world reads [it] hardly ever,”says Cobb.

Currently she’s working on her Master’s in STEM education.

Alberson is a self described cinephile, saying, “I watch movies all the time, and reference them all the time. I’m actually really insufferable to be around.”

She went to college to become a Russian translator for the U.N., but they canceled the Russian program the year she went to college. Instead, she got a degree in English literature with minors in both Spanish and art history. Though she lacks a favorite color, she will answer that purple is her favorite color if pressed on the issue. She worked for a Barnes and Noble in Seattle where nearly every week she restocked one of the weirdest books she’s ever seen, an encyclopedia of mycology (mushroom hunting) on which a man who looked like Bob Ross posed with a trumpet in the forest.

There’s something distinctly geek-chic about her; she’s practically a walking Tumblr blog, in the most flattering way possible. When unable to answer a question she used “frell” as a word, which, as it turns out, is a made up pseudo-curse word the creators of the TV show Farscape used to get past network censorship.   

She has strong opinions on the Twilight installment New Moon, namely that “It’s like they took the last twenty minutes of Titanic and wrote a book.”

Kroon has a sweet demeanor. She smiles wide and laughs frequently, but her demeanor contrasts with some of the things she says.

Smiling sweetly like your cookie-baking grandmother, she says, “I like serial killers better than plagues.”

“I like reading about Jack the Ripper, but I always get cold reading about Jack, because it seems like it’s always the London night. I have to put on sweaters,” she continues.

She’s a self-described renegade when it comes to literature because she never liked Macbeth.

“Then I promptly as a sophomore in college, ended up taking Shakespeare extensive followed by Shakespeare intensive, so I spent a lot of time with Shakespeare, and I grew to like him then,” Kroone explains.

Her last name, Kroon, is often mispronounced. It should be pronounced like “crone” but many, including her fellow librarian Cobb, didn’t know it was pronounced “crone”— she’d always pronounced it croon. And as such Kroon prefers to be called by her first name, Rita.

She once had a student ask her what he should call her.

She answered: “Oh, just Rita, hun.” And so he called her “Rita hun.”  

 

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