Chatting With Takoma Park’s Library Director

Taylor Dibbert
4 min readJun 22, 2022

Jessica Jones has been the Library Director for the Takoma Park Maryland Library since 2021, and she has previously served in library leadership roles in both Texas and New Mexico. She has been working in libraries since 2007, serving in academic, research, and public sectors, and in technical services, reference, faculty, and administrative roles.

This interview has been edited lightly.

Would you talk about how your career as a librarian has developed? How did you get started along that path?

I actually started out wanting to be a social worker and decided to try it out for a year before applying to [Master’s in Social Work] MSW programs. I had a friend that worked with AmeriCorps, and she encouraged me to do a term as a crisis intervention advocate. The year was incredibly rewarding and a great learning experience, but one of the things I learned was that social work was not a sustainable career path for me.

While I was trying to distill what attracted me to social work, I took a part-time job with the public library in San Antonio, and I really loved connecting people with resources and helping them learn how to ask the right questions. I’ve been in libraries ever since — public, research, academic, and back to public libraries.

How did you end up working in Takoma Park?

My husband and I were living in Texas, and he was getting near the end of his PhD research, so we had the opportunity to move somewhere we would want to put down some roots. We both love the D.C. area, and when I was researching Takoma Park to write my cover letter for this position, I was struck by how good a fit this organization and municipal government seemed to be. It must have shown through, because here I am!

How would you describe the Takoma community?

Inclusive, complex, and ambitious are words that immediately come to mind. There is a lot of idealism, in a good way, as well as people who are willing to do the work when the pitfalls of living in the world crop up, like: limited time, limited funds, and all of the things that can delay or derail a project. There is an overall sense of purpose that I really appreciate.

Taylor Dibbert

Taylor Dibbert is a writer, journalist, and poet. He’s author of the Peace Corps memoir “Fiesta of Sunset," and the forthcoming poetry collection "Home Again."