Familiar Faces: British transplant loves library life in El Dorado County

By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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Janice Klein is the Circulation Supervisor at the El Dorado Hills Branch Library and has been there since last September. Many patrons might remember her from the Cameron Park Branch Library, where she had worked for 13 years. She helps keep the library running smoothly and is supported by “an energetic and helpful staff,” she said.

What do you love most about your job?

The library is an enjoyable place to work. Every day is a new day and a different experience. I never wake up in the morning knowing how my day will progress. It’s always a surprise and an adventure. There are always new faces to see, new people to meet. Nothing gives you a better feeling than seeing someone you have helped go away happy. I know we are in the age of technology and some doomsday prophets are telling us libraries are no longer necessary, but here in El Dorado County, we are busier than ever.

What do you enjoy about your life in California?

I grew up in England on the cold, windy east coast, so I really enjoy the warmth and sunshine of California. I spend a lot of time in my garden, and try to grow vegetables for us but not always with a lot of success. Last year I grew a tomato which weighed over one pound, much to the surprise of my family. Some years the squirrels and birds leave a few cherries on the tree for me to dry and use for holiday baking.

What hobbies do you have?

Both my husband and myself tend to be “do-it-yourselfers” and recently remodeled our kitchen. It took much longer than originally planned, but we now have a state-of-the-art kitchen in which to create meals of our dreams. We are a family that likes to eat and prepare meals, and are now enjoying our gourmet kitchen, all our own work. Of course there are often hungry visitors to feed and our kitchen is seldom quiet for long.

Working in a library, books of course play a large part in my life. I grew up reading Enid Blyton, author of “The Secret Seven” and “Famous Five” books, but now two of my favorite authors are Kate Morton and Ken Follet. I have not read either of their latest books yet, but it’s always good to have treats to look forward to. When I am not tending my garden, knitting or sewing for one family member or another or cooking, you might find me curled up with my cat reading a book.

What’s your favorite place to visit?

One of the most attractive and rugged places I have been to is The Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland. There are so many places I would like to visit that I may need a second lifetime to do so. It’s been a long time since I was in the Mediterranean and then there’s Alaska and India that I’d like to visit too.

Tell us about your family.

My family is large. We have five children and four grandchildren, but because we are far flung, family gatherings are noisy happenings. There’s lots of chatter and laughter, and mountains of food which seem to disappear rather quickly. I suppose we could be the table you would rather not sit next to when out for a quiet meal. My family is not an average run of the mill family. I have grandchildren older than my two youngest children, and they range in age from 25 years to 15 months, all of them adorable, and all very loving towards their Grandma.