Getting to Know You: Emma Beaver

By: Gale Biddle

There’s a saying that goes, “you only get one chance to make an impression.” Imagine losing track of time on the day of your interview with Emma Beaver, Head Librarian at Penn State
Fayette, and being over fifteen minutes late to call her. Definitely not the impression I wanted to make! Thankfully for me, Emma is incredibly kind and understanding. We rescheduled and
ended up having a fantastic conversation, and now you get the chance to meet Emma.

Emma Beaver bio picEmma grew up with two older brothers in Clymer, Pennsylvania. It’s a town with one stoplight, seven churches, and the best Italian restaurant, Luigi’s. Small town life has its perks, but Emma always wanted to get out of her hometown. She went to West Virginia for her undergraduate degree and then moved to New York City for five years. While living in New York City, she waited
tables, bartended, and worked in sales. She’s also worked in a supermarket at the register, deli, and bakery. After moving back home for graduate school, Emma had every intention to get the degree and go on to another adventure.

However, life has a way of changing plans. As she was tucking her nephew in one night, he said, “Auntie Em, you’re my best friend. I love you.” Those words changed everything, and she decided to stay closer to home. Emma became a director for a public library for three and a half
years after she graduated. She loved the job but admits, “it was a battlefield.” This led her to Penn State Fayette, where she’s been the Head Librarian since December 9, 2019. In the short time that she’s been part of the Penn State family, Emma has found it to be incredibly welcoming. Both the small campus and the larger Penn State community have provided her with the help and support she’s needed. She says that her “coworkers are kind and nice, and it makes it easy to come to work.”

If you love “old school” music, you will be in good company with Emma. In her free time, you can find her listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Harry Chapin, and John Denver. And she’s an unapologetic fan of the singer Meatloaf. She’s also a lifetime Girl Scout member. Emma lives with her husband, Brandon, and their rescue dog, Spike, and rescue cat, Flea (not named after the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Reading, hiking, teaching herself the ukulele, and trying to become a better, more sustainable gardener are some of her other hobbies.

Emma certainly makes a wonderful impression. We’re all very happy to have you as part of the Penn State family, Emma. And no matter what your husband says, a picture of a sweaty Meatloaf is absolutely perfect for the dining room!

Ten Random Questions with Emma Beaver
1. Favorite smell? Lilacs, Grandma’s house, and pine
2. There are two types of people in this world. What are those two types? People who love and look forward to Christmas and those people who loathe it (Emma loves it!)
3. When is the most inappropriate time you broke out in laughter? In church with her mom
4. What is the cutest animal? Baby gorilla
5. What is the best compliment you ever received? When her sister-in-law said she is a really great aunt and when a complete stranger said she was viciously pretty (Emma feels shallow
choosing this example but it was the verbiage that impressed her)
6. What one thing do you really want but can’t afford? Horses
7. Most embarrassing moment? The time her husband convinced her that he brought a fly back to life and she told her family all about it.
8. You have $100 to spend. All your friends are busy. You have a whole day to yourself. What do you do? Buy favorite scotch, new book, and new album
9. What was the last show you binged watched? Outlander
10. Would you rather visit the future or the past? Neither—I would rather go to space