Skip to main content

Staff Spotlight: Lori Rowland

May 28, 2021

The Essential Questions


What is your role and how long have you been working at Biddle?

I am the Head of Access Services which covers many of the patron-facing services that we provide at Biddle. I’ve worked at Biddle for nearly 3 years and worked at Van Pelt library for 10 years before that.

What had helped you adjust to working from home?

I have a lot more energy without the daily commute. Also having my dogs close by for stress relief has been essential!

What book/s are you reading right now?

I’m on an Ann Patchett kick after reading her latest, The Dutch House. Loved it! So I am going back and reading her earlier work. I just finished Commonwealth. I also loved her memoir about her friendship with fellow writer Lucy Grealy, Truth and Beauty.


Lightning Round


Cats or dogs? Dogs!

Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction

Comedy or horror? Comedy

Sweet or savory? Savory

Coffee or tea? Tea!


Wildcard Qs


If you would meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I have always been fascinated with Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. Sometimes I can’t listen to his playing because he makes me cry. I would want to ask him about his unique interpretations of Bach and his thought process behind them.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and went to school in West Philly. So coming to Penn was like coming home for me. My high school was St. Leonard’s Academy at 38th and Chestnut which is now St. Leonard’s Complex and owned by Penn. I like to walk past there at lunchtime. It was a unique place to go to school.

What is your favorite reference question or most memorable library experience?

I don’t have one favorite, but I must say that whenever we find a resource for a patron or show them kindness in an interaction, I just love to see those sincere reactions of gratitude. That is what motivated me to become a librarian in the first place. I love to help people find the things that further their intellectual journey.

What are your passions outside of work?

Gardening and spending time with our dogs, Tallulah and Sabine, are two things that my husband and I share. We are currently working on our front courtyard garden. I just love to see how the plants change every day. It’s such a soul feeding activity. I love nothing more than to see our dogs lazing around among the plants and flowers!