Austin enjoys library job and community activities

| April 10, 2018


COSHOCTON – When Jennifer (Ricketts) Austin graduated from Coshocton High School in 2000, she knew she wanted to explore life in a big city.

“I think when you grow up in a small town you are just naturally curious and think the grass looks greener on the other side,” she said.

Austin continued her education in Westerville at Otterbein College where she studied broadcast journalism.

“I enjoyed my time there, but was drawn back here,” Austin said. “I like small town culture. Everyone knows everybody and you see people you know whether you are at work or out to lunch. When you are in a big city you aren’t really connected to a lot of people.”

After she graduated from Otterbein, Austin returned to Coshocton County and started working in 2004 at the West Lafayette Branch Library. She transferred to the Coshocton Public Library in 2009 and served as the teen librarian. When she earned her master’s in library and information science she also picked up assistant director duties. Austin now serves as the library director.

“When I started there, I didn’t think I would remain in library work for my career,” Austin said. “I thought it would just be short term while I was deciding what I wanted to do, but I found I loved it.”

Austin enjoys attending the library’s book club and participating in many other activities in the community.

“Often my husband Joe and I are so busy we long for a day just to sit at home,” she said. “We enjoy attending fundraisers at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum and Pomerene Center for the Arts, visiting Roscoe Village, walking at Lake Park and dancing at area ballroom dancing events. In addition, I enjoy worship and serving on committees at the Presbyterian Church, Rotary and Junior Woman’s Club. When we are not busy with these activities, we enjoy the friendships we have found in Coshocton County.”

Jennifer and Joe also enjoy living in the country and spending time with their cats Tigger and Simon.

“I think one of our favorite things to do is spend time on the farm and be in nature,” she said. “We like taking hikes in the woods and seeing wildlife. It’s a peaceful experience.”

Jennifer encourages people to keep an open mind and explore what all Coshocton has to offer.

“My husband and I had heard others talk about events at the Pomerene Center and the museum and one Friday decided to try a Rent Party at the Pomerene Center,” she said. “We just showed up and found we knew a lot of the people there and it was like an evening out with friends. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You might think you won’t fit in, but you could be surprised and it will be a natural fit. This is a great community and there is plenty to do.”

Editor’s note: The Beacon is working with the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce to highlight young professionals in the community.


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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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