Staff Spotlight: Holly Pelesky

Librarian Holly Pelesky’s journey to Omaha Public Library wasn’t a straight path. Like any great story, there were twists and turns when you’d least expect. She started life with a different career in mind. “I wanted to be a writer and I spent many hours consuming library paperbacks like “The Baby-Sitter’s Club” and “Nancy Drew,”” says Pelesky, who also laments she wasn’t allowed to read “Sweet Valley High.” “Then someone told me writers don’t make money, so I decided to be a teacher. Somehow, I’ve made a life doing a bit of both!” 

Pelesky applied for a position at OPL around 15 years ago but didn’t receive a call back. She spent the next few years living her life. She got married, had kids and spent time working with writers through Metropolitan Community College and Nebraska Writers Collective. Even still, she always kept the library in the back of her mind. When she applied again in 2022, she secured an interview and was offered a part-time position at the now-defunct W. Dale Clark Main Library. She credits researching the library’s interview process and developing years of life experience as to what made this application experience different. After Main Library closed in fall 2022, she moved to OPL’s Genealogy and Local History Room near 84th and Center streets. In October 2022, she was offered the position of Arts and Culture Librarian.

As a librarian, Pelesky is able to use many of her strengths and talents to help both patrons and OPL overall. “As a writer, I love that I get to interact with literature and hear readers’ views on it. As an educator, I love to show people how to do something they didn’t know before, or learn how to do something with them if I don’t know. I love all the ways I get to be creative at work and I love how much of a team environment this is where every individual contributes, and together we make this whole humongous, important thing run and keep running,” says Pelesky.

When she’s not helping patrons at the Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, Pelesky spends her time studying for a Master’s degree as well as running a non-profit press with friends. She enjoys timing how long it takes her to finish a jigsaw puzzle and singing out loud to playlists of her favorite songs. She’s also a mom to two great kids and recently added a cat named Spencer to the family.