Corinne Hill became executive director of the Chattanooga Public Library in March 2012, coming here from Dallas, where she was interim director of libraries for the Dallas Public Library. Over the past 18 years, Hill has managed public services, technical services and library technology. She was named the 2014 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal, and is serving her second term on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions' Standing Committee for Public Libraries. Hill holds a Master of Science from the University of North Texas in Information Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas.
What books have you read that have influenced your career?
I am a big believer in reading books for pleasure. It's fulfilling when nonfiction reads like a novel, and when you enjoy a book, you tend to remember it better. Years ago, I read "A Clearing In The Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century" by Witold Rybczynski. Among the many things Olmsted is known for, he was one of the first who recognized the importance of public spaces like Central Park. When people talk about public spaces like libraries, I remember that book and Olmstead's fight with New York City about why the park was necessary.
What books have you recently read for pleasure that you're recommending to others?
Another aspect that will draw me to a book is if it teaches me something I wouldn't normally learn about. One I read recently that I loved is Yuval Noah Harari's "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow." Harari is known for his witty, thought-provoking writing style, and that makes for a great book that you can read cover-to-cover or in bits and pieces. He makes the argument that the future of society will worry less about war and famine and more about immortality, personal happiness, and divinity.
What is up next on your to-read list?
"The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History" by John Barry. I think looking at the past, specifically the 1918 flu epidemic, is an important thing to do now, plus it was recommended to me by someone I really respect.