Staff Spotlight: Rebecca Cloud

Staff Spotlight Rebecca Cloud

This career was never Rebecca Cloud’s original plan. Nor was moving to Iowa, not after growing up in Louisiana and going to college in Portland, OR.

But as she handles her duties as a librarian at the South Side Library, it’s clear she enjoys everything she’s doing in Des Moines.

“I am so happy I took this position, but I won’t say it was an easy decision,” says Cloud. She had been entrenched in the community as she worked at a library in Louisiana. Then she saw a job posting for a library position in Des Moines and applied out of both interest and curiosity. During her job interview, Cloud realized her goals and ideals as a librarian were in sync with the Des Moines Public Library, and that this was a place where she could grow and make a difference.

Cloud, a member of the Book Chat team, has always been a voracious reader, and she was always fond of her visits to the library. Though she originally planned to work toward a dcctorate degree in Russian, a car accident in college changed the trajectory of her life. She thought through her values and jobs that she enjoyed. Then, by fate, she happened across a book by Marilyn Johnson called This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.

The rest is history. “I like to think that you don’t find librarianship, but librarianship finds you, Pagemaster-style,” she says.

Cloud sees librarianship as a collaboration between the library and the community, with a focus on serving individuals. Librarians embed themselves in the community and mold their work after what the community both needs and wants.

 “Right now, I’m getting questions concerning anti-racism and history that wasn’t covered in school,” says Cloud. “So now, next month we’re bringing in the African American Museum of Iowa to present about Juneteenth and Emancipation.”

When planning programs, Cloud works hard to incorporate a sense of curiosity. She says curiosity is often encouraged in children, but not in adults. “That truly bums me out! Adults want to be amazed by things too!” she says.

The Genre Voyager Book Club she leads is an example of this. The group explores books in a different genre every three months.  There are genres members of the group like, and some they don’t, and that’s OK, says Cloud.

“What matters is we took a journey to examine something new.”

What Rebecca's Reading:




Monogamy, by Sue Miller



Finlay Donovan is Killing It


Finlay Donovan is Killing It, by Elle Cosimano





Blacksad, by Juan Diaz Canales


Firekeepers Daugther


Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley

Published on May 11, 2021
Last Modified July 29, 2021