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Spotlight on Staff: Lights, Camera... Library Staff?


As we continue to highlight our staff as living resources, we thought we’d shine the spotlight on the performers in our midst.  While librarians are stereotyped as being quiet and introverted, it turns out that many of us are far from shy!  Read on to learn about our talented staff members with backgrounds in the performing arts.

Meet a classically trained musician, costume designer, and musical theater actor – all of whom work at a library near you!


Roman Lopez, Children’s Librarian at Libbie Mill, is excited to share music with everyone on a daily basis at the library. Hailing from a musical family, Roman began playing music at about the age of nine or ten years old.  He started by taking piano and guitar lessons in the sixth grade, and took up percussion in his middle school band. He continued learning percussion throughout high school and decided to attend VCU in Richmond for percussion studies. While at VCU, Roman had a great experience as part of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and VCU percussion ensemble. After earning a B.A. with an emphasis in music performance, he taught alongside his sister as an assistant teacher at Central Montessori School in Richmond. You might have run into Roman in the Richmond music scene during his time working at the National Theater. He was also proud to be part of the team at Westwood Music Club in Richmond where he taught piano, percussion, and guitar. Roman says, “it's just wonderful to be able to share my music with you and your children for Storytimes every week!” We know our storytime families feel the same way about Roman! His storytimes and Cuentos Bilingues (bilingual storytimes) are a treasured ritual for many and we hope to see even more of you there soon.


Rey Mehlhorn is a longtime fan of dressing up in costumes, so it’s no surprise that Halloween is his favorite holiday. As an adult he learned that there are more excuses than Halloween to dress up, and he has developed a whole closet full of costumes and masks.  His mother introduced him to her favorite hobby of sewing and allowed him to use her old Singer machine once he was old enough. He later worked at a quilt store and sold sewing machines for Husqvarna/Viking. In addition to sewing, Rey creates watercolor paintings, coloring books, plush dolls, and has experimented in sculpture in various media. He applies these other art skills to his costume design as well. Over the past decade he has also picked up working with EVA foam. He especially enjoys using it to stand in for metal parts, and has built a Mad Max: Fury Road face mask and most of a Furiosa arm from EVA foam and other bits and pieces. While some costumes include purchased pieces, he prefers to design his own patterns and sew things from scratch, using various craft skills to embellish the details and add weathering effects. Rey's future cosplay goals include making medieval armor and other larger-scale pieces from EVA foam.

Lauren Meigs


Lauren grew up performing in musical theater shows with her hometown community theater organizations and at school. In fact, for kindergarten through high school, she attended performing arts-focused magnet schools where she had the opportunity to spend several hours each week studying singing, dancing, and acting. As an adult, Lauren kept her hand in the theater arts world by taking tap classes, joining choirs, participating in community musical theater shows, volunteering to usher for local arts organizations, and enthusiastically celebrating every theatrical performance she can attend. Lauren feels that her early training in the performing arts played an integral part in her enthusiasm for public librarianship by giving her a deep respect for every person’s story, fostering her passion for intentional community, and giving her the confidence to enjoy life’s many stages.

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