Jessica Hilburn is Executive Director at the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, which is her hometown. She attended Mercyhurst University and earned a bachelor’s degree in both History and Political Science. She went on to Edinboro University for a master’s degree in Social Science/History, then Valdosta State University for a master’s degree in Library and Information Science.
Jessica has published many works, including her first book Hidden History of Northwestern and two academic journal articles in the Oilfield Journal. She is also a writer for Information Today Magazine on library-related topics and a book reviewer for Library Journal.
Jessica is a KINBER Toward Gigabit Libraries Fellow, which works to increase and strengthen broadband capacity and connectivity among PA public libraries. She’s a board member for Titusville Renaissance and co-chairs the Technology Team and Branding/Marketing Team for Titusville Placemaking. In addition, Jessica runs social media and the website for Hydetown Borough and has worked to help eliminate overdue fines for all patrons in Crawford County libraries.
Looking towards the future, Jessica hopes to continue serving her community in a variety of arenas. “I am public service oriented and want to lend skills and knowledge to helping our area be a wonderful place to live and work,” she said. “I’d like to see libraries become even stronger centers of their communities and partner with local organizations to help people with literacy, services, education, and information. Being a part of working together as a region for a strong future is very important to me. I chose to come back to the region and I want young people to know they’re welcome and valued here.”
When she has free time, Jessica can be found reading, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, spending time with her cats and family, watching sports, and “consuming all things pop culture.” She especially loves going to the movies with friends and inhaling “all things Marvel.”
She’s a big fan of Drake Well, The Movies at Cranberry, and the Kennerdell Overlook, and enjoys supporting friends in shows at the Barrow-Civic Theatre and taking beautiful scenic drives and walks through the great nature Venango County has to offer.
Jessica gets to experience both Crawford and Venango Counties and appreciates how both do things a bit differently, but each place deeply cares about its people.
“Titusville is unique in that so many of us split time between the two counties and are intertwined with organizations in both. I enjoy that the vast majority of people are willing to work together to solve problems, be creative, and accomplish important things,” she said. “No matter whether you’re from–Franklin, Oil City, Emlenton, Pleasantville, Titusville, or anywhere in between–we are all neighbors and want the best for each other.”