We Love Books. And Talking About Books.
The Mercantile Library is where you will find books and book experts of all kinds. We are a staff who loves to read, is more than happy to make recommendations for you, and works hard to find the best and newest writers out there.
Executive Director John Faherty still cannot believe his good fortune in getting a job at The Mercantile Library. His nightstand is filled with books because he is a slow reader, but he doggedly marches on with his pattern of one challenging book followed by one fun book. John thinks few people are actually worth biography and fewer yet of autobiography. John loves historical fiction and confesses a weakness for well-written crime procedurals. He has a particular affection for everything written by Kate Atkinson. He received a History degree from the University of Chicago in 1987. John lives with his particularly adorable family in Hyde Park.
Cedric Rose has been the Mercantile’s “Book Guy” since 2005. He has a bachelors in English from the University of Cincinnati, where he focused on creative writing, and a Masters in Information and Library Science from Kent State University. He buys books, manages the collection and circulation, is the library’s de facto I.T. and A.V. guy, and wants to know what you will be reading next.
Head of Events & Marketing
Head of Events Marketing Amy Hunter is a lifelong reader whose favorite place is “in a book.” Her background is in public relations, marketing, and event planning–primarily for Cincinnati’s wonderful food community. She plans almost all of the programming at the Mercantile, and loves talking about the Merc to just about anyone. A resident of Greater Cincinnati since the early 1990s, she lives in Wyoming with her husband Bruce, and their sons Sam and Beck.
Business & Membership Manager
Business and Membership Manager Chris Messick is has worked at the Mercantile since 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Salisbury University and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky. He lives with his wife and two children in Northside, and enjoys reading history, slightly odd fiction, and books about New York City in the late 1970s.
Hillary Copsey is a reading enthusiast whose favorite question is: What are you reading? At the Mercantile, Hillary leads and helps to organize book discussions, shares pretty pictures of books and book recommendations on social media, and tries really hard to resist the temptation to spend a day reading in the stacks. She is the founder and publisher of the Make America Read newsletter and lives with her husband and two sons in Norwood. She always has a book with her and spends a great deal of time reading at youth sports.
Al joined the Mercantile staff as a part-timer after 30 years as a librarian with the Public Library, both at the Main Library and the Hyde Park Branch. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, a Master’s in Education from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s of Library Science from the University of Kentucky. He lives with his wife, Carol, in Pleasant Ridge. He has two grown sons and a growing too quickly grandson.
Membership & Events Coordinator
Kara Willis is just as into people as she is books. She is interested in stories in whichever format they are delivered whether that be a book, movie, documentary, personal account, or even the story that a great meal can tell. Having graduated with a bachelors in communication from the University of Cincinnati with a focus in interpersonal communication theory, she has always had an interest in people and the power of community. She has roots in the West End Community of downtown Cincinnati. She is on the leadership board of local non-profit, Cincinnati Young Black Professionals (CYBP), which helps young professionals build a connection to Cincinnati through events and programming. She also takes pride in being a long standing member of the Mercantile’s own Peregrine Haiku Society.
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