The Seattle Public Library

Your Account

March 20, 2018

listen to spl voices

SPL Voices celebrates the history, meaning and impact of The Seattle Public Library in Seattle’s past and future. We partnered with StoryCorps to begin collecting personal stories and conversations from a variety of perspectives.

Casey Schneider & Jonathan Koroshec

Casey Schneider talks with her fiancé Jonathan Koroshec, a librarian at the Ballard branch of The Seattle Public Library. The two met at the Ballard branch through a Seattle Reads event.


Casey Schneider & Jonathan Koroshec


Casey Schneider: [00:00] This is a leading question: What's the best day that you ever had in the library?

Jonathan Koroshec: That was a couple of years ago. It was during the Seattle Reads event that we were hosting. The group of librarians, they choose a book, whether it's fiction or nonfiction. The idea is that the entire city of Seattle picks up that book during a month, and they read it together. It's actually a really cool idea because you see people all over the city, on the buses or in the park, all holding the same book. It's really cool. And then what we do is we get the author to come out and host a bunch of events so people can actually talk to the author and meet the author. So, in particular, with 2011s Seattle Reads, there was Chris Cleave, his book Little Bee that we chose that year and got him to come out from Britain, and he came to my library. And it was actually my first event I hosted, as far as Seattle Reads was concerned. You know, it was a big one. I was super-nervous. But also super-excited to meet him, and I read his book and I loved it.  And so I met him on May 11th, 2011. I met him. But that's also when you came in. And then we met, and the rest is history -- almost.

CS: I wasn't even supposed to be there. I was supposed to be at the book reading the night before on Friday night at the Central Library, but I'd double-booked myself. So I went into Ballard, even though it's in a different neighborhood, and I had to drive across town to get there and all that. But yeah, I saw you, and it's just that whoa -- first of all, it's a male librarian, which is somewhat rare, and he's really cute. (laughs) Which that's all I really had to go on. I think I probably assumed you were smart and well-read, which I think is attractive in a friend or a mate.

JK: And with the library being a big part of your childhood, with your mother being a librarian and stuff, I think somehow maybe you were searching for that, maybe. I don't know.

CS: Ew, that sounds creepy. (laughs)  

JK: I don't. There's just something there, ingrained. 

CS: Because I go to a library and went to a book reading maybe made you take that chance, too?

JK: Probably, actually. Because I do like that idea, you know, that you come to those events, and that you find those interesting, and you're engaged in reading and discussion, and you know, meaningful conversation, stuff like that. And I think that's great. A very attractive quality.

CS: Hm.

JK: So after that initial Chris Cleave events, we did start to date and dated for a while, and obviously we're together still, but the fun thing about it is that Chris Cleave came back to Seattle the next year for his next book, Gold. We also had some library events at the Central downtown library; and we were like, we have to go to this. We have to meet Chris Cleave and tell him what he did. (laughter)

CS: What he did, yeah.

JK: What he did. So we start telling Chris Cleave how his book brought us together, and he was just like, "Really?"  And then --

CS: And he said, "That's the most charming story I've heard in line all year."

JK: He actually, he blogged about it. But he says, "True story. These two met at one of my Seattle Reads events a year ago. Became an item and came to my Seattle show last night to tell the tale. Terrific couple. So happy for Casey and Jonathan." And this is the part I like: He says, "One of the loveliest things I've ever been very slightly responsible for." (laughter) So, I mean, I'm sure he didn't set out to write you know Little Bee and then two people get together because of it, but that's what ultimately happened.  [03:37]



Produced by The Seattle Public Library with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national non-profit whose mission is to provide American of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.