Face to Face: Tonganoxie Public Library’s Nicole Holifield
Name: Nicole Holifield
Born: Fairfax, Mo. Holifield grew up in Mound City, Mo., population 1,000.
Family: Husband, Stephan; two stepdaughters Caileigh, 12, and Averie, 9; three pets, Porter the pug, Bella the Shih Tzu, and Maverick, a husky, Labrador mix. She has two sisters and two brothers with a huge extended family, including 16 first cousins on her mother’s side alone.
Occupation: Youth services librarian at Tonganoxie Public Library and licensed master social worker.
Dream job as a child: Marine biologist and social worker
Interesting facts: Holifield has participated in half marathons and is a huge movie and music buff. She’s also obsessed with pugs and graduated high school with 20 people. Lastly, her elementary, middle school and high school were in the same building.
Digging deeper: Holifield graduated from high school in 1996 and attended Northwest Missouri State University. She wanted to travel after a couple years and lived in Ely, Minn., and worked with youths who had been abused in some form, all while teaching them survival skills (including archery) out in the wilderness. She then moved to Keystone, Colo., and lived in the Rocky Mountains for more than a year. Next, she moved back to the Kansas City area and worked at a nonprofit agency for nearly 10 years, overseeing private adoption, homeless case management and services for pregnant women. While working full time, she finished her social work/psychology undergrad degree at Park University and then University of Missouri-Kansas City for a master’s in social work.
Stephan retired from the Army after 20 years. The family currently resides in Olathe.
Stephan and Nicole met a couple of years ago and were married last month. While in the Army, Stephan was deployed four times.
“His daughters are from his previous marriage and I now have been blessed with two creative and fun daughters,” Holifield said.
She started working at the library in March. Holifield likes working with the community and helping offer programs such as the Ruff Readers at which youths can read with dogs.
“I feel so very lucky to be a part of this community,” she said. “Growing up in a small town has always made me cherish the love and acceptance that you can only get in a small town.”