15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown

Hometown: I grew up in Wellman – then moved to Carroll. I resided in Caroll from sixth through 12th grade.


My dad and stepmother are Tom and Cheryl LaVille, of Marshalltown. My mom, Jan LaVille, is retiring from Des Moines Area Community College this year. I have two younger brothers and a younger sister. My spouse of 20 years is Terry Mercer, and we have two daughters: Kennedy and Ryan. Kennedy attends college while Ryan and her husband, Jeff Bethel, live and work in Marshalltown. They are parents of our grandson, Jacob, 3.

Hobbies and interests: Reading, walking and yoga, playing with our grandson and hanging out with family. Terry and I also tend to obsessively watch one show at a time on Hulu or Netflix until we finish all the seasons (current show: “Flashpoint”).


Occupation: Youth Services Librarian at Marshalltown Public Library.

What that means: I am in charge of the programs, activities, and collections for youth of all ages – babies through teens.

Tenure: I’m in my 14th year.

Best part of school/job: I love interacting with all different ages and the chance to connect them with a “just right” book. I am grateful to be able to work with dedicated co-workers who sincerely care about their jobs and each other.


Books: This question is torture for a book lover! The last book I finished was “The Reapers are the Angels” by Alden Bell. It was also discussed with Marshalltown High School students at the school’s book club.

Movie: “Love, Actually,” directed by Richard Curtis.

Foods: Cheese

Sports: I get in trouble when I watch sports because I tend to cheer for exciting plays, regardless of which team is responsible.


Best part of living here: I love being able to live in the middle of Iowa, yet in a community with so much diversity. Also, the level of collaboration here is really phenomenal – in good times, as well as when there are challenges.

Local involvement: Immigrant Allies, Unitarian Fellowship of Marshalltown, Not in Our Town committee, 100 Women Who Care, community literacy initiatives, and the Arts Alliance Culture Club. I also enjoy volunteering in one shot “hands-on” ways.

Advice: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.”