The One & Only: Tami Polen

Tami Polen

*This story first appeared in The Budget’s April 25, 2018, Local Edition.

You might recognize this week’s One & Only, Tami Polen, as the library aide at Chestnut Ridge Elementary, or maybe you know her as the longtime former branch manager at the Sugarcreek Branch of the Tuscarawas County Public Library. If you’ re from the Dover/New Philadelphia area, you might even know her from the Main Branch, where she got her start working as a page.

Polen has spent her career sharing the joy of reading with both children and adults, although she also sometimes wonders what it might be like to experience the process from the writer’s perspective. “I just am so intrigued when I read so many wonderful novels,” she shared. “Part of that comes from doing book discussion groups when I was at the public library and speaking with authors, and it was always intriguing as to how they go about writing their book.”

While she doesn’t do any writing currently, Polen shared that if she did, it would probably be in the genre of historical fiction.

Read on to learn more about this week’s One & Only, who says that the best part of her current job is interacting with the children.

Current position: Library Aide at Chestnut Ridge School

Current place of residence: New Philadelphia

Family members: Husband: Terry. We have two married daughters who also live in New Philadelphia. We are blessed with six grandchildren.

Hobbies: Reading, gardening and attending car shows with my husband.

Organizations involved with: Community Baptist Church in Dover

Favorite television show(s): Little House on the Prairie, Survivor

Favorite movie(s): Footloose & Mama Mia

Last book I read: “Just Smile and say Hello,” autobiography by Trang Moreland

First job: A & W Rootbeer Stand Worst job: Wow, I can’t say that I’ve had one.

Favorite childhood memory: Playing kick the can at my grandparents’ house.

Favorite music: Country, Classic Rock

Favorite food: Lasagna

Worst idea(s) I ever had: Thinking I could drive my sister’s car (stick shift) up a hill before I really knew how to drive one. Lesson learned quickly! I think my sister enjoyed that drive more than me.

Three words that describe me: caring, encourager, faithful

I am known for my: Sweet tea, my grandchildren’s favorite.

I’ d give anything to meet: Billy Graham

The career I fantasize about having is: becoming an author

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is: We all make mistakes and hopefully grow from them.

People would be surprised to know that: I can drive a stick shift.

People tell me I remind them of: my co-worker, Darlene

Choose a movie title for the story of your life: It’s a Wonderful Life

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why? Healing, I think this could be used by so many people.

The One & Only is a weekly personality profile that features individuals well-known in the local community. Do you have a suggestion for someone we should feature? Calling us at 330-852-4634 or email