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Washington Library Worker to Appear on Jeopardy!

Ken Jennings and Julie Sisson

It’s no surprise that librarians and library workers rule on Jeopardy! With their research skills and proximity to information daily, it’s hard to think of better contestants. And one more is set to test their skills and knowledge on the popular game show.

Julie Sisson, a circulation assistant at Everett (Wash.) Public Library’s Evergreen branch, will appear on the show tonight. She tested for the show three times over the course of 10 years until finally earning her spot.

Sisson told the Daily Herald that her job prepared her for the show.

“I felt like I’d read every library book that I could and I either knew it or I didn’t,” she said. 

Sisson joins a long list of librarians and library workers who have appeared on the show.

Rhone Talsma, a multimedia librarian at Chicago Ridge (Il.) Library, beat long-running champ Amy Schneider in January 2022. And Emma Boettcher, a librarian at the University of Chicago, famously ended James Holzhauer's 32-game winning streak in 2019.

Eleven librarians who have appeared on Jeopardy! spoke with American Libraries in 2017 about their experiences on the show, from tryouts and prepping to game day and beyond. It’s a fascinating read.

Julie Hornick, an instructional services librarian at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, appeared on the show in 2014. She told American Libraries of her preparation process: “I was a school librarian at the time. Before I went out to California for the taping, I told my students, “Come up to me any time of day with any kind of question.” If a student could ask a question that I couldn’t answer, I would give them a Dum Dum sucker. I don’t know if they enjoyed trying to stump me or they just wanted the sucker.”

And Jennifer Hills, a reference librarian at Twin Falls (Idaho) Public Libraries who appeared on the show in 2011, said that her appearance follows her around in everyday life: “I happened to be in the grocery store one night, and there was a gal on one of those scooter carts, and I’d go down an aisle, and she’d come down the same aisle. I was kind of getting creeped out. Finally, we came out in the produce section, and she said, “Were you the girl that was on Jeopardy!?”

Sisson is mum about how she did on the show—she couldn't even reveal that she was a contestant until last week.

“I had to keep everything a secret until I was officially allowed,” she said. But she did tell her mom.

“She wanted to tell everybody so badly,” Sisson said. “Once I put it on Facebook she was like, ‘Now I can tell all the other ladies at church!’”

We can’t wait to see how Sisson fares! Tune into Jeopardy! tonight to find out.

Photo: Julie Sisson, right, a library circulation assistant from Everett, stands next to Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings. Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

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