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Patty Petronello


Patty worked and performed in Pittsburgh for eight years before moving to Arlington Virginia to be closer to her family. Her work history includes working part time for Hallmark Cards as a retail merchandiser (she is still finding glitter in her hair…) and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP), before becoming full time with CLP in 2016. Her full time Library job started at the East Liberty branch where she worked with customers daily, helping them find books, edit resumes, do research projects and answer general library questions.

In 2018, Patty was offered a unique mission at the Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvanians (LAMP): making literature and other library services available to people who have difficulty accessing the written word.  This challenge opened up a whole new world for Patty. She was able to take her love of literature and share it with people struggling to access library services. Patty worked with patrons, learned their needs, and shipped free materials all over the Commonwealth. While at LAMP, she was tasked with creating tactile displays for the visually impaired and well-rounded program opportunities. Using anything she could find, from technical equipment to whatever she could find in the utility closet (except glitter), Patty worked to created unique displays you could experience through sound touch and sometimes smell. Remembered at LAMP as the Michelangelo of Mod-Podge (not really…), Patty was regularly seen wearing gloves and an apron, searching for old markers to disassemble and use for water colors.

Patty Headshot (big)
Patty Petronello

During her time in Pittsburgh, Patty’s artistry was not limited to library displays and carefully considered book recommendations. Having studied dance in college, Patty worked as a professional performer and collaborator in Pittsburgh for eight years. Her works include multiple collaborations with the Yes Brain Dance Theater, a project-based company directed by Moriah Ella Mason. She has also danced with several other Pittsburgh based artists such as Staycee Pear, Murphy/Smith Dance Company and Pearl Ann Porter. Most recently*,* Patty performed in The Tipping Point, an immersive dance theater experience choreographed and directed by Beth Corning and co-directed by Gab Cody. This piece was produced through Corning Works-Glue Factory Projects and was in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders. In addition to dance, Patty also served as an Associate Director for Bombyx, an aerial silks company based in Pittsburgh, PA. She has extensive training in aerial silks and has also trained with the lyra, a hanging metal hoop. To this day, Patty can often be found suspending odd materials from random chandeliers and fixtures, testing them as a means of suspension and potential human flight.

Patty started her work at BPI in early 2020, joining the team about a month and a half into the coronavirus pandemic.  (Thank you, ZOOM!)  She has been serving as BPI’s Operations Manager for the past two years and admittedly loves the work. Patty loves a challenge, loves the people, and is dedicated to the work of BPI. Most of all, she enjoys the collaborative and team-oriented atmosphere of BPI and is motivated and inspired by all of her coworkers.

This past summer, Patty took on an exciting adventure by thru hiking the entirety of the Appalachian trail, a 2,194.3-mile hiking trail that extends from Georgia to Maine. She faced many trials, discovered her trail name ????, and developed many great friendships along the way. She considers the experience among the most memorable and formative of her young life. BPI excitedly supported her through her trip by cheering her on from basecamp, enjoying her updates through pictures and posts, and welcoming her back after six long months of walking.

Patty has returned to her work as Operations Manager and is excited about the future of BPI. She immediately noticed the growth that occurred during her Appalachian adventure, and is excited to roll up her sleeves and get to work.