Journey in His Shoes

Posted on March 14, 2018

by Heather H

Though I’ve only been with the Library for (just shy of) four years, I’ve come to truly appreciate and enjoy the diverse workforce that we have within our system. Our Library staff is made up of caring, customer oriented, knowledgeable individuals, that’s certain – but what many might not know, is that our staff also come from all walks of life, representing a wealth of experience and diverse interests and passions!  

Quite simply, we are a reflection of the vibrant community in which we support.  

This year, we’re seeking to let our customers see a different side of our staff, by way of a social media campaign titled #GetToKnowTLCPL (posts run every Sunday on our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts).  

I’d like to add an addition to this campaign by inviting you to get to #GetToKnowTLCPL’s James Dickerson, circulation supervisor at Mott Branch. Known alternately as “dirtykics,” James is a short story writer and street photographer.  

In fact, his work is being featured March 15 – 17 at the HeART Gallery (located in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 428 N Erie St.) in an exhibit titled “Journey In Their Shoes.”  

Journey in their Shoes exhibit logo

Journey in their Shoes features photographs by James as well as shoes from others, both which tell the humorous and compelling stories of everyday Toledo folks – including that of Veralucia Mendoza, a long-time Library customer, whose “virtual shoes” tell an inspiring story of triumph and passion for community.  

“Through James’ work and our diverse shoes, guests will be introduced to the diversity on our city streets in all walks of life, from stilettos to work boots, to WWII nursing shoes, to slippers that walk the NICU unit with preemie babies,” shares Kate Philabaum, HeART Gallery director. “Short narratives accompanying each pair of shoes, share in moments of challenge and inner strength, accomplishments, isolation and exuberant joy.”  

The exhibit also features a pair of shoes from Angela Bronson, West Toledo Branch assistant manager, who enjoys cave exploration in her free time! 

A photo by James Dickerson
One of James’ featured photos

Journey in their Shoes opens with lunch on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. during which James will speak briefly about his journey into photography as guests enjoy homemade soups, breads and dessert. Those wishing to attend the opening should email  

Exhibit hours are: Thursday and Friday from 5 – 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information on this exhibit, please contact

#GetToKnow James

James Dickerson is the circulation supervisor at Mott Branch. He states that he “often struggles with conquering a great book over roaming the streets for a great shot. Stories of macabre are of high interest.” One day he plans to release a photo book of his own dirty prints and short stories.”  

James also recently joined the Library’s Story Matters blog team. In a reflection of his passion, his first blog, Just Point the Camera and Shoot, appropriately focuses on street photography.   

Last November, the Toledo City Paper also published an article about James and his photography. We invite you to read this insightful and heartfelt piece at: 

Photographer DIRTYKICS Finds Inspiration on the Streets – Toledo City Paper

**Cover photo credit (a portrait of James Dickerson) goes to our Katie Midgley, Sanger Branch assistant manager.

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