Library adjusts to changes
Guest Column by Gail Ott, branch manager, Louisa County Public Library
The Louisa County Library is located between the towns of Louisa and Mineral on the Davis Highway in the geographic center of Louisa County. As we discovered last August, the library is also located in the seismic center of Virginia. The library sustained only cosmetic damage from the earthquake, and we were closed for only one day.
The positive outcome of the earthquake was closer cooperation between the public library and the Louisa High School and Middle School located just behind our library. When the high school was condemned, their library’s AV collection was moved across the parking lot to our library to provide access to the high school staff. The high school’s computer staff installed six computers and a printer in our young adult area for students who were attending school on an altered schedule. Every nook and cranny of the library was filled with teachers and students conducting tutorials, art classes, and checking out books for English classes.
Our library staff has been fantastic in dealing with these changes to our regular routine. Jolyn Bullock is our branch specialist, notary, and in charge of children’s programming. She has been instrumental in increasing our children’s program attendance with Saturday programs and Tuesday evening Family Film programs. Sarah Swanlund is also a full time employee who manages our serials, patron registrations, and has coordinated displays of student art from the county schools. Our part-time employees are Bill Patterson, Sharon Thomas, and Peg Watson. Bill is our go-to guy for almost any project, and Sharon is in charge of book repair. Peg is kept busy “de-newing” books, and creating flyers and bookmarks for upcoming programs.
Our newest employee is Mercedes, “Sadie” Evergreen who works on Sundays and also as a sub. She lives in the county on a farm with her three children, three dogs, one cow, and many sheep. On a recent Sunday morning, she was delivering lambs, but she made it to work on time. She sheers the sheep, spins the wool, and knits it into fantastic socks.
The library has a special collection in our genealogy room with local history, cemetery records, maps, and the Swank Collection of Civil War books. Throughout the library are works of art by local artists including paintings, sculpture, mosaics, quilts and photography. The 10 public computers are kept busy, and the self checkout station has been popular with all of our patrons.
We hope that you will stop by and visit the eastern outpost of JMRL, and if you can’t make it for a visit, be our friend on Facebook.