“Hi, I’m Keith! I’m a library aide at ACL and hopefully a future librarian! I’m currently a senior at Eastern Mennonite University, studying Digital Media and Communications, Journalism, and English, and I hope to implement digital media programming and spaces for artistic creation and expression at whatever library I call home in the future. I’ve been a patron at ACL since I was a small child and also volunteered here for a span of time in my teenage years. I have a younger brother who is taller and larger than me, and who could probably easily take me down, but, alas, we are known for being gentle giants who say sorry a lot.
I love to do photography and videography (and an unfathomable amount of time editing), watch movies and play video games, and I spend most of my time doing these things with my girlfriend and our two cats. I’m a big hip-hop, pop, and alternative music kind of guy, but I have been known to throw down to some country, though that last bit should probably remain between us in this newsletter. As much as I like to deny it, I also get pretty absorbed in “Grey’s Anatomy.” I’m pretty uninteresting, but I do have a good sense of humor and I like to eat a lot, both of which I’ve heard are good personality traits. I spend a lot of time writing about and contemplating my personal ethics, and sometimes all I feel like doing is laying in the sand at the beach and doing nothing but staring out into the ocean and beaming my girlfriend’s brother in the head with a football.
Finally, do I like to read? I’ll let you decide that.”
Allegra has been working as a library aide for the Augusta County Library system since 2019. She received her undergraduate degree in History from Bridgewater College in 2017 and recently received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from ODU in December 2021. Allegra has had a lifelong love of books and reading, especially the genres of historical fiction, historical nonfiction, biographies, romance, mystery, and fantasy. She is currently working at the Churchville Branch Library.
Rebecca is celebrating her 33rd anniversary at Augusta County Library this year. She was a library volunteer in elementary school and a teen volunteer for ACL during her high school years. She returned to ACL as a volunteer and soon joined the staff as the Assistant Bookmobile Driver. After driving the Bookmobile for six years, Rebecca worked in the Children’s Department for six years. It was during this time she started cataloging, which was a dream come true for her. Today, Rebecca loves being the Cataloger for ACL.
Rebecca and her husband, Sheldon, live in Bridgewater. They enjoy antiquing and going to estate auctions. They love watching movies from the “Golden Age”. They are very active in their church. Rebecca teaches a children’s class, plays the piano, and oversees the “Card Ministry”. Rebecca also enjoys baking and sewing. Her favorite book genres are Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Cozy Mysteries.
Tara is the assistant manager of ACL’s Churchville Branch. She lives in Staunton with her husband, Ethan, and their two immensely spoiled dogs, Jax and Cedar. Some of Tara’s favorite things in life include a hot cup of coffee, a good fantasy novel, a fun fitness challenge, a perfectly baked sweet potato, and an afternoon thunderstorm.
Jen is the Marketing Specialist for Augusta County Library and has been working at ACL since December 2021. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from James Madison University in December of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication and a Minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Library and Information Science online through Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis. She lives in Fishersville with her partner, Stowe, and their cat, Poe. Jen has been a vegetarian for 12 years and enjoys crocheting, writing, reading, music, films, and anything involving coffee.
“I am honored to be selected as Employee of the Month! I absolutely love my job. I grew up overseas, mostly North African countries and Afghanistan. We had no movies, television, radio, really no electricity except for two hours a day for cooking and running the washing machine. So, our only entertainment: reading.
I grew up to love reading and went to UNC-G to become a school librarian. I retired after 42 years, moved to Virginia, and was hired at MLS in 2019. It is a dream job…. Everything charms me. I live near my children and grandchildren and am blessed to see them often.
Again, thanks for this honor.”
“Hi, I’m Matt! I’m the IT Specialist for the Augusta County Library, where I’ve been for the last four years. Prior to starting here, I graduated from JMU in 2017 with a BBA in Computer Information Systems. I’ve always been interested in technology and enjoy keeping up to date with the latest developments in the worlds of hardware and software. I’ve also always felt a strong drive to help others, so my position at the library is an excellent intersection of two of my interests.
Before the pandemic, I liked to go to concerts and have seen a variety of electronic, hip-hop, rock, metal, and country artists over the years. Most of my free time nowadays is spent visiting with my family, especially my niece and nephew, or working on my and my best friend’s supercharged Mini Coopers. I also enjoy playing games on my PC, watching YouTube, listening to music and podcasts, and relaxing on the porch after a long day.”
Cathy is a Library Aide at Fishersville Main Library. She has been with ACL for five years, working mainly at the circulation desk, shelving, and processing. She enjoys reading mystery and gardening books.
We thank Cathy for her dedication to the Augusta County Library.
Linda is a Library Aide at the Fishersville Main Branch! She has been working at the Augusta County Library for over 30 years. In her words: “I am old and have been here for a really long time!” Linda sets the tone for each day with her good nature and laughter and does invaluable work for the library in areas of mending and processing behind the scenes. However, Linda can also be seen working at the Circulation and Children’s desks, and says that “the best thing about this library is the patrons.”
*Picture drawn by Ben, Adult Programmer and Library Assistant at Fishersville Main*
“I’m Janice and I am originally from North Carolina. I am a proud mother of two kids Megan, 28, and Nick, 26. I returned to college as an adult learner and received an Associate Degree in Crime Scene Investigations/ latent studies. I went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina Wesleyan College with two bachelor’s degrees: criminal justice and psychology.
In 2016, my husband and I moved to Virginia and resided in Rockingham County for a couple of years. I have always had a passion for children so I began working for Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Protective Services. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2017 and went through a year of treatment.
After relocating to Rockbridge County, I was a Therapeutic Day Treatment counselor at Craigsville Elementary school which allowed me to get to know the people in my community better. I was also an investigator for Augusta County Child Protective Services. My husband and I own a hobby farm in Goshen where we raise chickens, turkeys, and Nigerian Dwarf goats.”
This month we recognized a group of employees for their willingness to disrupt their normal routines at Fishersville Main and work at the Weyers Cave Library Station to continue providing library services to the Weyers Cave community.
Rebecca is celebrating her 33rd anniversary at Augusta County Library this year. She was a library volunteer in elementary school and a teen volunteer for ACL during her high school years. She returned to ACL as a volunteer and soon joined the staff as the Assistant Bookmobile Driver. After driving the Bookmobile for six years, Rebecca worked in the Children’s Department for six years. It was during this time she started cataloging, which was a dream come true for her. Today, Rebecca loves being the Cataloger for ACL. Rebecca and her husband, Sheldon, live in Bridgewater. They enjoy antiquing and going to estate auctions. They love watching movies from the “Golden Age.” They are very active in their church. Rebecca teaches a children’s class, plays the piano, and oversees the “Card Ministry”. Rebecca also enjoys baking and sewing. Her favorite book genres are Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Cozy Mysteries.
Pam is a long-time Augusta County native, graduating from Fort Defiance High School and Blue Ridge Community College, majoring in Office Systems Technology. Pam has been employed by the Augusta County Library since 1988. Her career began as a library page shelving books, and she is currently the library’s bookkeeper. Pam has worn many hats with ACL over the years, providing assistance wherever it is needed: She shelves books, works on the help and circulation desks, and has cataloged new materials. Pam recently celebrated 30 years of marriage and is a proud mother of two grown sons. She has gained a terrific daughter-in-law and is anxiously looking forward to gaining another one soon. Pam likes to spend time with her grand dog “Hagen”. He is an Australian Shepherd puppy and brings much joy to the family. Pam likes to play card games, word puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles. Reading is her favorite pastime.
Born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, Debbie has been with the Augusta County Library for 25 years. Hired to create the library’s first webpage she became the first Churchville Branch manager in 2002 and assistant director of the library system in 2007. Much of her duties now include overseeing the branch and five library stations in the Augusta County Library system as well as helping at the main location in Fishersville. She earned her bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and her MLIS from the University of North Texas. While reading is definitely a love she also enjoys sewing (especially creating costumes and props), rehabbing her home, and spending time with family.
Jen is the Marketing Specialist for Augusta County Library and has been working at ACL since December 2021. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from James Madison University in December of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication and a Minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Library and Information Science online through Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis. She lives in Fishersville with her partner, Stowe, and their cat, Poe. Jen has been a vegetarian for 12 years and enjoys crocheting, writing, reading, music, films, and anything involving coffee.
“Once upon a time I started working here and, after many years, I am still here. I have been with ACL for the past 9 years. During that time, I started a weekly program for adults with intellectual disabilities which continues to evolve to best meet the needs of the community. I also do displays and other programming and am responsible for cake pans being in the library! TA! DA!”
Shannon is originally from Louisiana, and tried a whole bunch of places before choosing Virginia as her permanent home. She received her Bachelor of Music from Loyola University New Orleans, and her Master of Music from DePaul University. She worked professionally as an opera singer until 2017, and then began a new journey that led her to library work, where she found the perfect fit. She lives in Staunton with her partner Justin and her rabbit Spook, who was a feral street bun until he rescued Shannon in a parking lot in 2011. Shannon absolutely loves her job as Children’s Programmer, and is pictured here with Miss Belinda the Storytime Bat.
“As a co-manager for the Deerfield Library, I have a fascinating opportunity to get to know my community better. Recently retiring from over 23 years of teaching, I continue to have books as the backbone of my life and enjoy imparting that lifestyle to others. Married with two sons and three grandchildren and having traveled extensively, I’m able to draw upon my personal and professional resources in my new role working in the library.”
“I have been working at the Deerfield station part-time since January 2018. I’m a graduate of James Madison University and have worked at mostly non-profit organizations. I lived in Richmond for 14 years and moved back home in 2005. Born and raised in Staunton and growing up I spent time at our family’s farm in Deerfield. I’m now living on that farm, I’m the fourth generation. I also volunteer with and do some part-time work with Allegheny Mountain Radio in Monterey, Virginia.”
Ginny is a Co-Manager at the Deerfield Library Station. Ginny is being recognized this month for her work with Susan and Bonnie in the planning and implementation of their annual Winter Wreath Making program. This program is an annual tradition, and this was the first year, it officially made it back since COVID. Ginny, Bonnie, and Susan did an excellent job promoting the program in the community and providing an opportunity to not only make fresh wreaths with supplies brought in by community members, but to learn from each other and meet new people. We thank Ginny for her dedication to the community.