MILLEDGEVILLE — The Twin Lakes Library System’s Board of Trustees and staff welcomed the new interim library director Monday as he kicked off his first official day.
“It’s been a very busy day,” said Stephen Whigham, the new interim system director. “I have to compliment the staff here; they’re excellent. They’ve been so helpful in telling me about their department and getting me up to speed about the organization.”
Whigham, 64, worked as the library director for the Ocmulgee Regional Library System for seven years before retiring in 2012. The Eastman native received a history bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University before earning a master’s degree in library science at the University of South Carolina.
“I’ve worked in libraries for almost 30 years total. Eight of those years were at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta research library and the rest in public libraries,” he said. “I’m a believer in what the public library does, which is to provide library services varying from checking out books and e-books to computer services. The public library is everyone’s library, and I want to help [this library system] keep carrying on in the good tradition they’ve been providing library services to Milledgeville and Baldwin County.”
Former library Executive Director Barry Reese and Assistant Director LaToya Davidson both turned in their resignations in early January. Their last official day at work was Saturday, Feb. 8. With limited funding provided by the state, the assistant director position will not be filled.
The eight-member board is still in the midst of filling the full-time executive director position while utilizing the services of Georgia Public Library Service. The national search will continue through early April.
“The search to fill the position is already advertised and we have two applicants so far; that’s very encouraging for us. It will probably be around April before we start doing interviews,” said Kathy Groseclose, secretary on the library board. “[Whigham] will be serving us 49 percent since he is recently retired. We hope to have someone else on board by the summer.”
As listed in the library director’s description, the board seeks a qualified individual with a master’s degree in library science, a minimum of five years of increasingly responsible professional library experience, and a valid Professional Librarian’s Certificate from the State of Georgia.
All interested candidates for the full-time position are encouraged to send or drop off their cover letter, resume, along with three professional references, at the Mary Vinson Memorial Library located on South Jefferson Street. Applicants can also apply online at www.tllsga.org/employment, or at www.georgialibraries.org/jobs.
“These are challenging times funding-wise, but the county, city and board of education are helpful in funding, which are very much appreciated. The library does receive some state funding, which has been cut through the years. We will always try finding ways to keep the library functioning at full volume as best as we can,” Whigham said. “Working in public libraries ... there’s something different everyday. You’re really providing a true public service for people from every walk of life. The library is truly one of the last public places left in our society; it’s almost like an oasis of learning, knowledge and entertainment.”