Will everyone give me a hand in welcoming our new Emmitsburg Library branch administrator, Mr. Derek Gee? He will be leaving the Barron F. Black Branch Library in Norfolk, VA, and coming to Emmitsburg on February 5, 2007. He has been working with the Norfolk city library since August 2005, which position he accepted after graduate school. The library was only open part-time 25 hours per week, so he set about improving the services in order to add impetus to the town’s desire to make the library more full-time.
To do this, Derek reviewed the collection shelf-by-shelf to assess what books were being used and where the collection needed to be improved with new purchases. He has completed about ¾ of the library collection. He especially “beefed up” the DVD collection and the teen center. In addition, he reviewed the computer and video use services, especially services for children and teens. Moreover, the library has just gone through a renovation similar to ours during Joan Fisher’s tenure, with remodeling, a new coat of interior paint in October, new lighting, and they’re waiting on the carpet. The library now has 25 computers! “This is a Navy town with the naval base here,” said Derek, “and so, many service people stop in to check their email, etc. We also have a lot of kids.”
One of the most important advocacies during his tenure at Norfolk, was “to change the mindset of the people” around what the library could be. “The town wants to increase the hours and the people are very interested in their library,” said Derek. “But we can have full service, even if we don’t have full hours.”
Well, Mr. Gee brings this wonderful mindset and many other talents to our Emmitsburg Library. He graduated from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, with an M.A. in history and an M.L.I.S. (Master of Library Information Science) from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. While he was a graduate student at Winthrop, he served as the weekend and night circulation supervisor at the university library and worked in the university library archives where he initiated 7 to 8 special projects. (More TK!) His specialty in history was on the ancient Roman’s, especially the Punic Wars and the Roman opponent, Carthage. He is especially versed in some of the recent Carthaginian archeological digs!
When I asked what he would like to do for Emmitsburg, he said, “I’d really like to talk with everyone and study what’s been done to see what kinds of services people like.” He mentioned that he already knew about the genealogy group and was very interested in helping with it. I also let him know that the historical society was very active and pointed him toward Emmitsburg.net to check out the archives and other town postings, which he very much appreciated.
Derek and his fiancé, Miss Rachel Bentley, will be coming up soon to review opportunities for new apartment accommodations, and to visit the Emmitsburg Library. I hope everyone in Emmitsburg will be as delighted in talking with him as I was in our conversation this evening!
Welcome to Emmitsburg, Derek Gee!