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Arney named library director

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By Sharon Graves

Lifelong Carroll County resident and interim library director Hillary Arney has been named the new library director for the Carroll County Public Library by its board of trustees.

Arney has been the interim director since the previous director Jarrett Boyd retired in December after 26 years at the helm. The board interviewed a number of candidates for the position and then settled on Arney to lead the well established library into the future.

Patricia Hersey has been tapped as the assistant director, Arney said.

“I have some big shoes to fill,” Arney said about her predecessor in a recent interview.  “This is a daunting job and I am very proud the board had faith in me.”

Arney came to the library almost two years ago, shortly after the renovation was completed in July 2007. She has worn many different hats since then, when she began doing the bookkeeping for the library. She assisted Leslie Sutherland in the children’s department, worked the circulation desk and was the administrative assistant for Boyd immediately prior to her retirement.

Arney’s education is in political science and history and her background is in banking and bookkeeping. She is working on completing her degree and then her master’s degree in library science.

Arney is interested in working with the public to determine what direction they would like to see the library take. “We need to tap into the community to see what they want to do with their library,” Arney said.

“I want to focus on great customer service,” Arney explained.  “This is a business, funded by tax dollars and I want everyone to feel it’s money well spent.”

The library needs parking, Arney explained about possible future needs.  The  community room is booked solid, she said, noting that the library could use another room.  

She also would like to see an audio visual lab where students or the public could come and make films.  

“Those are some of my hopes and my dreams,” Arney said.

Use of the genealogy room is also another area Arney would like to see increased.  The library has a beautiful history room, but she admits she is somewhat awed by doing research and assisting genealogists in finding their ancestors.

The library has a great children’s department and many great programs, Arney said.  She also explained that the library has free teleconferencing capabilities and would like to see it used more and that Boyd started something really great with the meet the artist series that changes monthly.  

Arney praised the board of trustees, made up of Jim Ellington, Jim Monk, Jim Fothergill, Greg Goff and Judy Keith.  “They are very innovative and very supportive,” Arney said. “They also use the library.”

The library has 250 customers per day that come through to check out books, movies, music CD’s or to read periodicals in the comfortable setting every day, Arney said.  The library also has a free notary service, eight stationary computers and seven laptops for use in the library.

Arney said she has fond memories of growing up in Ghent and coming to the library in Carrollton. She even admits that Boyd kicked her out of the library a time or two in her early teenage years for rowdiness.  

“I’m sure I deserved it,” Arney said blushing.

Though she never planned to be a librarian, Arney said she must be one now.  She and her husband Beau went to a movie, Angels and Demons and there is a scene where somebody tears a page out of an old book in a library. “I gasped out loud,” Arney said, laughing at how she must have looked.

An open house to meet and greet Arney as the new library director will be held Tuesday, June 23 fro 4-6 p.m. at the library.