Meet the Staff: Donna McDougle

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  • What is your name?

Donna McDougle

  • What is your job title?

I’m a cataloger and I work in technical services.

  • What branch do you work at?

West Georgia Regional Library Headquarters.

  • How long have you been with WGRL?

I got here in November of 2011.

  • What did you do before coming to WGRL?

I spent quite a few years as a search evaluator, working first for the lesser big search engine and then for the bigger big one. It was all very hush-hush.

  • What’s your favorite part of working at the library?

I don’t think it’s even possible for me to pick a favorite part. There’s a surprising amount of variety in cataloging and I enjoy everything from creating an original record to slinging in multiple copies of the latest best-seller and everything in between. For me, it’s like solving lots of puzzles every day. Never a dull moment!

  • What’s one of your favorite books and movies?

One of my favorite books is We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. A movie I love is This Property is Condemned, from 1966, and based on the Tennessee Williams play.

  • If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Stephen King, Douglas Adams, and Elvis Costello (plus Flannery O’Connor, Russell Brand, and Eddie Izzard). I know you said three but math has never been my strong suit.

  • Tell us a little bit about your family.

I have three children and four grandchildren and I’m crazy about them all. I currently live with a Great Pyrenees, a Rat Terrier, a tuxedo cat, and a black cat. They’re good company, most of the time.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?

When I’m not at work, I like to do things outside. I love the Carrollton Greenbelt and ride my bike there as often as possible. I walk the dogs around downtown Mount Zion. I’m also fond of binge-watching series I’ve meant to get around to but haven’t yet or things I stumble across that look interesting to me.

  • What are you reading/listening to now?

Right now, I’m listening to Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper. It’s her debut novel. I checked it out through the 3M app on my phone and listen while I do things around the house. It’s poignant, funny, and bittersweet with a touch of magic realism.

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Meet the Staff: Jana Gentry

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Meet the Staff Feature Questions

  • What is your name?

Jana Gentry

  • What is your job title?

Branch Manager

  • What branch do you work at?

Buchanan-Haralson Public Library

  • How long have you been with WGRL?

I2 years, plus several months volunteering as we opened our library in February 2003.

  • What did you do before coming to WGRL?

I worked in accounting and income tax preparation for 21 years.

  • What’s your favorite part of working at the library?

My favorite part of working at the library is our Children’s StoryTime.  I love introducing books to children and sharing the fun of reading with them.  I truly love working at our library.

  • What’s one of your favorite books and movies?

I am a fan of Harry Potter in print, audio and film.  I appreciate the impact Ms. Rowling had on children’s literature.  It’s a treat to have a series that drives young folks to take up the challenge of a thick chapter book.

  • If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

My Mom, Jim Henson and Stephen King.  An interesting trio of folks I admire, but I would prefer a lunch during broad daylight with Mr. King—he’s scary!

  • Tell us a little bit about your family.

I have been married to Scott for 35 years and still love him madly!  We have two great sons, Kalen who studies with Berklee School of Music and Eagle Scout Will who is a high school senior planning to attend U.W.G. this fall to become an educator.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?

I enjoy spending time with family, reading, cooking and camping.

  • What are you reading/listening to now?

I just finished Gone Girl and loved it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read lately.   I am currently enjoying Stephen King’s Revival.

Meet the Staff: Rosemary Higgins

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  • What is your name?

Rosemary Higgins

  • What is your job title?

Adult Services Librarian

  •  What branch do you work at?

Neva Lomason

  •  How long have you been with WGRL?

15 months – 6 months at Dog River and 9 months at Neva Lomason

  • What did you do before coming to WGRL?

I have been a corporate trainer, a police officer, a risk management investigator, a 911 emergency communications supervisor, a high school math teacher, and a school media specialist.

  • What’s your favorite part of working at the library?

Helping patrons find that perfect book.

  • What’s one of your favorite books and movies?

One of my favorite books is Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews. One of my favorite movies is National Treasure.

  • If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, and Janet Evanovich

  •  What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?

Read cozy mysteries, do counted cross-stitch, watch Georgia Tech football and Atlanta Braves baseball

  • What are you reading/listening to now?

I’m listening to Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody Emerson mystery series on my daily commute. Most of my reading these days is centered around my course work from Valdosta State where I am in the second semester of obtaining my MLIS.

Meet the Staff: Ashlie Ross

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• What is your name?
Ashlie Ross

• What is your job title?
Reference Specialist

• What branch do you work at?
Maude P. Ragsdale (Hiram) Library (@/#MaudeRagsdale on FB and Instagram)

• How long have you been with WGRL?
Six months .

• What did you do before coming to WGRL?
For two years prior to WGRL, I worked at ING in their Home and Personal Finance Department. I started there doing just refinances, but the last six months of working there I trained new employees on how to pass the NMLS and how to handle financial documents in compliance to federal law. Before that, I just spent a few years slinging pizza and beer at a Mellow Mushroom.

• What’s your favorite part of working at the library?
I love helping people find a solution. When patrons come in looking for a book or trying to answer a question, I like the experience of introducing them to the library system and giving them the tools to figure it out. I also love patrons’ reactions when they are passionate about a book. I always try to ask, “What did you think of it?,” when the books are returned. The responses I get always make my day.

• What’s one of your favorite books and movies?
My favorite book ever is A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle. I don’t even want to put the math together on how much time I’ve spent reading and re-reading that book over the years. It’s too much, and probably not enough.

My favorite movie is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I still laugh like it’s my first time seeing it.

• If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Julia Child (I’m hopeful she’d bring dessert), Taylor Swift (She was everywhere this past year, so of course she’s show up to this dinner) , and Charles Osgood from CBS Sunday Morning (He’s quick witted, charming, brilliant, and a class act).

• Tell us a little bit about your family.
Handpicked and very loved! My Mom, Cathlen, and her partner Steve live in Dallas, GA. I got my love of reading, gardening, and morning news from them. My sister, Arianna, and my brother-in-law, Derek, live in Rockmart, GA about three minutes down the road from me. My boyfriend, Spc. Mark Ficklen, is stationed in Ft. Stewart, GA. He’s a Civil Affairs Combat Medic for the Army… And we’re in no rush to get married; IT’S ONLY BEEN FIVE YEARS!  Between us all, we have five dogs (Kayak, Ewok, Bustamove, Poca, and Hontas.), two cats (Canopy, and The DJ Drizzle), two goats, and a few sea monkeys.

• What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?
I garden, I watch Survivor, I nap in my hammock, and I read. Basically in my off time, I live in a commercial about retirement.

• What are you reading/listening to now?
I’m listening to The Martian by Andy Weir. I’m reading What If?:Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe and Rude Bitches Make Me Tired: Slightly Profane and Entirely Logical Answers to Modern Etiquette Dilemmas by Celia Rivenbark.

Meet the Staff: Leslie Stokes!

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  • What is your name?

Leslie D. Stokes

  • What is your job title?

Branch Manager

  • What branch do you work at?

Heard Co. Public Library in Franklin

  • seussHow long have you been with WGRL?

I started working circulation at the Carrollton library in 2007, and came to the Franklin branch in 2008.

  • What did you do before coming to WGRL?

I worked at Horton’s Books & Gifts (the oldest bookstore in GA) in downtown Carrollton for 11 years.  Can you tell I love working with books?

  • What’s your favorite part of working at the library?

Readers’ advisory is my favorite part of my job.  Helping someone find the perfect book that gets him/her excited about reading gives me a great sense of satisfaction.   I also love seeing all the new books that come in, and the list of what I want to read grows almost daily.

  • What’s one of your favorite books and movies?

You know asking a librarian to pick her favorite book is like asking a parent to pick his favorite child, right?  Where the Red Fern Grows has been a favorite of mine since grade school, and Ready Player One is a more recent title that I really enjoyed.

My favorite movie is The Princess Bride.  I even have a shirt with a quote from that movie on it that I wear to work, and when patrons ask me what it’s from, I have an opportunity to introduce them to the film (or the book).

  • trunk or treat 2014If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

My mother passed away when I was in high school, so if I had an opportunity to have dinner with anyone, she would definitely be at the top of my list.  Wil Wheaton – seems like a genuinely nice and cool guy, and I could spend hours conversing with him about geek culture.  Walt Disney – that man was a marketing genius.

  • Tell us a little bit about your family.

My mother was an elementary school media specialist who had me shelving books as soon as I learned the alphabet, so I come by my love of books honestly.  My father is retired and lives in Marietta.  I am an only child, but I have an amazing group of friends who are like sisters to me, and we spend a lot of our free time together.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?

    Read, crochet, jigsaw puzzles. I also have an insane number of tv shows I’m trying to keep up with (thank you, Netflix), and my friends and I get together at least once a week to play board games.  Our current board game obsession is Pandemic.

  • What are you reading/listening to now?

I am reading an advance copy of Golden Son by Pierce Brown and listening to The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon.

Meet the Staff: Jennifer Rapier

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  • What is your name?

Jennifer L. Rapier

  • What is your job title?

Branch Librarian

  • Jennifer Rapier PortraitWhat branch do you work at?

Douglas County Public Library

  • How long have you been with WGRL?

About 5 months

  • What’s your favorite part of working at the library?

It sounds cliché, but I really like being able to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it is teaching children early literacy skills, teaching a 82-year old man how to use a computer, or helping a teen find a book they actually want to read, I find that most things have some small impact.

  • What’s one of your favorite books and movies?

Book: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.  Movie: The Princess Bride

  • If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Benny Hill, Beethoven,  M. R. James

  • Tell us a little bit about your family.

Geoff and I have been married 11 years. We have an adorable pug puppy and an 8-year old cat. We recently moved here from California and are enjoying the Georgia weather and outdoors.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?

Recently it has been hiking, reading, cooking, playing video games, watching movies, and listening to music.

  • What are you reading now?

Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey

Meet our WGRL Staff: Mack Freeman

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  • What is your name?

John “Mack” Freeman.

  • What do you do for the region?

I am the Marketing and Programming Coordinator. I help coordinate all of our marketing and outreach efforts so that we can have the biggest impact in our communities.

  • IMG_7305What branch do you work at? 

I work as part of the administrative team out of headquarters.

  • How long have you been with WGRL?

I have been with WGRL since August 1, 2014. Before that, I was a jack of all trades library staff member at the Tifton-Tift County Public Library.

  • What’s your favorite part of working at the library?

My favorite part of working in libraries is that public libraries are one of the only ubiquitous nonprofit-style organizations in America. We’re the only places where a lot of people can go for education and entertainment without having to spend any money. A lot of times, the only places people have access to are their homes and work. Libraries provide another option that allow people to connect with their communities. I think that the libraries role in fostering those relationships is going to become even more important in the future.

  • Mack-Freeman-665x495What’s one of your favorite book and movie?

I think like all library people, I’m a big media consumer. Probably one of my favorite books is Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. That’s a book that took me forever to finish because I just didn’t want it to end. As far as movies go, I have eclectic taste, but some favorites are Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

  • If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Allison Janney, John Waters, and Jon Ronson. They’re all different aspects of my cultural hivemind, and I’d love to hear what they’d have to say.

  • Tell us a little bit about your family.

My immediate family all lives in Tifton, Georgia. My mother’s retired and my dad works in maintenance at Tift Regional Medical Center. I have two younger siblings, Mason and Morgan (yes, her name is Morgan Freeman…my parents had no excuse). Right now, I live with my boyfriend Dale and the laziest Australian Cattle Dog in the world Micah in Villa Rica.

  • John-Mack-Freeman-Conable-665x1068What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?

When I’m not at the library, I like to stay busy. I do a lot of volunteer work with both ALA (as editor of a roundtable news blog) and GLA (as vice-chair of the Scholarship Committee). I like to cycle and swim, play with my dog, go on trips, explore new stores, go rock climbing, play board games, and cook all the things from scratch. Seriously, if I had more time, I’d turn my apartment into a popup restaurant.

  • What are you reading now?

Nothing at the moment. I just finished the first season of Blacklist (which was delightful), and I’m listening to The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. I’ve got a lot Haruki Murakami’s stuff on my shelf, and I think After Dark might be next.