New director for Waynesboro library named

May 11, 2004|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - As far back as she can remember, Dinah Shockey has walked around with a book in her hand.

Now, as the newly hired director of the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library in Waynesboro, Shockey has all the books she wants.

Shockey, 54, took over as director of the library April 12, replacing Scott Valentine, who left the director's post in November after three years.


Until two years ago, Shockey worked for the Montgomery County (Md.) public school system for 16 years, first as an elementary teacher in grades kindergarten through three, and later as a media specialist, according to Mary Louise Misner, vice president of the library board and personnel chairman.

Misner, in a press release announcing Shockey's appointment, said she was chosen after an exhaustive search.

"She is just who we need at this time to help integrate our libraries, with extensive experience working as a media specialist in collection development, Web page development, library staff and volunteers and budgeting," Misner said in the press release.

"Working with the staff and board through this year of state budget cuts, she will strive to maintain the highest level of library services possible for the Waynesboro and Washington Township communities," Misner wrote.

Shockey, whose salary is $32,000 per year, said she plans no immediate changes.

"I'm taking it slowly, trying to get consistency with the staff and the policies," she said. "I want people to feel comfortable, to come into a bright, cheery place and find the information they need to find."

She said she wants to increase the library's DVD collection and phase out its VHS inventory. She also wants to add to the library's books-on-tape collection and add more books on compact discs.

Shockey temporarily is living with relatives in Waynesboro. She said she plans to buy a home "as soon as I find the perfect house."

"I feel I made a nice choice for myself," she said.

Shockey has not worked in two years. She has spent that time at her home in Frostburg, Md., writing a children's fantasy book. She said she is about halfway through the book, which she expects will be about 250 pages when it is finished.

"Getting it published will be a real challenge," she said.

The Waynesboro library, named for a settler who came to the area in the early 1800s, not the Alexander Hamilton of early American history fame, has eight full- and part-time employees, Shockey said.

The Blue Ridge Summit (Pa.) Free Library is a branch of the Waynesboro library.

Waynesboro and Blue Ridge Summit are in the countywide system. They receive state funding, but have some autonomy, operating with their own nine-member board of directors, with representatives from each community.

They are among the seven libraries in the Franklin County system. Others include Coyle Free Library and Ragged Edge Library in Chambersburg, Pa.; St. Thomas (Pa.) Library; Fort Loudon (Pa.) Library; and Lillian S. Besore Memorial Library in Greencastle, Pa. The system also has a bookmobile.

Fendrick Library in Mercersburg, Pa., is the only independent library in the county.

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