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Augusta County Library led by new director in year of steady hours, service

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown. Photo courtesy Augusta County Library.

FISHERSVILLE — Augusta County Library has been steadily open a year now and under the leadership of Jennifer Brown.

Brown became director in March 2021. Previous director Diantha McCauley retired April 15, 2021 after serving the library for 36 years.

“We’re kicking off our program more now that the pandemic has died down a bit,” Brown said of new programs and goals.

A full schedule of summer activities is planned, including the library’s reading program.

“So, that’s happening pretty much like pre-pandemic,” Brown, who grew up in Gloucester County, said.

Brown, her husband, Cole, and their two children moved to the Valley when she accepted the position with Augusta County Public Library.

“We were looking to move to the western part of the state,” she said. “It was the perfect opportunity.”

She had been Community Learning Manager for Sussex County Library for five years, planning library events and activities.

“I had a lot of fun doing it,” Brown said.

Now she and Augusta County Library’s staff are working on providing different social and community events.

“We’re just really excited to start doing that again.”

All library branches are open again at regular hours, which are posted on their websites, and the libraries are following CDC guidelines.

“There are no mask requirements,” Brown said.

However, curbside pickup will continue to be available.

“We’ve decided to keep our curbside service going because we have a lot of busy families in Augusta County.”

Just before the pandemic, the library stopped fining late fees for books, and Brown said fines continue to be no more for library patrons, who can check out up to 100 books at a time.

“We have some pretty avid readers,” she said.

The library has WiFi for patrons, and is looking at providing more community services.

“We’re just trying to open ourselves up and make us available on others’ time,” Brown said of the library system.

The library seeks to break down barriers for those who may not have visited before.

“So we’re just trying to reengage the community by making ourselves more visible,” she said.

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