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Waynesboro Public Library welcomes Susan Versen as new director

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

susan v. versen
Susan V. Versen

WAYNESBORO — The River City has a new library director in town.

“I’ve been working in library science since I was a kid,” said Susan V. Versen, the new director of the Waynesboro Public Library, of working at a library in her hometown as well as at college. “I always loved libraries. I loved to research history.”

Versen, who grew up in New Jersey, earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Delaware and her master’s also in history from James Madison University, where she met her husband, Christopher.

Then she lived in Florida for 10 years where she earned her library science degree from Florida State University.

“We came back [to the Valley], because we loved it so much here,” Versen said. Her parents are now in the Valley, and her husband’s parents never left the Valley. The couple, their 18-year-old son, and daughter who is in the eight grade, live in Harrisonburg.

Before coming to Waynesboro, Versen was at the Massanutten Regional Library for 12 years, where she learned to develop program and activity ideas. Her next step was a position in which she could use those ideas.

Versen said she loves making information accessible for others.

“Waynesboro Public Library is a great library,” she said.

She added the community has been very welcoming.

“I’m excited to be here. I look forward to meeting the community and getting out into the community,” Versen said.

The library is beginning to return to offering programs, but is also getting out into the community more.

“COVID allowed us opportunities to try new things,” she said.

During the pandemic, the library was forced to hold outdoor programs but now staff members “love to do” outdoor programs. Versen said this year more programs will be offered in local parks.

Versen said she hopes to reach community members who do not think about libraries as resources, such as Waynesboro’s Hispanic community and seniors.

“Remind them that if you have a library card, you are welcome,” Versen said. And the library plans to expand its Spanish-language options.

She hopes to reach seniors and encourage them to understand that libraries can provide resources and entertainment.

“You can come in, get your books and head on out,” Versen said of the library’s open doors.

Masks are optional and curbside service is no longer available at Waynesboro Public Library.

“I appreciate the warm welcome that I’ve received from the Waynesboro community,” she said.

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