Greenville, SC, branch manager could be new library director

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library could soon have a new director in place.

Pending results of final pre-employment screenings, the position has been offered to Renita Barksdale of Greenville, S.C.

Barksdale has worked with the Greenville County Library System since July 2007. She has been branch manager of the Anderson Road library branch for the past three years. She started as a circulation clerk, then promoted to team leader. After obtaining her master’s degree in library science and information technology, she was promoted to assistant manager before becoming branch manager a few months later.

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Barksdale received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Clemson University and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

The decision to offer Barksdale the position as library director was unanimously approved by the Elizabethton Library Board Thursday afternoon.

“We felt like she was the most qualified for the position,” board chairman Richard Baker said. “She had the most experience managing a branch library similar to what we have. We just felt like she was the best choice.”

Some of Barksdale’s traits that stood out for the board was that she was innovative and was willing to try new programs and ideas to increase visitation to the library as well as continuing to support current activities, Barker said.

“She wants to continue to support our children’s program and build a teen program,” Barker said. “She also supports programs for senior citizens.”

Barksdale’s community involvement was another plus, Elizabethton Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said

“One of the things that stood out about her was her community involvement in Greenville,” Hartman said. “She did an excellent job bringing the community in to the library. She is very personable and outgoing, and that is some of the things we were looking for in a new director.”

Barksdale is looking forward to the opportunity to come to Elizabethton to start the next phase of her career.

“The area is wonderful and the staff was friendly and welcoming and ready to work,” she said. “Everyone seemed happy and the location is just gorgeous. When me and my husband, Quinton, visited the area we were amazed at how nice it was, and how much it reminded us of Greenville. It seems like a nice area to grow our family in the future.”

While it is still early in the process, Barksdale hopes to work on increasing patronage at the library and bringing in more technology education classes for the community.

Once the pre-employment screenings have been completed, the date for Barksdale to start work at the ECCPL will be set.