The West Georgia Regional Library System has a new director. Jessica Everingham accepted the offer for the position made by WGRLS Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

The new director of the five-county system has been around libraries all her life -- her mother was a librarian.

"I used to have to shelve books when I got in trouble when I was young," Everingham said. "Out of high school I joined the Air Force because I wanted to see the world, but after leaving service I decided I couldn't put off becoming a librarian any longer."

She earned a Master of Library and Information Science from Florida State University and is completing the University of Georgia's Certified Public Manager program through the school's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Everingham comes with 14 years of state, public, and academic library experience. She currently works as assistant state librarian for Library Development and Support at Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS). Her responsibilities include overseeing the state agency's efforts in youth services, managing Library Services and Technology Act funding dispersed by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, supervising GPLS's business services, performing statistical analysis, and directing research initiatives. Prior to GPLS, she served as director of Okefenokee Regional Library System based in Waycross, Georgia, and library director for Altamaha Technical College in Jesup.

"I am very excited to get started at West Georgia," Everingham said. "Like most first days on the job, my initial priority will be getting to know the managers and staff at the regional office and 18 libraries. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone."

Everingham will start on Dec. 1, allowing her to overlap with outgoing Interim Director Steve Schaefer who came to WGRLS following Director Roni Tewksbury's retirement in August 2017.

The West Georgia Regional Library System comprises the 18 member libraries operating in Carroll, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, and Paulding counties. The libraries serve the nearly 450,000 residents in west Georgia, providing access to books, movies, and audio, and a myriad of services such as community events and free computer access.

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