Two finalists have been selected in the search for the new director of the West Georgia Regional Library System.

The system’s Board of Trustees announced Thursday that the search to replace the former director, Roni Tewksbury, had been narrowed down to two candidates: Jessica L. Everingham and Laurie Eubanks. The board will now schedule interviews for the candidates, with a final selection possible in mid November.

Board Chairman Clint Chance said he believes either of the finalists could be a great director for the system, which is made up of 18 libraries in Carroll, Douglas, Haralson, Heard and Paulding counties.

“Jessica Everingham has multi county experience prior to her state librarian position,” Chance said. Everingham is currently Assistant State Librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service. “By nature she understands how a system operates.

​“Laurie Eubanks is Deputy Director of Troup-Harris Regional Library (located in LaGrange). She also was a past employee of the regional system years ago before she moved on to further her career, so she has some insight as far as the community goes.”

“In order to narrow it down, there is certain criteria that the state requires for someone to be a director of a regional library system, and one of those is that they have to hold a 5D license, which means they have to have a master’s in library science degree, because they have to understand the criteria,” Chance said. “Both, of course, met the requirements.”

“The past director, Roni Tewksbury, retired in August after 34 years of service to the regional library system,” said Chance. “Typically, the state does require that you have someone that is qualified to fill in as the interim until you reach the point of hiring a permanent director.”

The WGRL interim director, Steve W. Schefer, had come out of retirement to fill in after Tewksbury retired for family reasons. Schefer has put the scheduled renovation of the Neva Lomason Library on hold as the library system explores options to save money.

“He (Schefer) is qualified, and has been doing a lot of work for us,” Chance said. “So, this is just to bring in someone to be our permanent replacement.”

“We want someone that understands the average changing library world. We are also looking for someone that has the ability to work with a large diversified group,” said Chance. “We have 18, soon to be 19, different library locations located in five different counties, so this person needs to have great organization skills.” Also important, he said, is to find someone astute with finances.

Chance said that the interview process for Everingham and Eubanks will begin November 1, however the board will not be making a final decision until sometime in mid-November.

The WGRL system is made up of 18 member libraries which operate in Carroll, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, and Paulding county. These libraries service over 450,000 residents in the west Georgia area by providing access to books, movies, audio, computer access and community events.

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