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New Librarian Named
Sunday, 06 April 2014

April 6-- Martha Powers-Jones has been hired as the library director for the Ohoopee region, the regional library board announced this week.

ImagePowers-Jones has worked with the region since 2006, when she came on as as public services librarian and later youth and family services librarian. In January she stepped up as library director upon the resignation of long-term director Dusty Gres.

“We are very excited to have Martha Power-Jones as the new director,” said Susanne Gainer, regional board member from Jeff Davis and the chair of the search committee. “Martha has a way of approaching each challenge as an opportunity. Her experience and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for our needs.”

Parker Blount, chair of the regional board and a member from Tattnall County, said, “Working very closely with Martha for nearly two months I discovered that she is quick to get to the heart of the problem and come up with workable solutions.  She has established exceptionally good relationships with the regional board of trustees, library staff, and members of the community.  She has the commitment and the ideas to help all of the libraries serve their communities better.”

Powers-Jones is a native of Ohio, where she got her Bachelors of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University and then her Masters in Library Science from Kent State University. She has worked in libraries since 2001. During her work with the Ohoopee region, she focused on expanding services to underserved communities. She established a Teen Advisory Board, an independent Teen Collection, expanded Spanish collections and bilingual programming, and directed a very popular and successful Summer Reading Program. Powers-Jones is married to Matt Jones, an educator and director of the statewide EmpowerED Georgia, an advocacy group for public education. They live in Lyons.

“As librarians, we must also focus our efforts on meeting the ever-changing needs of our community to retain our viability,” said Powers-Jones. “A library’s role is to make sure that we are a place where everyone in the community finds value.”  

“I am thrilled to be working with such a supportive board and with such talented staff members,” Powers-Jones said. “Our library system has amazing potential and I look forward to building on our rich history and working to create a more community-driven library environment.”

The Ohoopee region consists of seven libraries in four counties: Toombs (Vidalia, Lyons, and Ladson Genealogical ); Tattnall (Reidsville and Glennville); Jeff Davis; and Montgomery. As with most small, rural libraries, these have suffered from declining state funding, with the transformation required by technological advancements; and with a declining focus on lifelong learning.

Everyone in the region is reminded that the library is a public space open to all. Services available include free checkout of books and videos, free computer use, interlibrary loans, use of research materials, audiobooks, ebooks, as well as youth, teen, and adult programs. Computer printing, photocopying, and faxing are also available at most libraries for small fees.

Powers-Jones is open to suggestions from community members for events or books to purchase. She may be reached at (912) 537-9283. If you haven’t visited your library in awhile, come in soon to see for yourself the big changes taking place.

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