May/June/July 2016


Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Rebecca PurdyAs of July 1, REBECCA PURDY has been promoted to Deputy Director of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL). Rebecca began shelving books in CRRL’s children’s room while she was a sophomore in high school and returned as a teen librarian after earning her Master of Library Science. She most recently held the position of Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. Rebecca is a member of VLA and ALA, serving on multiple committees for both organizations through the years, and she has recently been selected to attend the 2016 ALA Leadership Institute. 

Fairfax County Public Library

Jessica A. HudsonEffective Monday, June 13, the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees appointed JESSICA A. HUDSON the director of the Fairfax County Public Library. She succeeds Edwin “Sam” Clay III who retired March 22. Hudson was most recently the county librarian for the Contra Costa County Library in Pleasant Hill, California, where she oversaw 26 public libraries with a budget of $28 million annually and staff of 350. From December 2011 to April 2014, she was the county librarian for the Nevada County Library in Nevada City, California. Prior to that position, she was the county librarian for Tehama County Library in Red Bluff, California. Hudson began her library career as a library aide in 2001. She moved up as a library assistant and branch manager before becoming a county librarian in January 2011. Hudson has a Master’s in Library Science from San Jose State University and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. 

Library of Virginia

Tom RayTOM RAY, long-time Collection Management Coordinator at the Library of Virginia (LVA) retired June 30, 2016 after 22 years with the Library. Tom joined the staff of the Library as a cataloger for the Virginia Newspaper Project. As Collection Management Coordinator, Tom is probably best known to public librarians around the state for promoting the Library’s extensive cookbook collection, and for his outreach projects to public libraries with the LVA Scanning Team. Tom was not afraid to get dirty looking for books for the Library’s collections, visiting the basements and attics of donors and prowling thrift stores for cookbooks and ephemera. In retirement, Tom has lined up a part-time position as a “curator” for a local thrift store. 

Pittsylvania County Public Library

Lisa TuiteLISA TUITE has been hired as the new director of the Pittsylvania County Public Library. She succeeds Diane Adkins, who retired on March 1 after almost 16 years with the system. Tuite, pronounced toot, will be a familiar face to library patrons, having worked for the system since 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, a Master’s from Georgetown University in National Security Studies and a recently acquired Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama. 

Suffolk Public Library

Jennifer BrownJENNIFER BROWN became the Youth and Family Services Manager on February 16. She previously worked as a children’s programmer and as a Youth and Family Services Librarian at Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL). Jennifer is currently in her fourth year of working on her PhD in Instructional Design and Technology from Old Dominion University as part of her efforts to create more effective and efficient programming in libraries, enhance training, and make libraries more effective by promoting themselves through outcome-based data. She has a BA in History and a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Old Dominion University (ODU). She earned her Master of Library Science from Syracuse University. She also works as an Adjunct Instructor at ODU and serves as the graduate student representative to the Occupational Training and Performance division of the Association for Education, Communication and Technology.

Sherry HuntSHERRY HUNT joined the Suffolk Public Library (SPL) on May 1 in the position of Senior Administrative Analyst. In her previous position in the City of Suffolk’s Finance Department, she coordinated the grant process for the entire City. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University. 

Melissa Kariger MELISSA KARIGER is now Early Childhood Services Supervisor. She will be working with the Youth & Family Services Manager to expand events, classes, and services for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. Melissa has been with SPL for a little over two years.



Ardith OhkaARDITH OHKA is now Teen Services Supervisor. She will help develop a system-wide vision for teen services in Suffolk, expanding events, classes, and services for teenagers. Ardith has been with the SPL for about eight months.



Liz SteyerLIZ STEYER became SPL’s new Technology and Content Strategy Manager on November 2. She has worked in public libraries for over eleven years, most recently as the Digital Services Librarian for the Chesapeake Public Library. She started her passion for libraries at the Rochester Hills Public Library in Rochester, Michigan before heading off to library school at Wayne State University. After graduating with her Masters in Library and Information Science, she began working for the Chesapeake Public Library in various positions. In her role as Digital Services Librarian, she managed the library’s social media accounts, oversaw the website committee, and trained the public and staff on the various digital service offerings.

Angela SumnerOn February 1, ANGELA SUMNER became the new Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator at SPL. She most recently coordinated the social media efforts and administrative areas for Embassy Suites in Hampton. She led community involvement activities as a leader in the hotel’s Make-A-Difference Committee, which strives to make a difference in the lives of guests, hotel associates, and members of the community. She also worked closely with the corporate office at John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts on various projects and marketing initiatives. Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Arts from the Franciscan University of Steubenville with a concentration in Graphic Design.


Prince William Public Library

On April 19, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) voted to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) for outsourcing the management of library services to Library Systems and Services. On May 10, the Friends of Montclair Community Library (FMCL) held an open meeting with Supervisor Maureen Caddigan to discuss the ramifications of privatizing library services with the community at large. Several articles were written in various local newspapers. FMCL launched a petition asking for members of the community to sign it if they were opposed to privatization. They also encouraged citizens throughout the county to write to their representatives on the BOCS to express their concerns and to speak at the meeting where the BOCS would discuss whether or not to send out the RFP. Many library staff members and members of the community spoke against outsourcing library services and commented on what a valuable resource the library is. On June 21, the BOCS voted 7-1 not to move forward with the RFP.

In Memoriam

Fairfax County Public Library

ELIZABETH “BETH” RHODES, Collections Manager for Fairfax County Public Library (FCL), passed away unexpectedly on May 16 of natural causes. She graduated from Robinson High School in Fairfax County, earned a bachelor’s degree from Radford University, and received her Master’s degree in Library Science from Catholic University. Inspired by her great love of literature, she immediately went to work as a librarian in the Fairfax County library system. She held numerous positions around the system, finally serving as manager of FCL's extensive collection of print and digital media. She loved her work at the library over the years, but her family believes she felt the most joy in her work as a children's librarian. During her varied library career, Beth showed a remarkable ability to retain in memory the names and reading preferences of her many patrons. She took great pride and joy in serving the needs of library users.

Return to People & Happenings