Tracy McPeck - September 2021

What is your current position? Adult Services Coordinator

Where do you work? Central Rappahannock Regional Library

When did you first know that you wanted to work in the library field? I grew up with my nose in a book, but librarianship as a profession hadn't occurred to me. A cousin, who was a library trustee in her town, suggested library school. When I was in my mid-thirties and the Waldenbooks I was managing went out of business, I took that as a sign that library school might be a good idea (it was!). As soon as my classes started, I was hooked.

What is your favorite part of librarianship? I truly enjoy connecting people to information and resources. That could be in the form of helping customers directly in the branch, providing guidance to my team so they can better serve customers, or networking in the community to expand the library's reach and tell as many people as possible about the wonderful things we do and offer. I also have to say I love the variety that comes with working in libraries. There is never a dull moment, and every day is different with fresh challenges and new projects to pursue. I don't like to be bored, so I know I'm in the right field.

What was your first library or library-related job? My first library job was with CRRL (say "CURL"), my current library system. In that first job, I was a substitute library clerk/assistant, traveling to several branches to work in Customer Services (circulation), Adult Services, and Youth Services. It was a fantastic complement to my MSLS journey, providing hands-on experience while earning my library degree online. That experience led to my first full-time position in Youth Services in a nearby library system. From there I became that library's first Programming and Outreach Coordinator. After six years there, I applied for my current position as Adult Services Coordinator, and I've now been back with CRRL for almost three years.

What projects or programs are you currently working on at your library? Working in library administration, a good chunk of time in the past 16 months has been devoted to all things COVID, helping to write procedures to keep staff and customers safe. Right now, I'm working with my Adult Services team to slowly reinstate in-person programming while keeping some virtual. I'm very excited about our 5th annual Rappahannock Writers Conference in November, in person again, and continuing our successful virtual Lunch and Learns each Friday on Facebook. I have a fantastic team that works very hard to put together interesting and educational classes and events for our adults. My staff are the ones that make the magic happen--I just help steer the ship.

What issue or topic in librarianship are you most interested in? At the moment, I'm particularly interested in how libraries play a role in civic engagement, as well as how my library can do a better job of reaching out to, and including, our diverse community. I'm always interested in continuing to develop as a library leader and how I can better work with my team to develop them as leaders.

Why are you a member of VLA and what is the most important reason to you for being a member of VLA? I am a member of VLA because it helps me feel connected to a larger network of library colleagues without it feeling too large. It's wonderful to attend VLA each year to see familiar faces and make new friends. VLA connects library staff of all types and levels, which helps generate new ideas and knowledge sharing, and can lead to unexpected opportunities. For example, a presentation I gave at the 2013 VLA Annual Conference led to speaking engagements at six or so library systems around the state (which was both nerve-wracking and fun!).

Please contact Tracy McPeck if you have any questions, t[email protected]