Jennifer Austin is director of Coshocton Public Library. She has worked in public libraries 16 years; serving as branch library assistant, teen librarian, then assistant director. Austin earned a MLIS from Kent State University in 2013. In addition to local community involvement, Austin professionally serves on the Ohio Digital Library Advisory Board, OLC Legislative Network, and is a member of Ohio Library Council. She appreciates the opportunity to serve the library community.
I began my position as the director of the Brown Memorial Library in March of 2018. Prior to that, I spent a decade working at the Eaton branch of the Preble County District Library and another nine years supporting and advocating for adults with developmental disabilities. Both of these experiences left their mark and guide me in my role today. I currently serve as the secretary of the Lewisburg Park and Recreation Board and am an active member of several community groups including Lewisburg STEAM and Creating in the Burg. In my spare time I can be found belly dancing, seeking approval from my cats, and spending all my hard-earned money on books.
Anne Lowery has been the Director of the New London Public Library since 2008. She has 20 years of experience in public libraries; previously working in the Information Service department of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, then as a reference librarian and archivist at Henderson Memorial Library in Jefferson. Anne has worked in public service for 35 years; having worked in law enforcement prior to returning to Kent State University to earn her MLIS in 2002.
Anne prefers working in a small library where she can interact with her patrons on a daily basis and get to know their likes and preferences for library material and programs. She helped lead New London Library to its first successful levy campaign in its history. She resides in Wooster. In addition to her library work, she is the pianist for St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Wooster and a member of Rotary International, OLC, and several historical and genealogical societies and historic preservation groups.
I am the Director of New Madison Public Library, located in a rural area of southern Darke County, a position that I have held for eight years. I retired after 35 years of teaching and leading the school library at Tri-Village Schools. Because of being imbedded in this small, rural community for nearly 40 years, I understand the importance of the public library in the life of our citizens. Leading and serving during the pandemic has strengthened this belief. Advocating for small institutions that function differently than their counterparts in suburban and urban settings has been a passion of mine that has served me well as a member of the SEO Advisory Committee and OLC’s Small Library Division. I recently got a new view of how our consortium functions behind the scenes as a member of a review team that was tasked with looking at RFP’s for Statewide Delivery. I believe that my experiences and my belief in the power of all libraries will serve our consortium members well if I continue to serve in this position for another term.
Cara Potter is Director of the Defiance Public Library System, in Northwest Ohio. She grew up in Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan, received an art degree from Miami of Ohio, then moved to Boston for further art studies. After leaving the Boston Museum School she was hired by Boston Public Library on the condition that she would go to library school at night. She graduated from Simmons College with a MLS, and later earned graduate certificates in Human Resources Management and Public Administration while in New Hampshire.
She has worked at Boston Public Library, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and as director the Derry (NH) Public Library. At Defiance she has been guiding the library system and staff through the pandemic and working hard with the Board and employees to bring the library system into the 21st Century, while keeping loved and important elements from the past.
She is a former board member and treasurer of a small nonprofit library consortium in New Hampshire (GMILCS), served as the chair of the Robert Frost Foundation and House Museum (Derry NH), and as board member & treasurer of the NH Library Association. In Ohio she is serving as the vice-chair of the Northwest Regional library System (NORWELD) and is a member of the Defiance and Hicksville Rotaries.
I earned my MLIS from Kent State University in 2000, and began my career as an Adult Services Librarian in Garrett, Indiana. I returned to Ohio libraries in 2003, working as the Reference Librarian at Putnam County and then managing the Reference Department at Marion. In 2008, I became a Director. Currently, I’m the Director at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library and serve as a member of OLC’s Legislative Network and as a Trustee on NORWELD’s board.
I’m in my sixth year as director of the St. Clairsville Public Library. I’ve also been a branch manager, a college librarian and director, a policies and procedures writer and consultant. My proudest accomplishment at this library is running our first successful levy, an information campaign that made the case for community investment in its library, resulting in a 57% increase in our annual revenues.
I know (too well) that library staff tend to perform many roles, and so it’s easy to try and do too much. A consortium like Serving Every Ohioan helps make all of that easier. SEO helps save our community money, provide more resources, and provide better quality services.
I have in my office a simple saying framed, a gift from the board: “You make the library a better place.” It usually perks me up to read this saying. It’s my simple measure for a successful day.