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South Boston library manager leaving for new job

SoVaNow.com / August 14, 2014


Chris Thompson, manager of the South Boston library branch, is leaving to take a job with the Blackwater Regional Library.

Thompson will manage the library system’s Smithfield, Va. branch.

While in South Boston, Thompson developed several successful adult programs, taught computer classes, and worked hard to increase the library’s reach and exposure in the community.

Library board members learned of his decision Tuesday during their regular monthly meeting.

“Chris did a great job, and we will miss his creativity and energy. We hate to see him go, but we wish him all the best,” said Jay Stephens, director of the Halifax County-South Boston Public Library System.

Also at the meeting, board members focused on several issues that they expect the library to face in coming years.

With the demise of the bookmobile, board members expressed a desire to establish outreach programs for residents of areas that the bookmobile served.

Board members plan first to be present at North Halifax’s upcoming Marathon event, set for Saturday, Sept. 6, to conduct surveys and collect information about where books may be left for patrons, what days and hours would be best, and to see if anyone might volunteer to help with the effort. The surveys will be very short, members indicated, consisting of only four or five questions. Board members are also anxious to find out about the possibility of having the law library, which is now housed in the Halifax Courthouse, moved to the Halifax Public Library. They asked Stephens to contact the president of the local bar association, Sandra Shaseen, to come to a board meeting to discuss some of their concerns.

Stephens also reported that circulation figures were down at the libraries for the month of July, but program attendance was up significantly.

He said the two branches in South Boston and Halifax offered 53 programs during the month, as opposed to only 31 last year, drawing an attendance of 939 participants versus 500 in 2013. The director presented trustees with a revised budget of $464,468.13 for the current year. Of that amount Halifax County contributed $178,112, the Town of South Boston $76,000 and the Town of Halifax $11,000.

State funding added $113,766, and the library carried over $37,290.13 from the previous year.

The remaining funds came from monetary gifts, grants, copies, fees, and fines.

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