ALBANY, Ga. — There is a new, youthful and energetic force running the Dougherty County library system after former assistant director Ashley Moore was tapped last week to move up into the director’s chair.
Moore fills a vacancy left by Teresa Cole, the former director who left earlier this year to take a position in the Augusta library system.
“It’s great to have been promoted into this position, especially at this time in the library’s history,” Moore said.
Moore, who has worked in the Dougherty County system during two stints separated by a period at the Gwinnett County Library, said she’s excited about the opportunity to oversee a massive $5 million overhaul of the Central Library downtown.
“I had some experience dealing with that in Gwinnett, but this will be the first time that I can have a big role in a project this size from start to finish,” Moore said. “The renovation project will free up so much space and will make the library easier to use for our patrons. We’re really looking forward to it.”
The project, which was approved by county voters as a part of a special-purpose local-option sales tax referendum last year, will completely overhaul and rearrange the interior of the library, eradicating blind corners, opening up various sections and providing more space overall for patrons.
Currently, Moore said that library and county officials are preparing to look for an architect to develop some of the initial drawings and are still a few months away from the first phases of construction.
In terms of challenges, Moore admits that she will have to fight a perception that libraries are becoming obsolete in the digital age. But she said the Dougherty County Library is making strides to be more innovative and serve the hundreds of thousands of patrons who stroll through each year.
“You’d think that with technology the way it is, we’d have issues getting people in the door, but it’s really the opposite,” Moore said. “We’re finding ways to serve our patrons through the use of traditional reading, but also through e-books, audiobooks, DVDs and you can even download an app to use your membership on a tablet or mobile device.”
It’s that sense of innovation that Moore and her staff are constantly seeking to feed in order to cater to a more high-tech patron while being true to the library’s roots as the keeper of Dougherty County’s history and collective knowledge.