SHIPPENSBURG — Jody Cole, of Wellsboro, has accepted the position of director of the Shippensburg Public Library, replacing Susan Sanders, who has served as director since 2003.
Cole comes to Shippensburg in the midst of a campaign to raise funds for renovating and expanding the library, but it is a challenge she says she welcomes.
“I’m looking forward to getting it started and successfully completed,” she said. “The building is old and in need of some updates and expansions. We need more room for the children’s area in particular.
“I’m looking forward to helping create a ‘new’ place for the community. We’ll take the best of what the library has to offer and add to it so it becomes an even more important part of the Shippensburg community.”
Cole will work with Sanders over the next few weeks as she transitions into her new role.
Cole has an extensive library background. She has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and political science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degrees in library science from Clarion University and a master’s in English with a concentration on professional writing and editing from George Mason University.
She is currently systems administrator of the Potter-Tioga Library System, and reference and government documents librarian/electronic resources librarian and instructor at Mansfield University.
Cole has experience in grant writing, web design, selecting and purchasing materials for the library, budgeting, writing web content, project management, publications management, community and public relations work, and hiring and training staff.
“I think the search committee made an excellent choice in Jody Cole, and I’m so glad she’s coming to Shippensburg,” Sanders said. “She’s passionate about libraries, as well as about how important they are to a community. I’m looking forward to working with her in the next couple of weeks and know that I’m leaving the library in very good hands.”
Jo Anne Coy, president of the library’s board of trustees, says that “Having been involved in the search process from its beginning until the board of trustees approved the hiring of Jody, I am convinced we have the right person for the job,” Coy said Cole “brings a variety of experiences to the position, ranging from administration to staff management to grant acquisition. Jody is stepping into the director’s job at a challenging time, but she is excited about the prospect of working on everything from program development to the oversight of the planned expansion and renovation of our facility. We can’t wait for her to get started.”
Cole said she has visited Shippensburg on a few occasions but already feels at home in the community.
“I thought it was good fit — a good blend of rural and metropolitan,” she said. “It feels like a close-knit community, like where I’m from. ... The staff was very welcoming, and the board was very welcoming. It really did just click from the beginning. It feels like home.”