Courtney Lumpkin is the new assistant director for the Newton County Library System. - Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
COVINGTON -- The Newton County Library System has a new assistant director. Courtney Lumpkin was hired in October to fill that role, and during her short time on the job, she's made it a priority to maintain and introduce programming despite a staffing shortage.
Lumpkin said she wants patrons to know that even with budget constraints, her goal is to continue to offer "new and exciting programming that families and children can come to the library and enjoy."
She also hopes to implement computer programs for patrons to provide instruction on basic skills such as word processing and navigating the Internet, as well as programs to teach patrons how to check out ebooks and use the library's ereader program.
As assistant director, Lumpkin fills a variety of roles, including setting the agenda for programming, working with the director on finances, community partnerships and outreach, overseeing volunteers, children's programming, even staffing the front desk when needed.
"I love it. It's a great staff. We've got great patrons, it's a great community," she said.
Lumpkin previously worked as library branch manager of the Dougherty County Public Library in Albany. Lumpkin has six years of experience working in libraries, and five years as a professional librarian. It's a career path that was inspired by a love of the library from a young age and volunteer work in libraries.
Lumpkin has undergraduate degrees in English and political science from the University of West Georgia and a master's degree in library science from North Carolina Central University. "She is a good asset for the Newton County Library System," said director Lace Keaton, citing Lumpkin's experience with children and teens, and as an assistant director.
Lumpkin was the assistant director for youth services under Keaton at the Okefenokee Regional Library System in Waycross, a five-county library system, for which she oversaw children and teen programming.
She was previously an early literacy specialist at Durham County Library in Durham, N.C., and has worked her way up the ranks since she started as a shelver at that library while working on her master's degree.
Lumpkin said she's happy to be in Newton County, since it's close to her family, which lives in the Atlanta area. She is a Porterdale resident.
She encouraged patrons to continue to look for new upcoming programs at the library, including a library festival and a local Geek the Library campaign. Geek the Library is a community public awareness campaign aimed at spreading the word about the role of public libraries and raising awareness about funding issues faced by many public libraries.
Lumpkin also said free passes to state parks, the Atlanta Zoo and the Center for Puppetry Arts are available to patrons at the library.
For more information on programming for 2013 visit www.newtonlibrary.org.