The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 29, 2010

Review: New library director to begin on Monday


I am happy to take this opportunity to do something a bit different from the usual review in this space. This week, I will take the occasion to give everyone a little introduction to our new library director, Jacque Gage, who begins her directorship tomorrow!

Jacque comes to us directly from the Barton County Library, a three-branch system (Lamar, Golden City, and Liberal) headquartered in Lamar. She was hired as the system’s director in 2000, and during her tenure there she earned her master’s in information science and learning technologies (her library degree) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her bachelor’s degree in Christian education was granted by Ozark Christian College in 1978. She is also a candidate for Certified Public Library Administrator certification through the American Library Association, which she joined in 2002. Certification is a voluntary post-graduate program and requires completion of coursework in seven standards, including budget and finance, management of technology, organization and personnel administration, and planning and management of buildings, plus three additional areas selected from five electives.

Jacque was awarded not one, but three, scholarships for library school: one each from the Missouri Library Association, the Missouri State Library, and the University of Missouri-Columbia itself. She completed her degree, including an 80-hour practicum at Missouri Southern State University, while working full-time as the director of the Barton County Library.

She has served on various Missouri State Library committees, including the Continuing Education Committee and the Secretary of State’s Council on Libraries. She is a member of the Missouri Public Library Directors Association, serving as president from 2006-2007.

During her tenure in Lamar, she wrote many grant applications, receiving 36 in nine years, for a total of over $200,000 in grants. We look forward to Jacque applying her grant skills for the Joplin Public Library in the future.

Before entering the library world, Jacque worked as support staff at the Lamar High School counseling center, creating the master class schedule, tracking graduation requirements, administering the applications for local scholarships, and working with college/military recruiters. She was also in charge of the gifted seminar class along with many other responsibilities. Prior to that, she was the coordinator/director of Parents as Teachers for the Lockwood School District.

Jacque likes to travel and spent a summer during college behind the Iron Curtain. She went back to Europe (specifically, Austria) last summer to complete a voluntary service in the town of Heiligenkreuz, investigating and field testing a library automation system that could deal with multiple alphabetic systems and diacritics (important issues in European librarianship). Her dream vacation is Washington, D.C., and the historic East Coast sites (preferably without work thrown in!).

Her three children are athletic: her son, Aaron, playing football from junior high through college; one daughter, Elisabeth, cheering from junior high through high school; and the other, Katie, playing volleyball through college at MSSU and now coaching club volleyball. Jacque is musical herself, playing piano since second grade. She plays for church regularly, and for her own (and others’) pleasure. It may come as no surprise that she likes to read, although (as is often the case with busy librarians) she doesn’t read as much as she might wish to.

By the way, “Jacque” (pronounced like “Jackie”) is short for “Jacqueline.” Her father joked that, since she was born on Halloween, Jacqueline was as close as they should/could get to “Jack-o-lantern.”

Now that you know a little about Jacque, we hope you’ll come by for our upcoming “Meet and Greet” session. It will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 15 in the Large Meeting Room at the library. Light refreshments will be served, so come meet Jacque and have a cookie!

Linda Cannon is the circulation and collection development librarian at Joplin Public Library.