Name: Lori W. McAllister
Occupation Title: Workforce Investment Act Career Coordinator at Chattahoochee Technical College, North Metro Campus, Acworth.
Friends of the Library Title: Vice President on the FOL Board
City of residence: Cartersville
Family: Daughter, Heather, 23; son, Sid, 20; and a wonderful Dachsund/Corgy mutt, Penny, 13.
Education: B.S business Administration, Philadelphia University; and currently pursuing a M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, Western New Mexico University.
How did you become involved with The Friends of the Library?
A: I’ve been a library lover just about all my life. Wherever I’ve lived over the years, the town library is always one of the first places I sought out. My first job as a middle school student was as a volunteer in my town library. This is where I became the reader I am today and developed a love of books. I became involved with FOL about six years ago; I don’t remember exactly when. My first title with FOL was secretary and I’m now the vice president. I volunteered at a book sale and was later asked to join the board.
What does your position entail with FOL and what is your favorite aspect of the position?
A: As vice president, I am able to be an active and voting member helping to make decisions about ways that FOL can support the Bartow Library system. As a board we plan activities and events at the library for culture and education for the community as well as events that are committed to fund raising. We present a check yearly to the library from FOL that averages $9,000 to 10,000. Much of that money comes from our quarterly used book sales that are very popular with the community. Our next book sale will be Saturday, Sept. 6, right around the corner. Our annual Craft Fair at the local Civic Center is also a popular event that will take place this year on Nov. 8.
If funding were not an issue, what would you like to see in the Bartow County Public Library?
A: The Bartow County Library includes a great number of resources that are needed and used by this community. From electronic materials to traditional paper books, the library is still the best repository of everything we need for research, hobbies and information. Without the limitations of budgets and money, it would be great to see the increased resources available to the public and the additional access that could be provided. Personally, I’d also like to see more music events at the library, too, such as the Ascension Coffee House that will take place monthly for the next few months while the Episcopal church goes through renovations. The next Coffee House is Friday evening, September 12. I’d also love to see a return of the Library 5K Race. We had that event several years ago. It was very popular and is also a lot of work!
What is your favorite program or event at the library?
A: Wow, there’s several: First off, our used book sales. They take place quarterly and are always the first Saturday of the quarter. I have found so many wonderful books there, especially ones that help to complete a series on specific authors. Just browsing books is a past time for me and knowing that the books only cost $1 or 50 cents is great! I also really enjoy events where FOL partners with other community organizations like the historical society. Author readings and presenters on various hobbies like geocaching, genealogy or even writing your own stories have also been a lot of fun.
What is something people may be surprised to learn about you?
A: Well, I don’t know if this is a surprise but I’ve kayaked almost the entire Etowah river. I’ve also previously lived in a town called Roxboro in two different states, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. That wasn’t planned!
What is your greatest personal or professional achievement?
A: I take pride in my job at Chattahoochee. Helping someone who is laid–off from a job or has simply hit rock bottom with employment options is what I’ve been doing for the last 13 years in Bartow County. Knowing that I’ve helped another individuals turn their life around to be self-sufficient and successful is satisfaction for me.
What is the best advice you have ever received or given?
A: “Our biggest enemy is the status quo”. We repeat the same action over and over again expecting a different result. The idea is that most people find it to be very difficult to let go of what they are used to doing, even if it’s not working for them, and so it is frequently difficult to persuade ourselves to make a change.