COLUMN: Meet Dana Jolly in The Obscure Alcove

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By Sheree Priddy, LaRue County Public Library


Over the course of the last few months, as I have featured various books and concepts for you to consider, it is with the idea that there are resources in your local library that you may have overlooked.

In examining the multiple resources of the LaRue County Public Library this month, I have been struck by the fact that our director, Dana Jolly, is a valuable resource. And it is my guess that you may not be fully aware of how much she cares about the citizens of our community. She would certainly never have anyone draw attention to her or to what she does. For this reason, Dana will be the subject of my article this month because I think that you would love to know what I know.

Dana is a native of LaRue County; and as long as she and her husband have lived here (most of their 30 years together), they have been involved in service to the community. That is just who they are as a family, whether it has been involvement with their church, with PTO, or Boy Scouts.

Dana has done every task at the LaRue County Public Library, except for that of children’s librarian, over the course of almost 13 years that she has been employed here. For the first nine years, she drove the bookmobile; and really enjoyed it. She could get to know people within the community; and, since then, many have been added to her circle of friends. 

Dana has passed on her enthusiasm for the bookmobile to Virginia Napier, the current driver. Dana has also been able to set an example for all of the staff here in advocating excellence in service to the patrons of the library. As we all know, an example speaks much louder than mere words. 

Another role of great importance is how Dana encourages all of us in our programming for adults and children, including the bookmobile programs offered outside the library doors. Again, this is based on the concept of finding a need and meeting it. One of the most recent projects that Dana has taken on has been educating the public about downloading books to their Nooks and Kindles. She really understands how these devices work and has, what appears to me, great knowledge of how to use them. These classes are offered periodically here at the library. I find it inspiring that Dana is continually searching for ways that the library programs can suitably satisfy needs in a timely manner.

Even though I was a patron of the LaRue County Public Library for years, I don’t think that I really understood all of the tasks that are necessary to keep this small institution running smoothly.

I have seen Dana wear many hats over the course of the months, from being a listener to the employees to solving maintenance issues to teaching. She is gracious in her communications with everyone. That is probably the skill that I admire the most about Dana, coming from someone who is good at sticking her foot in her mouth.

The mission statement for our county library states its intentions to “provide materials and services for personal enrichment, enjoyment, and educational needs to all county residents of all ages, to be done in pleasant surroundings.”

Dana had spoken to me how she believed that our programs have the ability to touch every person in the county, albeit indirectly. If someone has a parent or grandparent in the local nursing home, they indirectly benefit from our programs. The same can be said for the elementary school, Head Start, preschool, and even the local day care centers. And of course, she is committed to supplying books and DVDs that the citizens can enjoy. As I have worked with her over the months, I have seen that Dana Jolly lives out the above mission statement in many, uncountable ways. She is busy, on a daily basis, looking for ways that the LaRue County Public Library can enrich your lives.