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Staff Profiles: Elzena Anderson

How would you describe someone who signs on as the Assistant Library Director in October; then buys a house in town; and, in her first foray into elective politics, wins a seat on City Council in May? You could start by saying her name is Elzena Anderson, and you could also observe that there is no grass growing under her feet.

As Assistant Director, Elzena is involved in developing policies and procedures aimed at facilitating library services to patrons, computer and software troubleshooting, staff training, and dealing with members of public as they avail themselves of the Library’s resources. Prior to joining our Library, Elzena served as the teen services librarian at Augusta County Library. Before that, she held several position at the Staunton Public Library.

Nine years after she was born in Los Angeles, Elzena moved with her family to her mother’s hometown of Staunton. At an early age, she developed and still maintains an interest in art, working on acrylics, oil, and charcoal; illustrating a children’s book; painting murals; and designing and selling jewelry. Elzena earned a BA in Art and Art History from the College of William and Mary where she worked in the college library, accomplishing a great deal of “extreme shelving”–apparently, collegians studying for finals and, then, abruptly departing for vacation can leave a lot of books lying around. Elzena also holds a Masters degree in Library & Information Sciences from the University of Kentucky.

A striking insight regarding Elzena comes from the story of how she came to run for City Council.  Remember that big snow storm last January? Alzena was not happy with the City’s snow management in her neighborhood, a sentiment no doubt shared by a lot of people. Unlike most, Elzena went to City Council meetings and learned about the various snow management priorities facing the City. She became interested in the complexities and dynamics facing city government and she decided to pitch in. Instead of just standing by, Elzena became involved–a trait that should serve all of us well as she continues her work at Waynesboro Public Library.

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