2012 Eureka Mentor: Mary George
I fell in love with the library when I was in the fourth grade. I used to ride my horse, Smokey, to the Applegate Library in Placer County, tie him to the hitching post out front, and wander in to pick up books by Margaret Henry or Beverly Cleary. In high school, I would bug my mom until she drove me from our house in the sticks to the Auburn Library. There I would meet my friends to gossip and giggle.
I began my library career working as a student intern in the Meriam Library on the campus of CSU, Chico. I worked as a shelver and spent a summer shelf reading the entire college collection. I graduated from Chico with degrees in Political Science and History and from Berkeley for Librarianship. I’ve spent my career in the Placer County Library system as a Library Clerk, substitute Bookmobile driver, Children’s librarian, Branch Manager, Children’s Services Manager and Assistant Director. I taught Library Management at Sacramento City College and worked as a Reference Librarian at Sierra Community College. I’m on the Board of Directors for the California Library Association and Infopeople. I attended the Stanford Institute on 21st Century Librarianship (kind-of a precursor to Eureka!) and in 2006, I was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journals for my work to enhance the salaries of librarians in Placer County.
Currently, I am the director of the libraries I loved as a kid. As an adult, they look smaller to me, but the feeling when I walk in is still the same; a unique sense of comfort. It’s strange supervising and directing library professionals I’ve known since childhood, but there is also a deep trust; a trust that we all care about our libraries and will forever.
In my spare time I enjoy music (especially Neil Young), movies, reading, television, most things pop culture, traveling, and hiking in the American River Canyon. I live with my dog Bear in the Sierra Nevada town of Colfax.