As Jill Rael starts off the New Year as new Fayetteville-Lincoln County Library director, she enthusiastically embraces the challenges ahead and the opportunity to initiate some creative new programs.
A bundle of energy and talent, Rael has several ideas for children’s programs and getting the general public more involved with the library.
A multi-tasker, Rael is juggling several projects as she steps away from her job as a codes manager and planning advisor for the Metro Moore County government. While holding down a full-time career, she has also been working on her master’s degree in history at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Her master’s thesis topic, she said, is the history of the Mulberry Baptist Church, which was established in 1809.
While those activities are enough to keep anyone busy, Jill and her husband, Travis, just recently had their first baby, Elijah. Travis, a Moore County native, works for the Tennessee Valley Archeological Research in Huntsville in earth systems science, working with GIS. The couple has been married for 10 years.
Jill grew up in Fayetteville, but graduated from Moore County High School in 2001. After graduation, she attended UAH where she earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and photography.
There are a number of ideas Jill has for programs, but one of Jill’s top priorities as library director is establishing regular children’s programs and story hours, as well as programs for teens. She feels that finishing the library building’s basement will give the library the space needed for other children’s activities.
Another pet project, she said, is the genealogy department. She would like to see another speaker series this spring to enable the library to purchase additional resources.
“We want to be an active part of the community in the schools,” she said.
Developing a broader web presence is high on the list of priorities, along with looking into providing electronic books.
“I hope eventually the library will become a community center.”