UNION COUNTY — A Kansas native and graduate of Indiana University is the new director of the Union County Carnegie Library.
In a statement released this week, Anita Maness, President of the Union Carnegie Library Board, said that she and her fellow board members “are pleased to announce the hiring of Rieta Drinkwater” as library director.
The announcement also included a statement by Drinkwater about her educational and professional background and her interest in being a librarian.
“I am thrilled to serve as the new Library Director for the Union County Carnegie Library,” Drinkwater said. “When I was growing up on Kansas, I was an avid reader, but I had no idea that I would choose to become a librarian. It was not until I was nearly done earning a Bachelor’s in Classics from the University of Kansas, when I was faced with considering my future career, that I started to consider the option. After guidance from a professor and mentor, I decided to pursue my Masters in Library Science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.”
Drinkwater also spoke about how, in the course of pursuing a career as a librarian, she left Indiana for South Carolina and the positions she has held since moving here.
“Initially, I began working in the profession as an archives and records management project coordinator, and, although I loved my work and my colleagues, I knew something was missing,” Drinkwater said. “I left Indiana to move to Florence, South Carolina to be the campus librarian for Virginia College in Florence. I truly enjoyed helping student find academic success, and I was honored to be Employee of the Year in 2013 at my campus.
“Realizing just how much I love helping people, I decided to become a Branch Manager for the Berkeley County Library System,” she said. “This position allowed me countless opportunities to give back and to help strengthen the community I served. I am continually amazed and humbled by what we have been able to accomplish, including coming together as a community to help provide safe, positive alternatives for teenagers and uniting to provide food for those in need through our community garden.”
Drinkwater said that she will draw on these experiences to serve as director of the Union County Carnegie Library.
“Now, as I embark on this new wonderful opportunity to serve the Union County community, I am excited to be able to use these experiences to meet local needs,” Drinkwater said.
In announcing Drinkwater’s appointment as library director, Maness pointed to her background and expressed confidence that she will be received warmly by the community.
“I am just thrilled that we have found a young lady of such high credentials. I am sure the citizens of Union County will welcome her.”
The library has been without a director since Oct. 16 when Ben Loftis resigned to become director of the Cherokee County Public Library.
Since Loftis’ resignation, Mike Cassels has served as the library’s interim director.
Maness said that Drinkwater will begin her duties as library director on Feb. 29. She said that Drinkwater will be introduced to the public during the Friends of the Library annual meeting on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.