Introducing Julia Turpin, JCPL’s new director!

The summer may be ending, but we’re beginning a new adventure on August 20. That’s when Julia Turpin joins the JCPL staff as our new library director! Julia comes to us from the Appalachian Regional Library, where she was the Wilkes County Librarian. She has worked in legal libraries and academic libraries, but says “my heart is really in the mission of public librarianship, helping a variety of people.”
Julia is excited to be a part of the Johnson City Public Library, in no small part because of Johnson City itself! She says, “It’s good to be in a community that’s growing and to be a part of downtown revitalization. The city really seems to be aware of the interest and excitement in downtown growth. Particularly to have a library right in the midst of downtown is really exciting!” She adds that she’s looking forward to “getting to know new people! I can’t wait to go talk about books, local breweries, and making new friends.”
Speaking of books, Julia says her favorite is Harper Lee’s perennial classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. “I like it because in every phase of my life it’s been a different experience to read. I love when books do that!” She’s also an outdoor enthusiast. “I’m a gardener, a bird watcher.” She laughs and says, “I like to camp too, although you might say it’s more like ‘glamping’ [glamour camping] than traditional camping!”
Julia’s looking forward to engaging the community with the library. “I want to allow the library to take its direction from the community. I’d love to ask community members, ‘what are your goals for your life?’ and take that and interpret it for library service.” She explains that this was part of what drew her to librarianship in the first place. “I saw the wide variety of things librarians can do and get to know.” She says she wants to help a variety of people and “reduce barriers. The more people we can get into the library, the stronger the library can be!”

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