Executive Director of Sequoyah Regional Library System Announces Retirement

Anita Summers, Executive Director of the Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS), announced October 26 to the Board of Trustees her plans to retire on February 1, 2022.

Ms. Summers joined the staff of SRLS in July 1989 as Branch Manager of the Gilmer County Library in Ellijay. She was named Assistant Director of the library system in 2008, and was chosen by the SRLS Board of Trustees as Executive Director in 2014. As Executive Director, Ms. Summers is responsible for overseeing all aspects of public library operations in the three-county system which includes Cherokee, Pickens, and Gilmer counties. She is charged with carrying forward the policies, goals, and objectives adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Under Ms. Summers’ leadership, SRLS experienced growth in circulation and program attendance, expanded service hours and digital resources, increased staff pay, expanded staff development and training, increased library outreach and visibility, established new partnerships, began the growth of a “Library of Things” collection, and added new library technology. During her tenure, the library system renovated an 8,000 square foot unfinished basement at the Gilmer County Library and obtained state capital outlay grants to supplement local SPLOST funds for the upcoming expansion/renovation of the Pickens County Library and the Hickory Flat Public Library in Cherokee County. In 2020, Ms. Summers led the library system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic which included virtual programming, outdoor Wi-Fi, Sidewalk Service, and a phased approach to the restoration of full library services and hours.

The Board’s Personnel Committee will conduct the search process for a new Executive Director and in December present one or more finalists to the SRLS Board of Trustees, which is responsible for making the final selection in January 2021. The SRLS Board of Trustees is composed of representatives from each member county’s library Board of Trustees, whose members are appointed by local government funding agencies.

We are forever grateful for Anita’s time as SRLS Executive Director and for all that she and her team have accomplished under her diligent leadership,” said Jane Shelnutt, Chair of the SRLS Board of Trustees. “Her dedication to service excellence, meaningful library partnerships, and continuous learning has made an indelible impact on Sequoyah Regional Library System and the communities which it serves.”

Ms. Summers expressed appreciation for the many opportunities that SRLS has provided during her 32- year tenure with the system. “I am very blessed to have been part of a forward-thinking system with supportive trustees, dedicated staff, and library-loving communities,” she said.