Following a nationwide search, Botetourt County announces the hiring of Julie Phillips of Greer, South Carolina as the new Library Director. She has exceptional educational, operational, and management qualifications for the position, where she will oversee four branches and approximately 30 employees.
Moreover, she has stood out among the candidates for her vision, imagination, and demonstrated collaborative leadership that she will bring to the County.
“I eagerly look forward to Julie beginning her work as our next Library Director,” said Scot Finley, President of the Botetourt County Library Board. “It was a pleasure to have met her, listened to her enthusiasm and vision for the library system of Botetourt County and, also, to have witnessed her integrity and passion for service to our community. She shares with the library board a commitment to see our public libraries as the gathering place for the community -a place to not only receive and exchange information and materials but to civilly debate the great ideas of our time.”
Prior to coming to Botetourt, Julie worked for the Greenville County, SC library system, where she served as branch manager for the system’s largest and busiest branch. She had also managed three other branches after working as a library assistant in the system.
Julie brings over ten years of management experience to the County in addition to a reputation for exceptional customer service and innovation. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in History from Bob Jones University.
A Vermont native, Julie grew up on a dairy farm and enjoys working with animals, especially horses. Her reading preferences are mostly nonfiction, particularly topics in business, psychology, and sustainable agriculture. “I am excited to welcome Julie to the Botetourt County family,” said Deputy County Administrator David Moorman. “More citizens and visitors engage with our libraries on a daily basis than almost any other department in local government. As a result, we needed a leader who could build up our libraries into the community hubs that they are meant to be. That leader is Julie.”
Julie’s hiring has been the result of a rigorous recruitment and hiring process. The interview panel consisted of Board of Supervisors member Steve Clinton, County Administrator Gary Larrowe, Deputy County Administrator David Moorman, Director of Human Resources Mary Blackburn, Scot Finley, President of the Library Board, and Shari Henry, Director of Roanoke County Libraries.
After submitting application materials, top-ranked applicants completed a first-round interview that focused on overall community library knowledge and experience, management and leadership experience, and general philosophy and values.
Second-round interviews focused on more technical skills, more complex leadership and management skills, and the candidates’ ability to be effective in Botetourt. Candidates then completed a timed written assessment designed to measure specific knowledge and skill areas as well as communications and critical thinking.
Reference and background checks were used to verify and supplement the information provided during the process.County leadership is especially grateful to all of the assistance received during this process, especially from the library board and from Roanoke County Libraries
.Julie begins her tenure with Botetourt County on June 10th, and her primary office will be at the Blue Ridge Library.