Hurlock Library Branch Manager is Sara Sears

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
Sara Sears

HURLOCK – From increasing programs to training new staff, Branch Manager Sara Sears has personally handled or overseen much of the growth that the Hurlock Library has experienced in the past year.

Ms. Sears began working at the Cambridge Library in 2017 as a part-time Library Clerk, quickly becoming a full-time staff member before her move to the Hurlock branch in 2018. This rapid rise, including her promotion in July of 2019, was not one she was expecting when she first came on board, but has since fueled a passion she continues to develop. “While I always enjoyed literature, it never occurred to me to pursue a career in library science,” but Ms. Sears continues to grow right into this niche.

Ms. Sears is one of just a handful of library staff members over the years who have spent a significant amount of time working at both branches. She considers it a “privilege to meet patrons from all across the county and connect with them about their love of literacy and libraries.” Working at both library branches has helped Ms. Sears form a more encompassing perspective and scope of understanding when it comes to library policies and procedures, the hiring and training of new staff members, and developing programs and item collections.

Ms. Sears is currently pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University. In both her professional and academic career she has discovered that “collection development is one of my favorite aspects of the job. It is my hope to connect each patron to a book they will love.”

Collection development is a vital, ongoing process which includes knowing the preferences and interests of library patrons and the community it serves. Recently, in her thorough maintenance of the children’s non-fiction collection, Ms. Sears determined that more informational books about animals were needed to better serve the voracious young readers coming into the library.

In recent months, the leadership team of the Dorchester County Public Library has been in the early planning stages for a new library building in Hurlock. Though the current building has long-served as the library, the need for a larger building to expand the programs, materials, and services offered can no longer be ignored.

While the project is still in its conceptual phase, Ms. Sears has been actively involved every step of the way; from sharing ideas at brainstorming sessions with architect, Tim Crosby, to speaking at a County Council meeting regarding the importance of the library within the Hurlock community. Her vision for the Hurlock Library, now and for the future, is to “foster a community-driven space for everyone that provides accessible and current resources.”