Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Women in Leadership

During Women's History Month, we are excited to highlight several of the women who hold leadership positions within MCPL.

Rita W. Gale, Public Services Administrator (PSA) for Facilities & Strategic Planning

Rita Gale speaking at an event
PSA Rita Gale speaks at the
closing ceremony for the previous
Silver Spring Library building.
Career with MCPL
I began my career with Montgomery County in 1986 after working in public libraries in Webster Groves, Missouri and Elk Grove Village, Illinois. I started with MCPL as the branch manager of the Potomac branch and was later transferred to Rockville Memorial as its branch manager. I was soon promoted to my current position as a PSA.

Current Role
In my role as a PSA, I have overseen different regions of the branches and have done customer service and personnel work.

What excites you most about working in libraries?
The opportunity to learn something new every day. In my career in MCPL, I’ve had exposure to personnel work, customer service, and now facilities and strategic planning. I’ve gained experience by “doing” the work and by interacting with great staff who have shared their knowledge and experience and helped me to grow my own knowledge and experience.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling (particularly visiting national parks in the United States), going to local craft shows, and collecting small boxes, baskets, and Marie Osmond dolls.

What are you reading now?
In preparation for a trip to Glacier National Park this summer, I’m reading the Moon travel guide to Glacier National Park.

Parker Hamilton, Director

Parker Hamilton speaking at an event
Director Parker Hamilton speaking at the
launch event for the Library Link program
with Montgomery County Public Schools.
Career with MCPL
I began my career with MCPL in 1981. I was employed in positions at Aspen Hill, Chevy Chase, and Long Branch, and eventually served as branch manager at Long Branch and Davis. At the senior executive level within MCPL, I served as Public Services Administrator for Human Resources from 1993 to 2001. I served as an assistant chief administrative officer (ACAO) for the County prior to my appointment as MPCL's director in 2005.

Current Role
As the director, I have guided the system into the 21st century with new technologies; creative staffing; inventive service deliveries; focused partnerships with non-profit and community organizations; and strategic planning for the future. I am proud to have been recognized for my dynamic and innovative leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

What excites you most about working in libraries?
I love and am excited to work in libraries because of comments I receive from customers such as, “I love my library because it saved my life, taught me English, and got me a job.”

I enjoy playing games on my iPhone (favorites include Words with Friends, 7 Little Words, Monkey Wrench, and Letterpod); watching the Seattle Seahawks; and traveling by train.

What are you reading now?

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, to begin reading soon. I am also waiting for another hold, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

Carol Legarreta, PSA for Human Resources & Community Engagement

PSA Carol Legarreta leads a storytime at Germantown Library
PSA Carol Legarreta leads a storytime
at the Germantown branch.
Career with MCPL
I started at MCPL in 1982 as a Librarian I in Children's Services at Long Branch. After 11 years, I was promoted to a Librarian II; then a Senior Librarian; manager at the Silver Spring branch; then, in 2007, Public Services Administrator. Much of my professional career has been devoted to Children's Services, and I worked with a small team of Senior Librarians to bring the first early literacy training to MCPL. Over the years, I have trained MCPL staff in time management, book talking, weeding, and outreach.

Current Role
In my current position, I oversee the Outreach Team, Virtual Services, Programming and Community Engagement, and Human Resources; handle the Department's Memorandums of Understanding with partners; manage Noyes Library for Children; and am the Early Literacy Coordinator for MCPL.

What excites you most about working in libraries?
I am most excited whenever I can connect customers with the programs, resources and services of MCPL. This happens when I am planning a new program, scheduling outreach, developing a partnership that will help MCPL reach a larger portion of the County’s residents, and planning and implementing a project, such as the Barbershop collections, that will not only reach new customers, but also help to close the County’s achievement gap.

I enjoy playing with my grandchildren, reading, and gardening.

What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading King Lear for the second time. The first time was to experience the beauty of the language; the second time is to understand the dynamics of the plot, characters and historical contexts.

Shorter versions of these bios also appeared in our March Check Us Out newsletter. Didn't see it? Subscribe today.

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