By Debbie Adams
The Vinton Library has welcomed two new staff members: Senior Library Assistant Caitlin DeMarco and Senior Library Assistant–Youth Services, Jennifer Whitcomb.
While DeMarco was born in Pennsylvania, she grew up in the Glenvar area of Roanoke County. She holds a double undergraduate degree in Classical Civilization and European Studies from the College of William and Mary and earned her Master’s of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland.
Her duties will include working closely with Branch Manager Kimberly Burnette-Dean to “help keep the library running smoothly, as well as helping to develop programs for our adult patrons. We have a great staff of people who all work together well, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
“I actually started working as a library page at the Glenvar branch library when I was a high school student at Glenvar High,” said DeMarco. “Working there, helping the patrons and learning from the librarians how everything worked–that was what influenced me to pursue a career in libraries, as did my work at the library and archives of the History Museum of Western Virginia when I was home for the summer from college.”
“After I got my MLS, I worked as an archivist at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C.; at the archives of the World Bank; and then as a library assistant at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg,” DeMarco said. “When I saw the position available at Vinton, however, I jumped at the opportunity to come home–to Roanoke and to the Roanoke County Public Library system.”
“As a history fan, it has been fascinating to delve into Vinton history and I’m hoping to work on programs to highlight Vinton and its part of Roanoke County,” she commented. “I know my parents are thrilled to have me living in Roanoke again, though Covid has put a damper on actually being able to meet up. I look forward to us all being fully vaccinated!”
Outside of work, DeMarco says, “It’s cliché, but I love reading–fiction, non-fiction, pretty much anything. I dabble in fiction writing and crochet. I’m also a big fan of walking, particularly in nature, so I look forward to rediscovering the trails around Roanoke!”
Jennifer Whitcomb grew up in “the beautiful town of Northampton, Massachusetts.” She will be overseeing the Children’s and Young Adult departments.
Her duties will include presenting story times and programs, managing the children’s and YA collections, staffing the children and YA service desk, and contributing virtual content for RCPL’s social media accounts.
“We have lots of wonderful take-and-create kits and virtual programs that children in Vinton can take part in while we are waiting for in-person programming to return,” Whitcomb notes. “For March, the Children’s department is offering lots of fun virtual programming including take-home Wonder Packs, Storytime @ Home, Mo in March (which focuses on all-things Mo Willem), Spring Into Fiction Book Club, Spring PreK Dance Party, and more! Patrons can check the Program Schedule on the Roanoke County Public Library website or call the Vinton library for more details!”
Whitcomb is currently completing her Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree at Valdosta State University. She expects to graduate in August 2021. She received her BA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts in 2007.
“Before coming to the Vinton Library in February of 2021, I had worked at the South County Library for six years,” said Whitcomb. “Most of that time was spent exclusively in the Children’s Department, where I staffed a high-volume service desk, supported the Children’s Librarian, and presented story times and other various programs.”
Whitcomb and her family have lived in Vinton for seven years and “it has always been an interest of mine to work at the Vinton Library. I look forward to getting to know our Vinton patrons and getting involved in community outreach in the future.”
Whitcomb has eleven-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) who are fifth graders at Herman L. Horn Elementary School.
“Early literacy became a passion of mine after becoming a mother and dedicating myself to fostering a continuing love of reading with my own children,” Whitcomb says. “Working with the library, and specifically with children, felt like a natural progression.”
Her hobbies include handloom weaving, macramé, gardening, hiking with her family and their dog, reading middle grade and YA fiction, and visiting local craft breweries.
The Vinton Library is now open by reservation for County residents, Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., with visitors not to exceed 25% normal occupancy. Patrons may make reservations for one hour time slots via https://www.roanokecountyva.gov/2421/Vinton-Library or by calling the library at 540-857-5043. Curbside service is also available.