Lebanon librarian takes delight in books, eagles

ALESIA BURNLEY

Lebanon-Wilson County Library System Director

108 S. Hatton Ave., Lebanon 

(615) 444-0632

Hours: Closed for renovations until Jan. 6.

The Lebanon library, which opened in 1938, has 70,000 books and 16 employees.

Lebanon-Wilson County Library System Director Alesia Burnley, a native of Jefferson County, has served 25 of her 27 years as a librarian locally.

Burnley, who attended the University of Tennessee, received her certification in public library management from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Her first job was working with Miller’s Department Store in Knoxville.

She chose her profession because of her love of books and desire to help people. “Basically, I lived in the library when I was in high school,” she said.

The biggest change she has noticed in libraries over the years? “Technology,” she answered. “The computers, going digital and audio and eBooks.”

As for hobbies, Burnley said, “I like reading, singing, hiking and crafts and gardening. I collect eagle figurines, photos and have an eagle license plate on my truck.”

Q&A

1: What living author would you love to meet?  Janette Oke

2: Do you remember the first book you read? “The Pokey Little Puppy”

3: What is your favorite book? I have many favorites including the Bible, “Christy” by Catherine Marshall and “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery.

4: What is the most recent book you read? “Hounds of the Basket Stitch” by Anne Canadeo

5: What is one book you believe everyone should read? The Bible

6: What do you do for a great escape or to get away from it all? Hiking in the Smokies

7: What’s the most treasured item you keep at your desk?My family pictures

8: What museum would you most love to visit? The Smithsonian's American History Museum

9: How many books are in your home? Over 200

10: What is something about you people might be surprised to know? I sing in my church choir.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Shelving books initiated career for Mt. Juliet librarian 

TRACY HORVATH

Mt. Juliet Library director

2765 N. Mt. Juliet Road

(615) 758-7051

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday. 

The Mt. Juliet Library, which opened in the early 1980s, holds about 70,000 books and has 15 employees. 

Tracy Horvath has been a librarian for 20 years and has spent half her career with the Mt. Juliet Library where she is director. She was born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., and she received a library science degree at University of California, Berkeley. 

“I started working in the library when I was in college. I started book shelving,” said Horvath, whose first job was working at local apple festivals. 

About her why she made librarian her chosen profession, she said, “I really like working with people, and I wanted to be a support to the community.”

Regarding the biggest change she has observed in public libraries since she began her career, she said, “The library is no longer silent, but we have activities and entertainment. Libraries have become more of a community center, and people meet each other here and stay.” 

When not serving library guests, Horvath enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Q&A

1: What living author would you love to meet? Betty Birney

2: Do you remember the first book you read?  “Winne the Pooh”

3: What is your favorite book? I like too many books to pick one.

4: What is the most recent book you read? “How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World”

5: What is one book you believe everyone should read? “The World According to Humphrey”

6: What do you do for a great escape or to get away from it all? I go to the mountains.

7: What’s the most treasured item you keep at your desk? A Red Riding Hood doll made for me by one of the members of the Library Crochet Class.

8: What museum would you most love to visit? Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

9: Approximately how many books are in your home? 150

10: What is something about you people might be surprised to know? I was born in California.

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Part-time job proved path to Watertown Library 

PAMELA WIGGINS

Watertown Library branch manager 

206 Public Square

(615) 237-9700

Hours: 9:30 a.m,-5 p.m. Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Saturday; noon– 8 p.m. Tuesday. 

The Watertown Library, which opened in 1969, has 18,000-19,000 books and three employees.

Watertown Library branch manager Pamela Wiggins, born and raised in Hartsville, had two other careers before turning to books. She served as a dispatcher for 15 years for Trousdale County’s police, fire and 911 departments. After earning an elementary education from Cumberland University, she taught first grade for three years. She became a librarian while searching for a part-time job. 

“I applied during the summer reading program at Lebanon and got the position. I was there three years at Lebanon and went from part-time to full time,” said Wiggins, who has been working in the Watertown Library 12 years. 

“I think the biggest change I’ve see is going from book in hand to an electronic book,” said the Hartsville native, who has a daughter and two grandchildren that light up her life.

As for hobbies, she said, “I like to read. I knit and crochet, and I play games on my iPad.” 

Q&A

1: What living author would you love to meet? James Patterson

2: What was the first book that made you love reading? “Black Boy” by Richard Wright was the first book that gave me insight to other authors.

3: What is your favorite book? “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn

4: What is the most recent book you read? “The Perfect Couple” by Elin Hilderbrand

5: What is one book you believe everyone should read? “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

6: What do you do for a great escape or to get away from it all? I have an app on my iPad that colors by numbers.

7: What’s the most treasured item you keep at your desk for inspiration? A pen with lots of color. It reminds me that the world is full of bright people.

8: What museum would you most love to visit? Cheekwood Museum of Art

9: How many books are in your home? Hundreds

10: What is something about you people might be surprised to know? I’m really an introvert.

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Lebanon Library closed until Jan. 6 

The Lebanon Library will be closed until Jan. 6 for renovations.

“We are replacing carpet on all the floors and painting and renovating the public bathrooms,” Wilson County Library System Director Alesia Burnley said.

No items will be due during this time but should be turned in once the library reopens.

The Mt. Juliet and Watertown libraries will be open. EBooks can still be checked out on the website (youseemore.com/lebanon-wilson/). Anyone with questions may message the library on Facebook (facebook.com/LebanonTNLibrary/).

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