Virginia Library Association honors CRRL’s Margaret Beattie and Jessie Farrow

Two CRRL librarians were lauded at the 2018 Virginia Library Association conference for their commitment to providing high-quality library services in our community. The state library association rewarded Margaret J. Beattie with an honorary life membership, while Jessie Farrow received VLA's annual Up and Comer Award.

Margaret was a newlywed fresh from college when she applied for her first job at Central Rappahannock Regional Library in 1978. Over her nearly 40-year career at CRRL, Margaret would work as a cataloger, head of the library’s juvenile department, and branch manager of the Headquarters (Fredericksburg) facility - a position from which she would retire. In 1979, along with a paraprofessional coworker, Margaret spearheaded the development of the Paraprofessional Forum in the Virginia Library Association, now known as the Professional Associates Forum.

To her coworkers, Margaret was an indomitable spirit. She mentored younger employees and made certain they were given every opportunity to hone their own skills. Even employees who didn’t work directly with or for Margaret considered her to be an indispensable asset as she was quick to help in any situation and could be counted on to find a solution to nearly any problem. If Margaret’s years at CRRL could be easily summed up in a single phrase, it would simply be: “She was committed to lifelong learning and building community.”

Jessie Farrow graduated with a master's degree in library science from Florida State University in 2015 and joined CRRL as a full-time youth services librarian in November of the same year. Although Jessie's primary job duty is providing programming for CRRL's youngest customers with Grow a Reader classes and Fabulous Friday events, she also writes Library Lowdown, the library's e-newsletter for local elementary schools, and is the YA Clicks columnist for VOYA magazine. Additionally, Jessie is a valued member of CRRL's Café Book and social media teams and serves as the contact for her branch's MakerLab.

Jessie is a leader and has a work ethic and an ability to balance and prioritize that belies her youth. She sets a positive tone that is contagious among co-workers, volunteers, library customers, and community members. No matter the situation, Jessie determines what needs to be done and sets about doing it with a pleasant, professional, and positive attitude.