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Jefferson Public Library manager loves helping others find favorite books
Amy Carlan has been the manager of the Jefferson Public Library since 2002. - photo by BRANDEE A. THOMAS

Meet your government

Every Monday, The Times takes a look at someone who keeps local government running smoothly.

If you’re looking for a good book to read, Amy Carlan should probably be one of the first people that you give a call for suggestions.

As the branch manager of the Jefferson Public Library, Carlan is pretty well-versed about the newest titles to hit the shelves, and she can also point you in the direction of a few good classics.

"Hands down, my favorite book is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee," said Carlan, a native of LaGrange.

Carlan earned a journalism degree from the University of Georgia in 1997 before starting at the Jefferson library. She started out at the library as an assistant in 1998 and was promoted to branch manager in 2002.

Although some people try to avoid the library and reading as much as possible, Carlan relishes being around the books.

With access to millions of books through the PINES system, Carlan’s job would be very difficult if she was more bibliophobic — someone with a fear of books.

"I have always loved libraries," said Carlan. "I love getting people the books that they want. I love buying books and then seeing people check them out. I also love meeting all of the really interesting people who come into our library."

As popular as the Jefferson library is, Carlan gets the opportunity to meet lots of people on a daily basis. Last month alone, patrons checked out more than 8,500 books and 1,100 DVDs.

When she checks out of the library at the end of her work day, Carlan says she’s usually busy doing a home craft project.

"If I’m not working, I’m probably cooking or decorating," Carlan said. "Or reading about cooking or decorating."