By Matt de Simone
Botetourt County’s departments consist of hardworking, driven, and accomplished employees who continue to make Botetourt a wonderful place to live.
Fincastle Library Branch Manager Sarah Rodgers joined Botetourt County Libraries last May. She was the first full-time branch manager at Blue Ridge, since the branch had previously been managed by the Library Director in a dual role. In January, Rodgers transferred over to the Fincastle branch becoming its new Branch Manager.
Rodgers grew up in the Blue Ridge/Bedford area and is a graduate of Staunton River High School. At an early age, Rodgers’s mom and Sarah would read Bubble Bubble by Mercer Mayer taking the pictures given in the picture book and created their own story. Rodgers attributes this early experience reading being one of the first instances where Rodgers discovered her love for books.
“I really love working in Botetourt County because I live in Botetourt,” Rodgers said in a recent interview. “Previously, I had to drive 45 minutes to get to work (in Roanoke County). I tried to stay in touch with the community but it wasn’t where I was living, so it wasn’t my neighbors I saw coming in and things like that. I really love working in (the Fincastle Library) because I’m contributing back to the community I live in. I can have conversations (with residents) on a day-to-day basis to see how we can better serve our community.”
Rodgers has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from James Madison University (JMU), a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Drexel University, and a Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech. Her work experience includes archeological digs, museums and a bookstore. She has almost 17 years’ experience in public libraries, filling a variety of roles at Roanoke County Public Libraries before coming to Botetourt: Circulation and Reference Assistant, Teen Librarian, Vinton Branch Manager, and Children’s Divisional Librarian.
Before transferring to JMU, Rodgers attended Roanoke College, met RC’s archivist, and got to know her, which piqued her interest in working in a library. When Rodgers arrived at JMU, she got a job at the university library.
“I originally wanted to go into education to become a teacher,” Rodgers recalled. “I actually started my Master’s in education and did an internship. Then I thought, ‘You know what? I think I would rather go into library.’ It still had that educational component but it was public education, so it was working with all age groups for a lot of different reasons and I liked that part of it.”
She enjoys listening to audio books while multi-tasking when she has a chance. Rodgers recently finished reading about the Vanderbilt family and also a juvenile fiction series. Additionally, she likes to read nonfiction, biographies, and books dealing with social issues.
Last year, Rodgers joined the Roanoke Valley Women’s Rugby team where she spent a season learning more about the game of rugby and enjoyed her time on the team.
“I [played rugby] last year and it was a lot of fun,” Rodgers said. “I really like the game and learning about the game because I never played before. I kind of just walked on to the team and they were very open to teaching. I really enjoyed it.”
Sarah currently lives in Troutville with her husband K.B. and her 5-year-old daughter Ellie. Rodgers ultimately loves working in the community where she lives.
“I grew up familiar with Botetourt County,” Rodgers said. “Botetourt County [Libraries] are great to work for because they’re so employee-focused, and I appreciate that, but overall, I just like working in the community I live in.”
For more information about Botetourt County Libraries, visit https://www.botetourtva.gov/161/Libraries.