Have you met Cathy King Ripley? Cathy is a library assistant at the Fincastle branch of the Botetourt County Libraries, where she has worked full-time since 2003. Cathy is a graduate of James River High School, and has earned an AAS in Education from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, a BS in Early Childhood Development from East Tennessee State University, Virginia Teacher Certification from Lynchburg College, and attended the Institute of Children’s Literature at Charter Oak State College with a concentration in Writing for Children and Teenagers. Before accepting her position at Fincastle Library, Cathy taught preschool, kindergarten, and first and second grade, in both the private and public sector. She has also worked in the kitchen at Camp Fincastle, in the print shop at DSLCC, in the library at ETSU, and co-owned a daycare.
Cathy begins each morning at the library by finding items that patrons have requested, checking in items that have been returned, and putting returns back on the shelves. During the day, Cathy helps patrons, answers the phone, repairs damaged library materials, and prepares new materials for checkout. She puts covers on books, puts the labels and stamps on new library materials, and makes sure the information on those labels matches what’s on the item’s record in the computer. This helps to ensure that you can easily find what you’re looking for when you search the library’s catalog.
One of Cathy’s favorite things about working at the library is that she gets to be so involved in the community. Cathy says, “A particular project that I feel privileged to be a part of is the outreach program we do with the local Fincastle LOA Diner’s Club. Once a month, April through November, I visit the group with a project that allows for fellowship and growth of mental and fine motor skills. It is my extreme pleasure to work with this group of older adults, forming a bond individually and through the libraries with them. Our county has so many older adults who have many rich memories of life in Botetourt. I look forward to when the threat of COVID-19 passes and we can safely resume this outreach with them.”
Cathy is a native of Botetourt County, where she currently resides with her husband Steve, and their cat, Mahi. Cathy’s mother, father, and brother also live in Botetourt, and she has a sister who lives in North Carolina. Cathy is a lifelong member of Galatia Presbyterian Church in Eagle Rock. She has always been extremely interested in design, and likes doodling house plans and landscape designs, sewing, and decorating her home. Her style is “a mixture of rustic coastal cottage, shabby chic, and bohemian, with a tad of vintage thrown in for good measure.” Cathy likes to stay healthy, and her favorite forms of exercise include yoga, walking, and swimming. Cathy also enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with family.
Swing by the Fincastle branch to see Cathy sometime soon! She’ll meet you at the curb!
~ Audrey Clark