When David Plunkett, a 15-year employee of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library system, was selected as part of a nationwide search to be the organization’s next director, it was by a unanimous vote from library system’s board.
“We were all just tickled that David applied,” said board President Peter McIntosh. “He’s well liked and respected and we expect him to continue the progress previous Director John Halliday made over 20 years.”
A Charlottesville native, Plunkett headed north to Brown University for his undergraduate studies. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and classics, Plunkett taught in Louisiana as a part of Teach for America. After four years of teaching, he went back to school, at Louisiana State University, for his graduate degree in library and information science.
Fate soon brought Plunkett back to Virginia and he started working in Children’s Services at the Gordon Avenue Library, part of the JMRL system. Plunkett spent the next 15 years making his way through the ranks until being promoted to director in December.
Halliday, who is staying on until the end of January, said he is happy with the board’s choice of Plunkett.
“It’s always nice when you find the best-qualified person in-house, and, in David’s case, it’s extra nice to see an important position going to someone who grew up in Charlottesville, attended local public schools and loves the community,” Halliday said.
The library system serves an area as big as Delaware.
“My goal is for JMRL to provide equal access to information for all of the citizens of Albemarle, Charlottesville, Greene, Louisa and Nelson,” Plunkett said. “The challenges facing JMRL include securing adequate funds to meet those information needs, and providing the best facilities and staff possible for the citizens of our community to get the library service they expect and deserve.”
Plunkett will oversee a variety of projects, including the renovation and expansion of Nelson Memorial Library, renovation of the Central Library in downtown Charlottesville and the possible addition of a library in the Mill Creek area of Albemarle County.