Charlotte County has a new leader for its library system

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 11, 2023

Maggie Allbee loves books. The new director of the Charlotte County Library system said she doesn’t know how to live without books around her. That love fuels her enjoyment of the job and has for almost 20 years.

Allbee said she started working in libraries back in 2004. Over the years, she’s worked in public libraries in South Carolina, at the Savannah College of Art and Design and then the Henrico Public Library, before she and her husband decided to make the move to Charlotte County. In a way, she said, it was like coming home.

“I spent a good portion of my childhood in Cumberland County (and) my mom lives in Farmville,” Allbee said. “We had been living in Midlothian and wanted to move out to this area, to move to the country. It just seemed like a good fit. We found a little house down in Keysville and just fell in love with it.”

Then the director position opened up for the library system and Allbee jumped at it.

“I thought, well, I can become really involved in my community and that’s something I want to do,” she said.

Allbee said she really enjoys helping people and creating order out of chaos. That’s partly what drew her to the Charlotte County job.

“Being in a library, you’ve got to keep everything ordered and squared away,” she said. “Here, I also get to meet other people who like books all day. It’s great. It’s very fulfilling to help people and be a part of the community.”

And there’s also just the joy of being around so many books. Her favorite book at the moment, Allbee said, is The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

“It is a mystery,” she said, adding that the book is “so very well written, with complex characters and beautiful writing.”

A bit about the Charlotte County system

One thing she wants to do is raise awareness of the system. Too many people, she said, don’t realize the county has four libraries, let alone what programs are taking place. She plans to change that, while also expanding the number of events happening at each.

“I would like to see the Charlotte County library play a bigger role in the community,” Allbee said. “I want to build contacts with local government, with nonprofits, with the schools. I just want to get a little more on everybody’s radar, to let them know that we’re here to support them, to encourage reading and community involvement.”

Allbee’s own son will enter Eureka Elementary this year, so that’s a personal reason she wants to build the relationship with Charlotte County Public Schools.

“We haven’t had a very close relationship there and I want to change that, to change that with all the schools,” she said.

As far as programs go, she wants to focus more on the county’s history.

“One thing that’s really been interesting to me about Charlotte County is all the rich history we have here,” Allbee said. “I would love to get some historical programs going.”

She also points out the local history and genealogical room at the main branch in Charlotte Court House. Allbee wants to draw more attention to it, letting people know it’s available for use.

Where are the libraries located?

The county’s four library branches are located at 300 King Street in Keysville, 112- 116 LeGrande Avenue in Charlotte Court House, Charlotte Street in Phenix and Highway 15 in Wylliesburg.