Weese takes job as director of Elizabethton library

John Thompson • Oct 29, 2019 at 7:41 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Elizabethton Public Library Board won’t have to make any introductions for its selection for library director.

Bernadette Weese was promoted from within the library. She had been patron services supervisor. She is also well known in Washington County after working at the Washington County Public Library in Jonesborough for thee years. Her husband, Spenser Weese, is also well known in Greeneville. He works with the band at Greeneville High School.

The local connections could have caused some difficulties when Elizabethton and Greeneville met for football game with statewide implications a couple of weeks ago. The couple managed to ride out the rivalry, but Weese said she made sure not to have any Green Devil green in her wardrobe that week.

Weese said her mother is a librarian and now serves as regional director of the Wythe-Grayson Regional Library in Virginia. Growing up, Weese said her mother’s vocation did not influence her decision to be a librarian.

Instead of the family connection, Weese said her mother merely suggested she apply for a job where there was a vacancy she knew about at the Washington County Library. Weese took her mother’s advice and got the job.

Weese was a student at East Tennessee State University, where she took the courses that interested her and ended up graduating with a double major and double minor. Her majors were in history and philosophy. Her minors were in English and classical studies.

When it came time to find a job that fit that combination without becoming a teacher, a librarian proved to be a sound solution. That explains her more job-centered minors of information science when she went for her master’s at the University of Tennessee.

With the strong roots that she and her husband share, Weese has definite thoughts about what she would like to accomplish in her career as library director. She is very familiar with the projects the library has been working on in the past few years, both in the city and in Carter County.

One of the projects she wants to extend is to include another storybook trail section on the Tweetsie Tail. The first one has proven successful just off the campus of Harold McCormick Elementary School in the city.

Weese would like to continue that storybook trail while developing another one for students of the county. The natural fit is Happy Valley Elementary School. The Tweetsie Trail is just across the Milligan Highway from the school’s campus.

With her deep roots and institutional knowledge, it appears Weese will quickly be up to full speed as the new director of the library.