Although her mother was a librarian and she grew up surrounded by books, Julianne Moore never imagined she would become a librarian herself, although she admits, "I've always gravitated toward books."
Growing up in Arlington, Va., just south of the nation's capital, she worked as a "library page,” at minimum wage while in high school.
She confesses, "I hated shelving books!" She says that she also did her fair share of babysitting and lawn-mowing. When she was 16, she got a job working for a patent attorney.
Director Moore prefers to be called Juli. She has more than 33 staff members, most of whom work at the main library in Statesville, but she is also over the staff of the J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Branch Library and the Harmony Branch Library. The Mooresville Public Library is part of that town's government.
She has been an Iredell County resident now for 16 years and became the Iredell County Library director in December of 2018, taking over from Steve Messick, who retired after 22 years as director.
This year's budget for the Statesville, Troutman and Harmony libraries was more than $2 million. The three libraries in the Iredell County system have some 200,000 items, and serve some 70,000 patrons. Books, audio books, eBooks and eAudios are some of the items at the library branches.
Moore said she wanted to attract more young adults to the library. "There's a gap between the time they graduate from high school or college," she explained, "and the time when they have children and begin to bring their children to the library for books and programs.”
She also would like to do more for the Spanish-speaking portion of Iredell's population. As the library is currently organized, non-fiction books in Spanish are in one part of the library, novels and other fiction works in Spanish are in another and children's and young adult Spanish books are in another. “I'd like to centralize those books somewhere on the main floor for this growing part of our population."
Also, on the main floor she would like a display of new books of all categories where patrons would see them when they came in.
In addition, she's interested in changing the physical layout of the main library's basement, where the children's department is located. This is to be done after the environmental clean-up work there is completed.
Being over the Troutman and Harmony libraries has led her to consider changes there also. Moore worked at the Troutman Library before returning to the Main Library and working in circulation.
"Troutman's library needs a meeting room. As it is," she said, "if they have a program it is held in the center of the room as people come in to get books off the shelves."
In addition, she also hopes to re-institute some Sunday hours at the main library in the future. "For some people, Sunday was the best day to go to the library. I'd like to change that back," she said.
When asked to enumerate the strengths of our county libraries, she said, “We three libraries have a great collection of materials, and a great staff, as evidenced by the very small staff turnover. They value what they do. When we had to clean out the children's department and move the materials upstairs, the entire staff worked and moved 48,000 items in two days, Friday and Saturday, and we were open for business on Monday."
As one might expect, Moore is a reader. She said she had always loved fiction, but now was reading more non-fiction, particularly books relating to leadership and administration. She still reads mystery stories, and is fond of authors Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Lisa Gardner and David Baldacci. As a youngster, she read most of the Nancy Drew mystery series.
Education-wise, she graduated from a public high school in Virginia, got her associate degree from Mitchell Community College, got her Bachelor’s degree online in 2010 from National Louis University in Chicago, and her Master's degree in Library Science in 2014 from Appalachian State, also online. She literally started at the bottom of the system here: she was the branch manager at the Troutman Library, then returned to the Main Library and took on the duties of Youth Services Head Librarian. With Assistant Director Peggy Carter’s retirement, Julie became assistant director, and is today The Boss.
Besides reading, Moore says she enjoys travel. In 1985 she and her mother and grandmother visited Czechoslovakia and Hungary and were able to go to her great-grandmother's village and meet some of her relatives in what is now Slovakia.
She is a grandmother herself. Two of her grandchildren live in Statesville and the other lives out-of-state. She and her husband, Gordon, have four children.
“This library is a great one,” she said. “Libraries are a safe place to meet people. Besides books, we offer programs on many topics, meeting and greeting authors, cooking programs. I want to do more of that sort of thing.”
Albert Einstein is quoted as having said, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”
Iredell County’s library director would probably agree with him.