Regional Librarian Rev. John Paul Myrick recently announced personnel changes in the management of the Cross County Library. Asti Ogletree, known by area children as “Miss Tree”, the Operations Manager for the Cross County Library for many years, has recently announced her resignation. She will be moving out-of-state with her family and husband, who is taking a promotion with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Ogletree, who earned her Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature in 2017 and her Masters in Library and Information Science in 2019 from the University of Southern Mississippi 2018 plans to continue her career in librarianship. Ogletree was first hired by the East Central Arkansas Regional Library (ECARL) as Youth Coordinator at the Cross County location in 2015, handling all children’s programs. Upon the departure of Claire Miller, who left the Library to take a position in near her family in Missouri in 2017, Ogletree was promoted to County Operations Manager over the public libraries in Cross County. “We’re going to miss Asti terribly.” said Myrick. “Asti is like family, and she has taken this position, and raised its visibility in the community while implementing many new fantastic services and programs here at the library. When I promoted her I knew she would be great. I had no idea how great she actually would be.” Despite having some “big shoes” to fill, Myrick and the Library was lucky to find some “big feet” to go in them. After advertising the search among library associations and library and information science schools across several states, Mr. William C. “Stony” Evans of Bismarck, Arkansas has been selected as Ogletree’s replacement. Evans holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Ouachita State University, a Master’s in Music Education and a Masters of Library and Information Technologies (School Media/Librarianship) from the University of Central Arkansas, and a Master’s of Science in Library Science from the College of Information at the University of North Texas. He is retired from years of service as a high school band director and school media specialist in Arkansas, having last served with the Bryant School District. Evans is well known within the Library profession, particularly in School Librarianship. In addition to having published four articles or book chapters in professional publications he has also presented on issues relating to librarianship and technology at many educational and library science conferences around the country. These include multiple presentations for the Arkansas Association of School Librarians and the national Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2017. He is recognized nationally as a specialist in technology in libraries, and publishes the Library Media Tech Talk Blog which has a national following online. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Mr. Evans is a Warrant Officer 1 in the Arkansas Army National Guard, and is the Unit Commander of the 106th United States Army Band, headquartered at Camp Robinson. The 106th includes the main concert band, a Brass Quintet, and a Jazz Combo in which Evans plays the saxophone. Despite his experience and recognition in libraries, this will be Evans’ first public library post. Mr. Evans and his wife Cindy, also a retired teacher and school media specialist, are members of the Baptist faith, and will be moving to Cross County soon. Evans will work together will Ogletree in the coming weeks, attend his annual National Guard summer drill, complete the move to Wynne, and begin full-time in mid-July.
“In the current employment environment, it is hard to find anyone.” said Myrick. We’re exceptionally lucky that we found someone with Stony’s incredible credentials willing to come to our community. It speaks well of both Cross County and for ECARL. That combo has allowed us to attract some great talent through the years. We’re looking forward to Stony joining us, and building on and greatly expanding to the great program of service left by Asti for the Library and for the county’s citizens. Stony is talented, knows our existing technological systems, has heavy experience working with children, and understands where the Library Board wants to take the library. He will be a great asset, and will help us get there.