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Library director heads to Danville

Joe Zappacosta has resigned his job as director of the Halifax County-South Boston Library and is headed to Danville where he will serve as director of Danville Public Library.

Zappacosta offered his resignation to the Halifax County-South Boston Library Board during its meeting Tuesday. His last day will be Sept. 30. 

Zappacosta, who has held the library director’s job here for almost two and a half years, said he plans to continue living with his family in South Boston after he starts work at his Danville job on Oct. 1.

“I am grateful for being given the opportunity to become the library director of the Danville Public Library,” he said. “I am enthusiastic about making a positive contribution to the library and the community.  I look forward to meeting everyone and working with the staff of the library and the Parks and Recreation Department.”

Library Board Chairman Bee Edmunds Espy praised Zappacosta for his work in the county libraries and said the board will miss him.

“We’re excited to have Joe join our staff,” said Danville Parks and Recreation Director Bill Sgrinia. “We feel that he is a perfect fit for our community and will help our library continue its longstanding traditions of quality customer service and progressive innovations.”

The Halifax County – South Boston Public Library System will accept applications to fill the library’s director’s position through Sept. 20. 

Zappacosta’s resignation comes on the heels of last month’s resignation of South Boston Branch Director Jessika Pettit.

He told board members he has received a half dozen applications from people seeking the job, all of whom have masters degrees in library science.

The board set a special called meeting for Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 4:30 p.m. to consider the applications.

In other business, Zappacosta revealed the bar association is in favor of moving the law library to the Halifax County Library. 

 “The bar association has agreed to go along with the project. They plan to meet one more time to add any additional comments to the letter written by the board before we send it to the judges,” he said.

The board of supervisors is next to approve after local judges. 

According to Zappacosta, the bar association is also considering bringing a member of their association to the library board to help manage the law library. 

Discussions first began in February when the Halifax Public Library was being considered as a future home for the law library.

Halifax County Circuit Court Clerk Bobby Conner said he feels moving it to the county library will help the library with funding issues.

 “The funds we receive will be reserved for maintaining the law library including paying for staff and the building,” Zappacosta said.

The library director also presented the board with statistics on circulation, patron visits and programming for both libraries, the Halifax  and South Boston libraries.

 “Patron visits are up ever so slightly, and programming is down ever so slightly,” said Zappacosta. 

Sue Brooks was noted for bringing in “a larger crowd each time” as she continues her Early Learning Literacy program, which focuses on children from 0 to 3 years old

According to Zappacosta, “Brooks plans to expand her programs to Head Start program and some of the larger daycares.”   

The strategic plan also was reviewed. 

“In my absence, I hope that whoever comes in next will pick up where the strategic plan left off and continue to allow it to have a community-based style. We brought the community in, and we were focused on the community,” said Zappacosta. 

The library director said he has signed up the library to have a booth at this year’s Harvest Festival in South Boston. The library also plans to have a booth at the Halifax County Fair but has not signed up yet.