May 29, 2014 : Imagine Your Possibilities: Pickerington Library Director Suellen Goldsberry
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – When Suellen Goldsberry was in fourth grade, she stood outside the Old Carnegie Library on East Columbus Street in Pickerington and thought she wanted to be a library director someday.
“My father served on the library board for a while and I just felt a connection to libraries,” said Goldsberry. “But it took me a while to pursue that dream.”
Goldsberry started college right after high school at a small school in Kentucky. But she wasn’t happy. For her sophomore year, she decided to stay at home and go to Ohio University Lancaster. However, her plans changed before she finished her degree.
“I decided to get married and start a family,” said Goldsberry. “After several years, I wanted to go back to school. I started taking education classes. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I changed majors a few times. Then I finally settled on library science.”
While pursuing her Library Science Technology associate’s degree at Ohio University Lancaster, Goldsberry got a full-time job as the children’s librarian at the Pickerington Public Library. She ended up taking time off from school again. But in the spring of 2000, Goldsberry decided she was going back to school to finish, once and for all. Goldsberry knew she needed a degree to reach her dream of becoming a library director.
“I knew I needed to finish this. I met with the student services director and he looked at all the classes I had taken from all of my different times at OUL and recommended I pursue an Organizational Communication degree,” said Goldsberry.
During her first quarter of classes, Goldsberry’s father had a heart attack and passed away. Goldsberry did not know if she could continue. But one of her professors, Dr. Pam Kaylor, encouraged her to go on and gave her the necessary time to complete the coursework.
“I thought I couldn’t do this,” said Goldsberry. “Pam was so supportive and understanding.”
Goldsberry took classes in both Lancaster and Pickerington and graduated in the spring of 2004. During that time, she was promoted to assistant director of the Pickerington Public Library. She was only one step away from her goal, so Goldsberry decided to start the Master of Public Administration program at Ohio University in Athens. In 2006, Goldsberry was named director of the Pickerington Public Library.
Goldsberry and her youngest daughter, who was in kindergarten when she returned to school the first time, decided to work on the master’s program together. Goldsberry was the oldest in the class; her daughter was the youngest. Goldsberry completed all the courses, but still has a few papers to write before completing the degree.
“I can’t believe that Ohio University has a bigger supporter of the regional campus system than me,” said Goldsberry. “If the Ohio University Lancaster Campus had not been there, I would not be where I am right now. I would not have fulfilled my fourth grade dream of becoming a library director. I truly enjoy the library. This is what I was meant to do.”