New library director

Brian D. Hart took on the position as the new director of the Forsyth County Public Library System earlier this month after the retirement of Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin on December 30, after 40 years of service.
Hart, who lives in Kernersville, was raised in Columbia, South Carolina. After high school, he earned his bachelor’s degree in English from South Carolina State University and his Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. He is currently working on completing his second Masters in Public Administration from Georgia College and State University.
Hart’s interest in serving in libraries started when he became a volunteer conversation partner in a program titled, “Let’s Speak English.”
“It gave me an opportunity to assist speakers of other languages with their command of the English language in a comfortable and non-judgmental setting,” he said. “This helped open my eyes to the breadth and depth of services that libraries offered to positively impact the communities they serve.”
Following his time as a volunteer, Hart found his first position as a library assistant and then a circulation supervisor at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC.
Since that time, Hart has worked in numerous other roles in various libraries, including Howard County Library System in Columbia, MD as the teen instructor and research specialist; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Hickory Grove Branch in Charlotte, NC as a librarian and assistant branch manager; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – BFR Regional Branch in Charlotte as the children’s services manager; Middle Georgia Regional Library in Macon, GA as the assistant director and head of public services; EveryLibrary in Riverside, IL as the director of special projects and initiatives; and more recently the Greensboro Public Library in Greensboro as the deputy director.
Hart took on the position as library director at the Forsyth County Public Library in Winston-Salem on May 4.
While his office is located at the Central Library in Winston-Salem, Hart mentioned that, among many other things, he works and supports a team of professionals and library staff across the county to provide vision and direction for all of Forsyth County Public Library’s 10 physical locations, to book mobiles, and the website, which offers residents access to a host of online databases, digital resources and virtual programs.
When asked why he chose to enter the library field, Hart said he really appreciates community.
“I just really appreciate community and the opportunity to assist in their advancement. From providing story-times that promote early childhood literacy and school readiness to regularly assisting individuals with resumes and other professional resources that promote workforce development and/or support their entrepreneurial efforts. Libraries help to enhance a community’s overall quality of life, so I am honored to be able to assist and positively impact Forsyth County in that way,” he said.
Hart said, naturally, he enjoys reading and noted that his favorite genre is nonfiction, particularly inspirational or self-help books.
In looking to the future during the COVID-19 coronavirus, Hart spoke to the interests of those wanting to know when libraries will reopen.
“Our staff is currently working on a phased re-opening plan that will eventually allow us to safely and responsibly reopen our physical locations to invite customers back into the buildings,” he said. “Until then, we ask that customers take full advantage of our ‘To-Go’ Library, which allows them to reserve or request materials from their homes and then visit their neighbor branch or preferred location to pick up the materials from our lobbies.”
To read more about Hart and his message to the community after being hired, visit the Forsyth County Library website, www.forsyth.cc/Library/directors_message.aspx.

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