By Angela Higginbotham
Maribeth Wood was born in Richmond, Va., and moved to Florida in 2001. She earned her degree from the University of North Florida in Elementary Education. After a brief move to England, Wood decided to gain additional education in Library Information Science. She earned her masters in 2013 and began her journey as a librarian in Ocala. She later moved back to the Jacksonville area and served at the Bartram Trail Branch Library before continuing her career with the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library as the library’s reference librarian one year ago.
Wood is passionate about outreach and community involvement. Many new programs and classes for both adults and children are a credit to Wood’s hard work in Ponte Vedra. Over the past year, Wood has introduced “Make and Take” crafting events and “Books and Bites” events combining reading, culture and food. She’s also coordinated special speaker events at the library. Wood was responsible for writing the winning grant that allowed the St. Johns County Library System to bring author Lisa Wingate to St. Augustine for a popular author visit and culminating event for the St. Johns Reads program. She was recently recognized at the Library System’s Staff Development Day for “Making a great impact” in the Library System over the past year.
In May, she graduated from the St. Johns County Leadership Academy, an eight-week course for 10 St. Johns County employees selected by their department head and presented by County Administrator Michael Wanchick.
- What do you enjoy most about the Ponte Vedra area regarding your work at the library there?
I love how receptive everyone has been. The response has been overwhelming to the cooking classes and all the programs. It really validates that there is a need and an interest.
- What are some more of the programs or events you’ve started at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library?
We have so much going on and have so many summer programs for adults and children. Cooking classes, a wildlife series for all ages and the St. Johns Riverkeeper will be out. The Florida Department of Protection will be doing a class for us. We have a shark program coming. Plant classes, for people interested in planting the right plants in the right place. Cooking classes, watercolor classes and book clubs. There’s so many choices coming and there really is something for everyone. I encourage residents to check out the website for a list of what’s going on and when .
- What are your goals career wise?
My dream is to be a branch manager one day. I love what I do and just want to do it better and more — and a manager is the goal.
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to crochet and do crafts. I read a lot, of course. Harry Potter is my favorite, but I love all fantasy and historical fiction. I do love audio books, so that I can do other things while listening. I love to travel with my boyfriend, Ray. We love National Parks.
- What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m actually an introvert. I kind of turn myself on for work and then when I go home, I flip the switch back off.
Photo courtesy Maribeth Wood