New executive director to be promoted at Sequoyah Library System

After 32 years of local library service, Anita Summers will retire as executive director of the Sequoyah Regional Library System on Feb. 1. (Courtesy of Sequoyah Regional Library System)

Credit: Sequoyah Regional Library System

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After 32 years of local library service, Anita Summers will retire as executive director of the Sequoyah Regional Library System on Feb. 1. (Courtesy of Sequoyah Regional Library System)

Credit: Sequoyah Regional Library System

Credit: Sequoyah Regional Library System

Upon her retirement on Feb. 1, Anita Summers will be replaced by Angela Cortellino as the new executive director of the Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS).

Cortellino is the sole finalist to be chosen by the personnel committee of the Sequoyah Regional Library Board of Trustees.

The board of trustees will vote to make an official appointment later in January, according to an SRLS statement.

“We are forever grateful for Anita’s time as SRLS Executive Director and for all that she and her team have accomplished under her diligent leadership,” said Jane Shelnutt chair of the SRLS Board of Trustees.

“Her dedication to service excellence, meaningful library partnerships and continuous learning has made an indelible impact on the Sequoyah Regional Library System and the communities which it serves,” Shelnutt added.

Summers expressed appreciation for the many opportunities that SRLS has provided her during her 32-year tenure with the system.

“I am very blessed to have been part of a forward-thinking system with supportive trustees, dedicated staff and library-loving communities,” Summers said.

Cortellino has served as deputy director for SRLS since 2016, after joining the system in 2015 as the public services director.

Before joining the Sequoyah system, which includes Cherokee, Pickens and Gilmer counties, she worked at public libraries in Hall and Lumpkin counties.

Cortellino holds a master’s of science degree in Information Technology from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science.

She is a member of the Georgia Library Association, where she serves as advocacy chair.

Cortellino was awarded the Georgia Library Professional Commendation for Outstanding Service in 2021 and chosen one of the 2021 Cherokee County Top 10 Under 40 Professionals to Watch.

In her present role with the library system, she heads up communication and collaboration of the library system, provides leadership to all employees, leads efforts on customer service, and helps develop and monitor budgets.

Summers joined the staff of SRLS in July 1989 as branch manager of the Gilmer County Library in Ellijay.

She was named assistant director of the library system in 2008 and chosen by the SRLS Board of Trustees as executive director in 2014.

As executive director, Summers has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of public library operations in the three-county system and carrying forward the policies, goals and objectives adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Under her leadership, SRLS experienced growth in circulation and program attendance, expanded service hours and digital resources, increased staff pay, expanded staff development and training, increased library outreach and visibility, established new partnerships, began the growth of a “Library of Things” collection and added new library technology.