Sonya Gaither has been named Director of the Hightower Library and Professor of Library Science at Gordon State College.
She comes to Gordon State from Georgia Southern University where she was the Library Assessment Officer.
Gaither earned her Ed.D. in educational administration from Georgia Southern University, A master’s in library service from Clark-Atlanta University and a bachelor’s in computer science with a minor in mathematics from LaGrange College.
“I was drawn to Gordon because I saw this as a greater challenge, and I felt very at home here,” she said. “This also affords me an opportunity to be closer to my family who live in the College Park and Atlanta areas.”
Gaither became interested in libraries through her late godparents, Frank and Laura Lewis. Frank Lewis was the long-time library director at LaGrange College while Laura worked in the college’s admission office. The LaGrange College library was dedicated the Frank and Laura Lewis Library in their honor in 2009.
“He hired me as a student assistant,” she said. “When I realized that you could use a computer in library work, I was hooked.”
She enjoys spending time with her family, going to the movies, bowling and reading a variety of books.
“I can’t really name a favorite,” she says. “I lean toward motivational and inspirational themes but I also have a bad habit of starting books and moving on to a different book before finishing the first one.”
After nearly 40 years, Hightower Library is about to undergo a major face lift which will include refreshing and updating the interior and creating a book repository on the first floor of Guillebeau Hall, which is behind the library on Stafford Avenue.
Gaither is excited about growing the library’s collection to better support Gordon’s growing academic programs.
“I want to make sure that students and faculty know that this is the library and we have many things to offer,” she said. “I’d like to start a news blog and share information on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.”
And despite the growing use of Kindles and the like, Gaither says there will always be a need for a library building and actual books.
“People will always, at least for many, many generations to come, want to hold an actual book,” she said. “There is certainly a place for technology in a library, but books will also have a place. Besides, students will always need a quiet place to study, and we certainly provide that.”