Pat Peters is a self-proclaimed city girl.
She grew up in the suburbs of Austin and has lived and worked in the Denton/Lewisville area for years.
But after just one week as director of Decatur Public Library, she’s relishing the nuances of working in a small town.
“Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming …,” she said. “It’s been nice.”The City of Decatur hired Peters to replace Cecilia Barham, who resigned in October, and she comes to Wise County from the Lewisville Public Library, where she was youth services supervisor. Her first day was Monday.
“Every day I drive through a different part of the town to check it out,” she said. “… and I’ve already found local places to eat and shop.”
Peters had been with the Lewisville library for almost 11 years and said she was ready for a change.
She was acquainted with Barham through the Texas Library Association and decided to apply for the Decatur post when she heard her fellow librarian was going to North Richland Hills.
“It was the perfect opportunity to come into a wonderful situation with community support to a place that’s running smoothly and things are in place,” she said.
Peters started her career in library services with a focus on children’s programs, working at a private school and in public libraries. She then spent several years in children’s ministry at her church, First United Methodist in Denton, before returning to library services in Lewisville.
Peters received her masters of library science from the University of North Texas and also has a master of arts in English literature.
Betty Carson, president of the Decatur Library Board, said Peters is a “good fit.”
“She’s a very warm, approachable person,” she said. “She seems very enthusiastic and excited about being here. … I’m really pleased.”
Carson also expressed her appreciation for Abby Dozier, the library’s youth services manager who has served as interim library director.
“The library is in a good place right now,” Carson said. “They’ve got programs the community likes, needs and wants, and the children’s programs are continuing to go well.”
Peters said she is getting “the lay of the land” and looks forward to meeting more people in the community. She wants to evaluate library programs and determine if there any others that citizens would like to see. Peters also wants to get involved with the Chamber of Commerce and make sure business owners know about library services that might be of interest to them.
“I’ve never been the face of the library before, so I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “And the staff here is great. Everyone is passionate and … they’re excited about the possibilities for the future.”
Peters and her husband, Jeff, live in Denton and have two grown children.