Dare County has announced that Meaghan Leenaarts Beasley, who has served as reference librarian for the Dare County Library since December 2021, has been promoted to the position of Dare County Librarian following the retirement of longtime East Albemarle Regional Library System Director Jonathan Wark. Wark’s last day of service to Dare County was Thursday, August 31, 2023.
Leenaarts Beasley initially began her service to Dare County as a volunteer for the Kill Devil Hills Library in January 2019 and was hired to serve as a library assistant in August 2020 before being promoted to the position of reference librarian in December 2021.
“I’ve always been committed to volunteer work, and I was thinking of making a career change from the private sector to public service,” said Leenaarts Beasley, who was formerly employed by Island Bookstore. “After almost two decades of bookselling, the Dare County Library was a natural fit. It was hard coming in during COVID—we were curbside pickup only at the time—but the appreciation of our patrons for us to continue to provide access to materials was like a waterfall of gratitude. I knew right away I’d found a home where I could commit to finding more and more ways to make our patron’s lives better.”
A North Carolina Certified Public Librarian, Leenaarts Beasley holds a master’s degree in library science, which she earned from North Carolina Central University in 2021. In addition, Leenaarts Beasley earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from North Carolina State University in 1999 and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Old Dominion University in 2002.
In her new role as Dare County Librarian, Leenaarts Beasley will serve as the administrative head of the county’s three-branch library system, which includes the Kill Devil Hills Library, Manteo Library and Hatteras Library. In addition to managing the library system’s employees, budget and day-to-day operations, she will also be tasked with performing strategic planning and providing important information, technology and literacy resources to Dare County residents, visitors and property owners.
“I love talking to people, not necessarily about books, but getting to know them, who they are, what they love, and in doing so, I hope to find ways to help meet their needs,” said Leenaarts Beasley. “That’s one of the great things about working at the Dare County Library. We help people, sometimes in very unusual ways—maybe to apply for a job, or help them grow a garden, or find an ancestor. There’s no greater satisfaction than closing the gap between a person’s need and the solution they’re looking for.”
Because the Dare County Library is a member of the East Albemarle Regional Library System, Leenaarts Beasley will also work closely with the county librarians for Camden, Currituck and Pasquotank counties to ensure that these libraries’ collaborative efforts continue to serve the needs of northeastern North Carolina communities by providing internet access, innovative technologies and online resources, among many others.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve grown many of the Dare County Library’s Adult Programs to include our Speakers Series, Book Clubs and very successful Seed Library, all while maintaining our commitment to children’s programming and literacy and building connections with many community organizations,” said Leenaarts Beasley. “My hope is to keep this momentum going by growing our services, curating our materials collections to better address the wants and needs of our patrons, and finding ways to make our library an essential part of every Dare County resident’s daily life. We are here to serve and we want to help.”