Janet Sheppard has been an employee of Patrick Henry Memorial Library, part of the Campbell County Public Library System, since 2014, but she’s been active in the library community and an advocate for the library even longer.
“Patrick Henry Library is the community center of town. I really enjoy working with the patrons. Brookneal is very blessed to have this library and the staff that works there,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard joined the Pins and Needles Crafting Group in January 2011 because she had always wanted to learn to knit. The group, started by LaShawn Wright and Coralee Tuck, normally meets weekly on Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the library. Participants cross stitch, rug hook, knit, crochet, or do other needle work together.
“I love this group of people,” Sheppard said about the group. “We have so much fun and enjoy the fellowship.”
Pins and Needles has participated in numerous fundraisers and causes, including making hats and scarves for American soldiers through Operation Gratitude; crocheting bags to hold small gifts for residents of Heritage Hall; and making hats for patients at the cancer center.
“We like to give back to our community,” she said.
Pins and Needles is not currently meeting because of Covid-19 concerns, but Sheppard invites anyone interested to attend once they start back up.
In 2014, Sheppard started working as a substitute clerk at Patrick Henry. For the past two years, she has also worked at the main branch of the library in Rustburg and at Staunton River Memorial in Altavista. She checks in books, shelves, and assists patrons.
She is also involved with the Friends of Patrick Henry Memorial Library. She started helping with library events and joined the Friends in 2011, and she has served as its president twice. Projects have included raising money for the Children’s Room, which got new paint, carpet, and cabinets; giving books to children at Brookneal Elementary School; and buying a new sign for the library. The Friends offer individual memberships for $5 per year, and family memberships for $10 per year.
Sheppard brings her skills and experience to her work at the library. She has an associate degree in commercial art and a teacher’s aide certificate. She is also a certified paraprofessional. She worked for 17 years as an aide with the early childhood special education program in Campbell County Public Schools. She loves reading, drawing, crafting, photography, and listening to music. She especially loves photographing sunflowers. She has one son.
She encourages the community to visit the library and participate in the Pins and Needles group, the Friends group, or the Written Word Book Club.