By L. Anne Hankins, Director Kuna Library
“This is the 2nd time I’ve left the Kuna Public Library to pursue a college degree,” Gregg Whitmore said from his desk. “It’s all about re-inventing yourself, which is never easy”. At 51, Gregg speaks from experience. A trainer in one of Micron’s fabs for 15 years, he was laid off in 2007. He decided to go back to school after that, a decision that changed his life. “I enrolled at Boise State to study computers and needed a part-time job to help make ends meet. Simultaneously, the Kuna Public Library was hiring shelvers.” He applied for the position and it turned out to be a natural fit.
“I have tons of magazines that I’ve collected since I was six. These are organized by publisher, genre, title and number. I’m constantly pulling them out, reading them and shelving them back in place. In addition, I’ve indexed these magazines in databases and spreadsheets so I could refer to them quickly. It’s like I’d been a librarian all of my life– I just didn’t know it.” Soon, Gregg was promoted to cataloguer. “Cataloguing is great fun! I get to handle every resource in the library and create a searchable record for it in the computer –it was a lot like indexing my collection.”
He graduated in 2009 with a computer science degree and began looking for a full-time librarian position locally when providence struck again. He was hired as a cataloguer and a circulation clerk at the Boise VA Medical Center Medical Library. Within 2 years, his supervisor retired and Gregg took over all aspects of managing the library. He’s now responsible for interlibrary loans, purchasing, collection development, weeding, teaching library classes and more, all while pursuing a second degree from Boise State at night. “Once I decided to become a librarian, I knew I needed to finish my Bachelor’s degree to get into a Master’s of Library Science program.” He graduated again in 2012, minoring in both Communication and Library Science. Two months later, he returned to the Kuna Library as the cataloguer, working nights and weekends while still working at the medical library during the day. This February, he applied for the online Master’s program offered by the University of Alabama and was accepted. “Once I got accepted, I knew I’d have to give up something, and that was the Kuna Public Library again.”
“I owe the Kuna Public Library many thanks, especially its director, L. Anne Hankins. Without Anne’s faith in me, my life would be very different today and for that I will always be grateful.”
When asked if he would ever come back to the Kuna Public Library, he replied: “Anything’s possible– I’m not ruling it out. After all, isn’t that what a boomerang does? It always comes back to the place it was thrown from.”
We wish him all the best.