Newest librarian sees growth in programs

It’s been a little over a year since I first met Stacey Ogea — pronounced “Oh, gee” — and I thought it was time to check-in with her again.

We first met in June 2017. She had started as library manager of the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library in November 2016.

She had moved to Sarasota County from Saginaw, Michigan, where she had been a branch manager of one of five libraries in that city’s library system until the economy nosedived and her job was eliminated.

Stacey found the position she now holds with the Sarasota County Library System after finding and falling in love with the area. Her husband, Aaron, began working initially as a consultant with the IT department at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he is now systems administrator.

The couple lives in Sarasota, which helps reduce the drive time for Aaron’s work commute. They have three children — son Brennan, who is 20 and in college; daughter Channing, 17; and daughter Quinn, 9.

Stacey is a powerlifter, and she is proud of her accomplishments in that arena as well as the success she has found with library programs. She competed in Michigan before the move and subsequently began competing in Orlando after moving here.

Her state record in Michigan was lifting 275 pounds (squats) a year ago in June. Her last recorded stats from Orlando show her lifting 286 pounds (squats) in September.

Evidently, Brennan is somewhat influenced by both parents’ interests and activities. She said he started working out at the gym when he began college and he is studying biomedical engineering at Michigan Technological University (Houghton, Michigan).

“Brennan and a professor are researching the use of gold particles as a cure for cancer,” she said.

Stacey has seen some growth at the library, both in programs offered and people taking advantage of them. I must say it was a bit of a challenge finding a parking place. Of course, that could have been because I visited her on a Tuesday, one of the busiest days at the library, Stacey said.

According to the July schedule for adults, 21 programs were planned for Tuesdays, 16 for Thursdays, and 10 for Mondays and Fridays. Those programs include the “Jacaranda Book Club,” “Chess Club,” “E-help,” “Spanish Learning Group” meetings and movies.

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