Andy Madson is the kind of branch manager who stays behind the scenes. He’s proud of hiring the best people and supporting their efforts. He’s been at the Cedar Bluff Branch Library since 2014, and before that he was at the helm of the Halls Branch Library. His course took a turn when he was considering a career in academic libraries. As an Asian Studies major at the University of Wisconsin, he loved research. He had his eye on becoming an area studies reference librarian, but the opportunities for a reference librarian in an academic setting were limited.
His first professional opportunity as a career librarian came from the Sevier County Public Library system where he was hired to be the head of reference and business services, and part of the management team. He eventually headed up the history center there before jumping to Knox County.
He doesn’t regret the shift to public libraries.
“It’s very different, a totally different emphasis. It’s always about helping people find what they are interested in. Whether it’s helping people find the book they are looking for or a space to do things. But it’s so much more than that too. This is much more general, and really more exciting and interesting,” Madson said.
The Cedar Bluff Branch Library on Cross Park Drive is one of the busiest branches in the system.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, the Friends of Knox County Public Library will host a Pop-Up Book Sale at the Fountain City Branch Library at 5300 Stanton Road (corner at Essary Road), from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. All proceeds go to Knox County Public Libraries.
Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library. She writes a Wednesday feature for KnoxTNToday.com.