STANTON — The White Pine Library’s new director, Jodi Stockton, brings not only a wealth of library-specific experience to the job, but also a Renaissance woman’s appreciation for art, theater and music.
Stockton was recently hired on to replace outgoing part-time director Katie E. Arwood, who left to take a full-time position at Montcalm Community College.
Formerly of Greencastle, Ind., Stockton was active in the theater and opera community there and was a featured player in many productions over the years. According to Stockton, when she married her husband and fellow thespian, Dan Stockton just over a year ago, she promised him she would “follow him anywhere.”
“Dan had two companies trying to recruit him,” Stockton said. “It came down to Cleveland or here. But the people around here are so nice and the area is so beautiful; it really was no contest.”
Stockton has already found an outlet for her acting ambitions and plans to audition for the Grand Rapids Civic Theater’s upcoming production of Les Misérables. She said she also intends to get involved with Greenville’s Flat River Community Players at some point.
In some ways, Stockton’s move to the area — the couple is currently renting a home in Belding and plan to build eventually — is in some ways a homecoming of sorts. Stockton was born here in 1966, but moved to Indiana when she was three years old.
“It’s been a while,” Stockton said. “The hardest part is that Dan and I both grew up in Indiana, in the area we were living. It was hard to leave everybody and everything we had known so long.”
Stockton’s education includes a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University. She previously worked at the Danville Public Library where she was manager of user services.
According to White Pine Library Board of Directors President Kate Zimbelman, choosing Stockton for the job was an easy task.
“Just upon meeting her and through the whole interview process, it just seemed Jodi was a perfect fit for our library,” Zimbelman said. “She comes to us with lots of experience with children’s programs and that has always been one of our first loves here at the library. We look forward to utilizing all her knowledge to improve our services for our patrons.”
The library is hosting an open house “meet and greet” for Stockton from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at the library and the public is invited to attend.
“We encourage people to stop by and just hang out with us for a while,” Zimbelman said.