Published November 30th, 2016
New Librarian Moss Starts New Chapter for Moraga Library
By Sophie Braccini
Moraga Head Librarian Geneva Moss stands next to the Lucky Day collection. Photo Sophie Braccini
Moraga has a new full-time head librarian in Geneva Moss, who has plans to set her mark in Moraga. A sweet and gentle personality, she comes with ideas and a sincere drive for serving the public.
It has been challenging these past six years to keep track of Moraga head librarians. They would stay for a few months, start modeling their own style, but be gone with the next season. Whether it was that the position was then part-time or that better professional opportunities arose, the position was a bit of a revolving door.
But now it is settled. Moss was the children's librarian in Antioch for over five years before she was promoted to Moraga. In Antioch she developed programs funded by grants to serve the needs of the population. In Moraga, where she has now been for a few months, she has discovered that residents that have complex requests and are interested in a whole gamut of issues.
And this is why Moss left her job in the commercial real estate industry 11 years ago: to interact and serve the public, be challenged by the requests and thrive in bringing answers and new services.
"People are overwhelmed by the amount of information that is available to them online and in print," says the librarian, who sees her role as a pilot in an ocean of information, giving direction to safely navigate to a destination. In Moraga people are looking for current event information and analysis, personal improvement, history and the arts.
Moss, who works Tuesday to Saturday makes sure that she spends a least one hour a day at the public desk, "I need to understand the local needs," she says.
One of the most successful program at the Moraga library at this time is the "Lucky Day Collection." Popular books can get enormous waiting list of some 200 names in the "hold" queue, and getting them can take months or even years. So the county library system came up with this fun idea: have in each library a rack where one copy of some of the most-wanted books is displayed and can be picked up and rented for three weeks on the spot (no renewals). "What I love about this is that I see people browsing there all the time and talking to each other about the books," says Moss - and that's how she sees a library as a powerful vector for building community.
Moss has not yet started to implement her own vision for new programs at the library. She is waiting for the new adult services librarian to start up shortly, but she already knows that the library will seek grants to propose cultural and art programs on a grander scale.
She has already started partnering with other local groups. Reaching teens is always a challenge, so Moss reached out to Campolindo High School's librarian to bring teen programs directly to the high school, and also opened it up to Joaquin Moraga Intermediate students.
Moss is also in touch with the East Bay Regional Park District to propose programs that will combine literature with the exploration of the outdoors.
In her spare time, when she has time off parenting her own child, Moss of course loves to read. Three of her major areas of interest are young adult fiction, politics and Victorian literature or period pieces.
In the first category she recommends "Wintergirls" by Laurie Halse Anderson, which deals with the difficult topic of anorexia. She also recommends "Because Of Sex" by Gillian Thomas that analyzes the consequences of the Title VII Law, and Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations."

Reach the reporter at:

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA