MADERA COUNTY – Madera County officials welcome new County Librarian Patrick Fitzgerald to Madera. Fitzgerald, who grew up near Allentown, PA and has worked with multiple rural library systems, joined Madera County on Apr. 1.
Most recently, he served as the Director of the Harnett County Public Library in North Carolina. In his capacity as the County Librarian, Fitzgerald oversees the operations of the Madera County Library and its four satellite branches in Chowchilla, Madera Ranchos, North Fork and Oakhurst, managing staff and volunteers at all facilities.
“We’re very glad to have Patrick on board as our new County Librarian. His dedication to serving rural library systems makes him a natural fit for Madera County, and we look forward to the work he will do for our communities,” said Eric Fleming, Madera County Administrative Officer.
In his role, Fitzgerald looks forward to bolstering the library system’s children and adult programs through book clubs, readings and continuing education activities. While relatively new in his position, Fitzgerald is already impressed by the level of community commitment to the library system he has seen throughout the county.
“I really appreciate the level of volunteer support at the libraries here in Madera County,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ve never seen as much consistent community support, and that really says a lot about the community here.”
Fitzgerald’s career path into county library systems can be described as serendipitous. After earning his bachelor’s degree in religious studies at Georgia State University, Fitzgerald did not immediately set out to be a librarian. Instead, the opportunity arose from his utilizing his local library to search and apply for jobs after graduation. Eventually, he became well acquainted with the library’s staff, who notified him of a job opening at their facility. He has been working at libraries ever since, and went on to obtain his master’s degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
While new to the area, Fitzgerald has family ties in California and cites a draw to the West Coast as his reason for relocating. In researching California, Fitzgerald was immediately drawn to the Central Valley and focused his job search here, both because of the amenities of the area and because he most enjoys serving rural communities.
“I am really glad to be here in Madera County and look forward to being your County Librarian,” Fitzgerald said. “I have dedicated my career to serving rural libraries, and it is truly an honor for me to be in this position.”
As new Madera County residents, Fitzgerald, his wife and two sons are most looking forward to visiting Yosemite National Park and exploring the local area as they settle into the community.