Campus News

Library associate’s life filled with child care, books, service

Vicki Worsham

Vicki Worsham’s interests are threefold: child care, books and service work. And, over the last 30 years, she has integrated all three into her life.

As a reference assistant at UGA’s science library, Worsham spends her time organizing the reference collection and assisting the needs of science library patrons.

“My work changes every day,” she said.

As part of her job, Worsham takes care of the reference collection, collaborates with the cataloging department, helps student workers and creates the employee schedule for the service desk. She also sets up a rotating quarterly display on the second floor and works at the service desk.

Worsham’s varied duties incorporate the dedicated mentality she applies to her job.

“If you commit to something, you commit to it fully,” she said. “It’s important to be 100 percent into what you’re doing. My goal is to carry out my responsibilities with enthusiasm and heart.”

Though a seasoned veteran at the science library, Worsham hasn’t always worked in the library sciences field.

She initially started out in child care with jobs working as a paraprofessional, a nanny and a substitute teacher.

She then worked for book retailers like Barnes & Noble and Chapter 11, even managing a location for a time. She still was not satisfied until she combined her experience in both child care and books.

“I decided to open my own children’s bookshop,” she said. “It seemed like the perfect marriage of careers I had.”

Located in downtown Monroe, Worsham’s Man in the Moon bookshop operated for nearly three years. Along with selling books, Worsham hosted community events like movie nights, birthday parties and craft activities at the store.

“It was located in the center of town and served as a bookstore for the whole community,” she said.

During the latest economic recession, Worsham closed the store and turned to library sciences. It was a comfortable fit after years in the bookselling business.

“I loved bookselling, but I prefer the library since it’s a quieter environment,” she said. “I enjoy the calming atmosphere of being in the science library.”

Though Worsham has switched roles throughout her career, she has remained committed to a favorite pastime: service work. For over 25 years, she has traveled domestically and internationally to aid in disaster relief efforts and mission trips.

“When I was 24, I was a volunteer in Puerto Rico, where I taught kindergartners,” she said. “Since then, I’ve enjoyed traveling, serving and learning about other cultures.”

Worsham’s past service trips include visits to China, Honduras, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and Indonesia after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

“Service work is in my heart,” she said. “I love being there for people in their time of need.”

A recent trip included mission work in West Virginia, where she helped donate clothing, toys and food to residents. She said that whenever she hears of opportunities to travel and serve, she seizes them.

“I’m always looking for new ways to do service work,” she said. “I’m able to help others and see the world at the same time.”

Though she has served extensively, Worsham plans to take a well-deserved vacation this spring. She and her sister will travel to the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. While there, they’ll go to the Biltmore Estate and visit a Downton Abbey exhibition, which has more than 40 costumes from the popular television show.

“We’re big fans of the show,” she said. “When I’m not working, I enjoy knitting, gardening and watching an episode of Downton Abbey.”