Dublin-Worthington News Stories

Member Spotlight: Chuck Gibson

Friday, June 4, 2021 By: Paul J. Cynkar
Advancing the Leadership Mindset
Finding Success in the Success of Others



This is another in a series of member profiles based on discovery interview questions that were designed to get an up close view of the traits and strengths of some of the members who provide leadership to this organization.

Membership Spotlight:  Chuck Gibson
Literate, Likeable, Library Leader

Tell us about yourself.  Give us three facts that include information about your family, your career and your pastimes
I grew up in Dodge City Kansas, then moved to Colorado.  I was a history major and a geology minor at Emporia State before I turned to food service then library science.  My mom is a librarian, in fact we went to graduate school in library science school together.  I came to Worthington in 1995 as the information technology coordinator for the Worthington Library.  After 12 years I moved to Valdosta, Georgia for several years but came back to Worthington when Maribah Mansfield retired.  Today my partner and I are celebrating 10 years together.  In my spare time I like to read a lot, engage in online auctions and do yard work.
How long have you belonged to Rotary?  What’s the best thing about membership?
I joined Rotary when I was in Valdosta, Georgia in 2008.  It was interesting.  They had a piano player and sang songs at their meetings.  I joined the Dublin-Worthington Rotary when I returned here.
As you look back on your life and your career, where and when did you have the biggest impact on others?  Who was impacted and how?
When I came to Worthington in 1995 the internet was just emerging.  I was the technology guy!  I helped design a technology system that was radically different than anything anyone had seen.  It put the Worthington Library at the forefront of libraries across the country.  We were able to combine my IT skills, Maribah’s vision, a skilled staff and great state and local funding to launch an incredible experience for this community.

As you look back, which of the opportunities you’ve had has been the most fulfilling to you personally?  Why?

It’s still a great feeling when I see a little kid in the library looking through a stack of books or exploring on a computer.  I often think about my first five years here.  Our team helped shape Worthington libraries and the profession in general.  We were truly high tech and high touch!  Maribah trained us on what libraries are and what they are supposed to be.
Describe the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on.  What was your role?  What was the result?  What did you learn?
For a short time I was the manager of a Texaco service station.  Everything from there was an improvement. Funding was a major challenge when I was in southern Georgia. It was a radically different culture than I was used to.  I was the “Yankee Boy”, sometimes referred to as “that damn Yankee!”  COVID has presented another set of challenges and there is no playbook on how to deal with it.  Not only have we had to respond to the chaos of the past year, we have to address issues in the future.  We have to evaluate and reevaluate everything we do.

What are some things you are passionate about?  What really excites you? What gets your adrenalin flowing?  What makes your heart sing?

I just absolutely love cars, all kinds of cars!  It is something I shared with my dad.  I grew up around hot rods so they have always been important.  I learned to drive when I was fourteen and I have had many more cars than most people.  The cars I most covet today are the Pontiac Fiero and the remake of the Ford Thunderbird.
What are you especially skilled at?  What is something that others often tell you that they think makes you stand out?
My background and training are in business, sales and library science.  In my current role I get to do the things that I do best.  People tell me I am a good at listener.  I try to let everyone else talk and add things I believe are relevant.  I don’t have a need to repeat what others have said.  Some call it “wise summation.”  I am a “hands off” leader with my staff.  They are very smart and talented.  Currently I see what fear, isolation and change that COVID have created for them.  I’m probably more assertive with my staff but I support them and believe in servant leadership.
When you have a moment to sit back and think (dream) about your future, what do you think about?  What things would you like to do in your life that you haven’t gotten around to yet?  Is there something else you would like to accomplish?
COVID is always on my mind.  I think about the processes needed to get us back to normal.  How do we put this back together?  What are staff expectations?  (Staff are the ones who create the magic that happens.) Despite advances in technology and audiobooks, I still believe that print is our bread and butter. 
If you could choose anyone (alive or deceased) to have lunch with, who would it be? Why?
It would be my grandmother.  She passed away in 2011.  I have so many questions for her.  I want to know more about the fascinating characters in her history and in our family.  There are many other questions that only she has answers for.
 

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