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Community Connection: Nancy Stanbery-Kellam

Nancy Stanbery-Kellam was born into a life of books. Growing up between Oregon and Ohio, her parents were librarians. So was an aunt and her step-grandmother worked for a library. So it was inevitable for Stanbery-Kellam and her sister to get into the profession. Now the director of the Gwinnett County Public Library, Stanbery-Kellam talks about her favorite books, her family and more in this edition of Community Connection.

On her favorite book:

That's really hard to ask a librarian. I can tell you some authors. I love "Confederacy of Dunces." (Author John Kennedy Toole) wrote a couple of books and he actually committed suicide and his mother got the book published. It's a really interesting study on people.

I love Stuart Woods and Pat Conroy. The one a lot of people know is "Chiefs." (Woods) writes mysteries.

On her parents' personal library:

We always had books. When my parents passed away, they had thousands of books.

They had such an interest in learning that they would pick up a book on like Amish weaving that they would never really use but they would just learn. They had this incredible hunger for learning that they would have this odd volume of really cool books, which take up a lot of space and weigh a ton.

We donated a great deal of them to the library up there and book sellers they knew that had rare and interesting books. That was hard to do, because we wanted to keep all of them.

On her 9-year-old son James:

He's actually a Russian baby. We adopted him when he was just under a year. I know everyone thinks this about their children, but he's really an exceptionally sweet child.

Right now, his interests are karate and Scouts. He's a Webelow this year.

He loves to read and draw, and he's a song and dance man. He loves music. I think part of that is because of when he was in the orphanage, one of my imprints in my mind of that, which wasn't a great memory, was a woman in very traditional Russian garb. She was an older lady, playing the accordion and going up and down the halls with that traditional Russian music. I know that had to have been the beginnings of his love for music.

- As told to senior writer Camie Young