The Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library has met with much success since opening in 2015 -- and its new branch manager looks to build on it.

"Deepening communication with our community is among my top priorities," Kacy Cox said.

Cox, 41, joined Columbus Metropolitan Library in 2000 and succeeds Shirley Freeman as branch manager. Freeman retired in June after 35 years at the library system.

The rebuilt Whitehall branch opened in 2015, and the $8.5 million, 20,000-square-foot facility since has been among the most active in visits and circulation.

Earlier this year, the Whitehall branch was one of eight new libraries in the world recognized by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association for its architecture as part of an annual program.

Cox said becoming a branch manager fulfills a career objective.

"I knew early on that I wanted to be a branch manager," said Cox, who grew up in Chillicothe.

Cox received a bachelor's degree in library science from Ohio Dominican University and in 2008 earned a master's degree in library science from Kent State.

Cox began her tenure with the library as a clerk at the Gahanna branch, working on the "front line," greeting customers and helping them check out items and make reservations. She comes to Whitehall after a stint as customer-services manager at the Reynoldsburg branch.

"I'm looking forward to meeting even more people in the community and learning what our customers like the most or want us to provide," said Cox, adding she planned to attend last weekend's Food Truck and Fun Festival to represent the library and meet Whitehall residents.

"I want to meet as many people as I can to help promote the library and learn what people like best and what we can do to make their experiences even better," she said.

Alison Circle, chief customer-experience officer for the library, said she looks forward to Cox furthering inroads.

"Through the past 17 years, Kacy has demonstrated an immense passion for her work (and) we know she will quickly become a familiar face in the Whitehall community and inspire customers of all ages," Circle said.