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I am your Colletonian

Editors note:

This is a weekly series in which we will bring you the stories behind the faces that you see every day in our community. Everyone has a story, so look to meet your fellow Colletonians in each week’s issue!

Shiela Keaise. Photo by Christie Slocum

Shiela Keaise. Photo by Christie Slocum

Children’s librarian, author, publishing consultant, professional child care trainer, actress and business owner are just a few words one could use to describe Shiela Keaise. She was raised in Walterboro by her parents John and Jennie Keaise. She has two sisters and even has a couple of adopted siblings. At an early age Keaise had no idea that the closeness and love her family shared during her childhood was setting the stage for her career path. She truly has a love for people especially for children.

Keaise attended and graduated from Walterboro High School. She knew education was the key to success and decided to attend Claflin University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Marketing. She decided to also go after a Masters Degree which she earned two years later in Agribusiness from South Carolina State University. In 1995, she was hired at the Colleton County Memorial Library. Working for the library helped her decide to pursue a second Masters Degree. In 1998, she earned a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina.

During her employment with Colleton County Memorial Library she has held several different positions. First, she served as the Library Clerk. Next, she became the Assistant Bookmobile Librarian. After working on the Bookmobile, she was offered the Assistant Children’s Librarian position. Currently, she is the Children’s Librarian. The children of Colleton County absolutely adore “Miss Shiela”. When she is not in the children’s department of the library, she can be found touring the schools and promoting special activities and programs that are being offered at the library.

Sometimes “Miss Shiela” does not look like herself. Sometimes she dresses up in character to help catch the attention of local youngsters and to get them interested in the programs she offers. This past spring, while visiting an elementary school dressed as Mrs. Albert Einstein, “Miss Shiela” told students that her husband has inspired her to learn. She told them that he had written four papers that made him internationally know and a few other historical facts about Mr. Albert Einstein. After her presentation a five year old approached her and in a whisper told her “Albert Einstein is dead”. Keaise loves the fact that children can keep her laughing.

Being a Children’s Librarian is a very busy and demanding job. You would think this job alone would consume most of her time, but it doesn’t. She not only likes to read books, she also likes to write them. She first started writing when her teachers in church and school would give her writing assignments. She says “It just came naturally”. Her stories in school would earn her As in writing and so it was just something she decided to try out professionally. So far she has written nine children’s books with the tenth one scheduled to come out in January 2015. She also owns her own business known as Martina Publishing, Inc. Through her company she is a publishing consultant. She provides advice to people who want to publish their own books. She also is a Professional Child Care Trainer. She offers workshops to train child care professionals for DSS hours.

As you can tell Keaise really enjoys working with the youth in Colleton County. She loves interacting with them, encouraging them to read and write, watching them learn and grow. Hopefully “Miss Shiela” will continue to work with our children for many years to come. For more information on Children’s programs at the Colleton County Library, visit colletonlibrary.org.

 

Christie Slocum (589 Posts)